John Carter: The End #5
“This is the end, my only friend, the end”
John Carter: The End officially ends with issue #5 of this mini-series from Dynamite. This issue wraps everything up following the ongoing struggle of John Carter and his wife Dejah dealing with there seemingly genocidal “son” Den Thorkar rule over Barsoom. All is not what it seems though, Dejah still thinks the Den Thorkar she has been with in the capital is her son and has been trying to talk sense into him, but John Carter has finally found out the truth, that this empirical leader is not their son at all but an impostor! Rav Thavas has been making “clone” Den Thorkars to serve as puppets for his evil takeover of Barsoom and its government. The real Den Thorkar fled when he was very young and realized Thavas was evil, he ran away and was raised by John Carters old friend Tas Takars when he was young. The real Thorkar knew of the “clones” and quietly built up a resistance but could never build up the man power until John Carter returned. With John Carter and Den Thorkar reunited they lead the resistance in a giant battle against Rav Thava’s armies, but will they be enough to defeat his armies and help save the native martians and Barsoom from complete destruction?
Brian Wood and Alex Cox have written a very politically intriguing and emotional John Carter story with this series. For someone like me who is not well versed in the John Carter universe some things are still a little bit confusing, but the writers did a good job of making this issue (and series) very approachable to new readers to this universe for the most part. I wish in this last issue we would have dealt a little bit more with Dejah and John Carter coming back together and seeing them reconcile after the big shake up in the first issue. They have been apart since the first issue and I would have like to have seen a little bit more with them in this final issue. They do though wrap everything up nicely and send the reader away telling a completed story that keeps you engaged throughout.
I have had a love/hate relationship with Hayden Sherman’s art throughout this series and this issue is no different. He continues to do great on close range shots or scenes with only a few characters in them, when the “lens” gets pulled back or there is a big battle shown things just become jumbled and un-recognizable. Sherman continues to get great character work and emotion from the close up shots and when the battle scenes are more “intimate” his rough minimal style really shines, it is to bad those scenes are few and far between in issue #5. We tend to get a lot of far away shots and big battle scenes in this Issue that really do not play to Sherman’s strengths, it also does not give colorist Chris O’Halloran much to work with, making the big battles look like blue/green blobs on the page. So this issue is a mixed bag when the scene plays to Sherman’s strengths the art is good but when it veers away from that it is not so good, overall Sherman is a good artist and does great in sequential story telling the story flows nicely and the set ups are good, he just needs some refinement on some things.
John Carter: The End #5 is a good ending to a very intriguing mini series. The writers did a great job of telling a more emotional;, political John Carter story. While it does have its hiccups and it can be a little confusing for those of us not so well informed about this universe, they successfully tell a complete story that will have the reader invested in these characters throughout. The art as stated early is a mixed bag, it is good at times and bad at times depending on the scene set up and shot, but as with the writing it successfully gets the characters story across. John Carter: The End did not make me into a John Carter fan but it did get me to enjoy a John Carter comic and that is not nothing.
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