Is this worth celebrating? Read on to find out.
The official description from Dynamite:
Dynamite’s Warlord of Mars comic line will hit the 100 issue milestone in April. To celebrate we are bringing you THREE stories by the THREE most prolific writers of recent Barsoomian history, each starring Barsoom’s greatest calot: WOOLA! Beginning with a story by Robert (WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS) Napton, taking place 400 years before John Carter’s arrival on Barsoom, where a young Woola discovers an ancient First Born artifact that isn’t quite what it seems. The story continues by Arvid (WARLORD OF MARS) Nelson only to have it recovered by the Warlord himself many years later. What happens to the good people of Helium as the evil power begins to be unleashed? And what could it mean for the rest of Barsoom? Then, in the final chapter by Mark (DEJAH THORIS AND THE GREEN MEN OF MARS) Rahner, Woola must do the hardest thing of his life: not protect John Carter. The fiercely loyal calot must resist his strongest instincts to save Carter from horrifying brutality – or pay an infinitely worse price. Includes bonus material!
Seeing as how this is a bit different than the norm, the format of the review will be shifted around. What we have is three stories that connect, on some level, to each other while taking place at various points in the currently explored timeline.
First up “The Sword of Barsoom Part 1“. The script is penned by Robert Place Napton, so the author is quick to push established anecdotes in an effort to convey the ground work for a decent follow up. He does a commendable job, but there were instances where the dialogue was stuffy and awkward. The illustrations done by Lui Antonio are workable, but key renditions, especially Dejah Thoris were simply inconsistent.
Next in line is a piece done by Arvid Nelson and José Malaga. The art takes a positive turn, same as the text, as we see our heroes faced with a dire situation. What makes this portion even better is that when we see the climax and ultimate confrontation featuring two old friends turned enemies, a particular Calot comes into play once again. In short: the second part of “The Sword of Barsoom” is considerably stronger with enough heart and connection to sell its narrative path.
The final entry is a quick read that acts as more of a reflection than anything else. The aptly named “Stay” takes our highlighted companion, Woola, and forces him to do something that’s hard for anyone. I closed this section thinking that Mark Rahner delivered easily the most powerful jaunt and when you add in the display done by José Luis you can’t help but be captivated by what you’re reading.
Warlord of Mars #100 is a good release but it’s still plagued by the issues that ultimately hold back aspects of the connecting titles. Still with colors done by Salvatore Aiala Studios this is one extra purchase I can readily recommended.
S#!T Talking Central