John Carter: The Gods Of Mars #1
Written by: Sam Humphries
Art by: Ramon Perez
Colour by: Jordie Bellaire
Published by: Marvel Comics
‘Heaven is a sham!’
You have to appreciate the kind of comic that would have the nerve to say that line! Which is precisely the type of character John Carter is- steely nerve and strong willed and this comic really emphasises that as in nearly every panel, there is action!
Sam Humphries is clearly the kind of guy who has a love of pulp stories and he really shows his passion for these characters in his story composition and dialogue. He brings in Burroughs as a character too who knew ‘Captain John Carter’ which is setting up for some future stories down the line.
Ramon Perez creates some beautiful imagery too as he shows 2 different styles between the scenes on Mars and on Earth. This, as I said, is an action HEAVY book, with Perez delivering the goods and bringing some great composition work.
His work plays with tone and shadow, with great use and effect of lighting to add to the mood. He knows that the environment he’s drawing is strange and alien and he takes the full opportunity to play with this to bring a richer visual experience to the reader.
What adds to the beauty of this book and the tone set by Humphries writing on another level is Jordie Bellaire’s rich colour palette. She utilises rich reds and blues to show the unigue and alien atmosphere of Mars as well as rich sand hues on Earth to show the classical old nature of the Burroughs scenes.
This first issue has a very clear goal in mind, the creative team know that most people picking it up will be people who saw the new movie so it wants to introduce these readers (many of whom probably won’t be comic and pulp story fans) to the characters, set the stakes and raise them high so as to hook them in fast and take the reader on an action thriller! It achieves this quite well with the only minor complaint is there’s no set-up or bad guy introduced, you’re just shown a great character in John Carter and generic ‘peril’ that he has to get out of but this definitely is an homage to the pulp tales of Burroughs’ time.