Review: Lords Of Mars #5
John Carter and the mighty ape-man face off in a fight to the death before thousands of their howling, bloodthirsty enemies. Even if our two heroes survive each other, their foes have a nasty little surprise in store for them… actually, make that a nasty big surprise! But there’s a little twist in store for everyone, something no one, not even John Carter or the ape-man, could have foreseen.
The penultimate installment of the John Carter and Tarzan crossover hits this week. Lords of Mars #5 is written by Arvid Nelson with art by Roberto Castro. Alex Guimaraes handles colors with Marshall Dillon tackling lettering. Things took a bit of a nose dive last month, but does Nelson get things back on course for the finale?
Tarzan and John Carter have been thrown into the arena and made to fight to the death by the Therns. Their plan to manipulate Tarzan into finishing off their old enemy John Carter is in full swing. There’s just one problem, the two men don’t want to fight each other. Tarzan is started to realize what Jane has told him the entire time they’ve been on mars- the Therns are sneaky. When Jane is used as leverage, Tarzan and John Carter must either fight each other or face off against the Therns’ big surprises. It’s the battle of the century as Tarzan and John Carte fight for their lives and the ones they love the most. Can they fight together? Will this be the one time Tarzan can’t save Jane?
Arvid writes a much better issue this time around. It almost feels like a different book in terms of pacing and action. Things really charge full steam ahead and start to make up for the previous four issues that seemed to drag on. The tables are turned and our two heroes are finally face-to-face. Things seem to be set up nicely for the finale. Castro’s art is solid. There are still a few characters who aren’t quite consistent the entire way through, but it’s fewer and farther between now. Castro has a good sense of direction when it comes to the arena battles. It’s fast-paced and action-packed on every page. John Carter and Tarzan get a real chance to let loose with the surprise beasts that have been unleashed. Guimaraes’ colors are top notch. This is a bright book that really plays up its alien settings.
Bottom Line: Lords of Mars really picks up this month, but there are still a few story points that need to be ironed out. John Carter and Tarzan are finally on the page together and that’s great. Lords of Mars has been a rough ride but it looks to have a fun finish. 3/5