Published on February 8th, 2017 | by Brent Jackson
Review – John Carter: The End #1
Summary: Barsoom is under the rule of an evil emperor the natives are on the boarder of extinction and are desperate. Will John Carter once again be their savior?
- Writers: Brian Wood and Alex Cox
- Artist: Hayden Sherman
- Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
- Letterer: Thomas Napolitano
- Publisher: Dynamite Comics
- Release Date: February 8, 2017
John Carter and Dejah Thoris have moved away from Barsoom (Mars) living on a distant moon for centuries in seclusion. Barsoom has fallen on hard times and an evil emperor has taken over. Ruling with an iron fist he has almost eradicated the native race. With the Barsoom’s society about to collapse and the natives fate at hand, the small resistance has one savior the once Warlord of Mars John Carter. Can they find him and Thoris in time to save their people and will they be willing to take down this new Emperor who is mad with power?
John Carter is one of those “open domain” characters that every comic creator wants to get a shot at since it is such an enduring legacy and has influenced many sci-fi/superhero stories throughout the years. There have been many variations and continuations of the John Cater stories throughout the years. Making an entertaining “new” John Carter is quite a hefty task since it has been done so many times. That being said Brian Wood and Alex Cox have made the first issue of this series very interesting and get right to the chase. If you pick up this book you likely know something about John Carter and his history, if not you will be a little lost, but the writing team makes sure that you can pick up all the vital information from other characters dialogue. I wouldn’t say it is vital to know every nook and cranny of John Carter history (I definitely do not) but it would definitely help to know a little of the history for the story to have full impact. The writers do make it easy to jump into the series and even not knowing much the story is very intriguing and to be spoiler free finding out who this new rule is and how John Carter and Dejah Thoris are going to deal with it is a great driving point for the series.
Hayden Sherman has a very sketchy, rough style that fits well with John Carter The End #1. Sherman’s art style definitely lends to these more dystopian type stories (see The Few), his art gives the story the desperation and just “beat up” feel it needs. His panel layouts are spectacular and he always does a fantastic job with his action beats and layouts. The only problem with his style is that the far away shots all details are lost, characters become more like stick figures. The backgrounds can be very muddled and detailed less making one setting not much different from the other. O’Halloran on colors does a great job of matching Sherman’s style and making the art really fits into the “John Carter world” and giving the characters and settings a little bit more detail to tell them apart.
Not being a big John Carter person this story has really piqued my interest. It is very intriguing with this new emperor and how our main protagonist is going to deal with what he is doing. The destruction and overtaking of Baroom is interesting, but the real story is going to be how John Carter and Dejah Thoris deal with the emotional aspect of who this new emperor is. I really like Sherman’s art besides the lack of detail, but his “scratchy” style makes the story feel that more desperate and the area “war-torn”. This is a great creative team and they are delivering a John Carter story that will peak anybody’s interest.
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