Review: Lords Of Mars #2
Lord Greystoke and Jane find themselves transported to Mars, where they learn of a terrible tyrant named John Carter who has enslaved the dying planet. The Ape-Man’s newfound “friends” are putting on an elaborate deception, but to what end? John Carter, meanwhile, deals with the sinister machinations of a strange new cult… devoted to none other than him!
The second issue of the John Carter/Tarzan crossover from Dynamite comes out today. Lords of Mars #2 is written by Arvid Nelson with illustrations by Roberto Castro. Alex Guimaraes handles colors with Marshall Dillon tackling lettering. The first issue was something of a soft opening, but do things pick up for the second installment?
Tarzan and Jane are trapped in a mine after going on the run from a disastrous hunting expedition with some more civilized types who pushed Tarzan just a bit too much. After wandering around the mineshaft for a while, Tarzan and Jane stumble upon an opening with a strange blue light illuminating the way. Tarzan rushes in, but when Jane catches up she doesn’t see him anywhere. The strange machine is pulsing. In a blink of an eye Jane is gone as well. The two are transported to Mars (as if you couldn’t guess). The duo quickly deduce where they are, and their ability to jump great heights in a single bound prove their hypothesis. When Tarzan jumps in to save a little boy, he may find himself in more trouble than even he can handle. All the while, John Carter is still dealing with the Therns and deciding whether or not he will meet their new leader. Tarzan and Jane find themselves in a new world, but where they expected? Has Tarzan seen himself escape from one trap only to find himself in another?
Nelson writes another solid issue that nails down Edgar Rice Burroughs most famous creations. This issue is head and shoulders above the introductory installment. While the vast majority of the pages are still dedicated to Tarzan, it does seem like everything is in place and the Tarzan/John Carter meet-up is coming up next. We start to see the outlines of the conflict that will draw the two men together and what part they will play in it, at least for their initial meeting. Castro’s art is good. He is able to present some spectacular landscapes and some interesting characters. There are times when the lines are a bit too heavy and give the faces an odd look, but overall everything is very clean and detailed. Guimaraes’ colors are fantastic. The background has a slightly different tone than the foreground and the characters. It’s a great touch that makes the red planet feel like a character in its own right.
Bottom Line: Lords of Mars is a little slow to start, but when it gets going it does things well. With a crossover with as much potential as John Carter and Tarzan has, it will be exciting to see things reach another gear and really get into the meat of the story. Hopefully with two of six issue released, the setup is out of the way and the John Carter and Tarzan can come face to face. 3/5