JOHN CARTER THE END #5

“Onward to New Helium”
Writers: Brian Wood and Alex Cox
Artist: Hayden Sherman

The final battle has arrived between the genocidal regime of Ras Thavas and John Carter’s resistance. It is a battle that is taking months but the forces of Carter are winning. So Ras Thavas unleashes his synthetic men, an army of Den Thokar clones. It is not enough for Dejah Thoris manages to kill Ras Thavas. At the end Tars Tarkas emerges from his cocoon. He is a giant with wings. He manages to tear apart New Helium. John Carter reunites with his wife Dejah and their son the real Den Thokar.

Well the end has finally arrived. I was kind of expecting the death of John Carter. Obviously he is still alive so not a permanent end to him. This was a real good ending. The battle was epic with men as far as the eye could see in a mass with explosions and aircraft in the skies. Dejah Thoris gets her revenge and a happy ending with being reunited with her dead son who is actually alive and well. The Tars Tarkas getting huge was a bit weird but a unique idea. I sort of liked the idea of the green men going through a metamorphosis with old age.

So I was expecting the death of John Carter but got a happy ending. I guess we may get a continuation of this far future Barsoom in some future series. I would say its more of a new beginning.

JOHN CARTER THE END #4

“The Old Man On The Ocean Floor”
Writers: Brian Wood and Alex Cox
Artist: Hayden Sherman

John Carter is surprised as he is approached by Den Thokar. The real Den Thorkar. Rav Thavas has had him cloned and keeps plopping out a clone when he needs it. Den is actually a decent guy who regrets his actions and wants to atone. Tars Tharkas then has John Carter visit the old man. When he arrives he finds out it is Ulysses Paxton. Talking with him gives John renewed purpose. He then passes out and wakes up. Paxton is a skeleton and has been long dead so he either had some mystical hallucination or a supernatural communion. Either way Carter is ready to fight the final battle. At the end black men come from the ground and silently kneel. Carter joins them.

This issue gives us a big reveal in that Den Thorkar is a clone created by Rav Thavas. The real Den is ready to join Carter. Dejah also learns the truth and does not like it at all. A sort of subdued issue with the mystical meeting with Paxton. The ending with the black men coming out of the ground also had a surreal feel to it but was visually stunning. Very interested to see how this concludes.

JOHN CARTER THE END #3

“I’m Of Your Blood, Yours and the Warlords…”
Writers: Brian Wood & Alex Cox
Artist: Hayden Sherman

John Carter is with the resistance outside Helium. He gets mercilessly teased by his old friend Tars Tarkas for being so out of practice with a sword. The resistance then attacks a flying train. They manage to capture it and all the toxic darts that it was carrying. It was also carrying political prisoners. At this time Dejah Thoris is very worried in the direction her son has taken Helium. She goes to explore on her own and doesn’t like what she finds. At the end Ras Thavas is revealed to be the man pulling all the strings.

It was nice to see that John Carter isn’t so perfect as he was in the books. It adds a bit of realism to the triumph when he does show he still has it. So now we are getting a clearer picture of the new regime. Men are sentenced to hard labor for such crimes as not bowing to the Jeddak’s picture or overheard criticizing the government. There are insurrections all over and the Jeddak surrounds himself with sycophants. At the end we find out Ras Thavas the Mastermind of Mars is somehow behind this. That was a good choice since he was always somewhat amoral but brilliant. Another great issue.

RED SONJA #5

“So We Meet Again”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Kulan Gath’s monster is destroying Manhattan. He is gleefully planing to rebuild the city as a monument to himself. Max and Sonja are floating in a bubble that Max’s magic created to help them escape the demon. They land in Brighton Beach. Their friends find them and they try to come up with a plan. While watching Max do his magic trick a plan is formed. They figure out that Max is magically transporting the coins back to Hrykania. So maybe if they spin something big enough they can send back Gath and his demon. The biggest thing they have is the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island. So they post a challenge to Gath on social media so he gets angry and comes to them. Our heroes are on the Wonder Wheel but Max can’t get up enough energy and the demon is fast approaching.

Now its getting exciting. Sonja and her friends now have a plan but will it work? Sonja seems to be getting used to New York. She is learning how to flip people off. Their post gets over 1.1k likes. This adventure in the modern world is turning out to be a fun ride.

RED SONJA #4

“So We Meet Again”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Sonja and Max confront Gath at the museum. Gath is revealed to have come to America back in 1893 and made a killing in the stock market. Subsequently assuming the identity of his son and grandson he continues to make money and buy up New York. Now he practically owns the city. He also has hundreds of fanatical followers. Max’s memory starts to come back. He was from Meru the city that Gath destroyed. He learned some magic and used it to transport him and Sonja into the future. Gath then summons the Demon Beast of Khauran which starts to destroy the museum. Max and Sonja hold it off so the innocent civilians can evacuate. It ends with the museum collapsing and Sonja and Max transported to safety using Max’s magical powers.

So now we get a lot of questions answered in this issue. Gath came a century ago and set himself up as a powerful businessman who owns most of the city. He has a bunch of kooky followers and plans to use the Demon to destroy New York and rebuild it as a monument to himself. Max is from Sonja’s time and the only survivor of the city of Meru that Sonja was trying to safe against Gath. So now that the sides are set up we can have a real battle.

RED SONJA #3

“So We Meet Again”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Sonja is discovering the joy of a hot bath in this modern world when she hears Max being attacked. She grabs an antique sword for the wall and jumps to the rescue. Max gets the motorcycle to leave and Sonja insists on driving. She is a fast learned and they careen down the streets. Max later seeks shelter at the bar that he found Sonja at. The bartender has a friend who is studying Hyborian history at Columbia. At the university she sees a picture of Kulan Gath who in this world is known as Hank Gault. Gault owns most of the city and supports the Hyborian department at the university. There is a fundraising dinner tonight and she arranges for Max and Sonja to attend.

At the dinner Sonja fits in since the servants are dressed as Hyborian warriors. Sonja doesn’t serve but she gets into a fight with Gath’s men. At the end Gath arrives and confronts Sonja.

The story is moving along nicely. Sonja is a quick learner and already speaks some English and can drive a motorcycle. She has friends who speak her language and she is confronting Gath. Transporting her to the modern era is turning out to be a great idea. Waiting for the confrontation with her old nemesis in next issue.

RED SONJA #2

“So We Meet Again”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Sonja finds herself alone and hungry in this strange world of Manhattan. She’s not one to just sit around so she fashions a spear and bags a duck for dinner. Then she wanders around Harlem and finds a bar. There she learns enough English to order a beer and gets involved in arm wrestling. She is the life of the party.

But this world has social media and soon pictures of her go viral. Gath sends his minions to get her. Max the policeman also comes there in time to rescue Sonja from Gath’s fake NSA agents and a $800 bar tab. At his apartment we learn that Max was an orphan found during the 1977 blackout riots.His parents found dead in an alley. Adopted by a police officer and his family he grows up and joins the force. It ends with him taking out the trash and being confronted by Gath’s minions.

So Red Sonja is figuring out our world. Already she can order beer which is the most important thing you need to know. Max is shown to have some magical abilities. He can make a coin disappear while spinning it. There was a nice nod to the old What If comic where Conan visited the twentieth century. That occurred during the 1977 blackout so quite possible that Max and his parents were somehow dragged into the future from Hyrkania. I am really into this series.

RED SONJA #1

“Worlds Away”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez

January 2017. Red Sonja finds herself surrounded by police. Confronted with a woman in a chain-mail bikini and brandishing a sword they assume she is a mental patient. So they subdue her and take her to the hospital. That job falls on Max who can actually understand Hyrkanian. At the hospital they are met by NSA agents. Max finds this odd that they would take an interest in Sonja. Sonja recognizes them from the tattoos they wear as followers of Kulan Gath. She escapes the hospital and ends up in Central Park with a stolen jacket. Meanwhile it is revealed that Kulan Gath is in the twenty-first century and heading a corporation.

Well this series is starting off to a great start. Obviously Sonja would be out of place in modern times. Sonja is confused but also intrigued by this new world. The cop Max also is a mystery. Why would his mother teach him such an old and dead language as Hrykanian. And finally Kulan Gath is well established in this time and has fanatical followers. I am looking forward to Sonja exploring this new world.

RED SONJA #0

“In The Beginning”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Red Sonja has been hired by the citizens of Meru to stop a monster. She takes on the monster which is a giant weird looking creature with green blood. After killing it she is confronted by the evil sorcerer Kulan Gath. As she charges him she blacks out and wakes up in a dark cave. Sonja is disoriented but finds her sword and is ready for anything.

Just then a wall comes down and strange shapes that shoot lights are confronting her. She charges at them and the men who are construction workers run away. She continues to explore the tunnels she is trapped in looking for a way out. Along the way she is almost run over by a subway which she thinks is a monster. Finally she finds a ladder and climbs out into the sun. Only the outside is downtown Manhattan and there are armed police waiting for her.

It has been a while since I read Red Sonja and decided that Dynamite’s fourth volume was too good to pass up. Red Sonja has got to be the hottest female comic character ever created. She is also the most badass. Takes on a huge monster without any fear and is ready for a flagon of ale. The idea of transporting her to the twenty-first century is a really cool idea. This is one idea that reinvigorates the series and is already off to an awesome start.

JOHN CARTER THE END #2

“Apocalypse Barsoom”
Writers: Brian Wood & Alex Cox
Artist: Hayden Sherman

John and Dejah have crashed in a bad part of Helium. Dejah has taken off to see Den Thokar by herself. John and his green friends are going to see Tars Tarkas. As they leave their flyer is attacked by drones. The drones shoot needles that have a bio-engineered toxin that kills green men. Only John and the pilot survive. They head to a place where Tars Tarkas is organizing resistance against Den Thokar. Meanwhile Dejah meets Den Thokar and he has a lot of issues from being abandoned by John Carter.

The second issue shows how Barsoom has changed. There is much more advanced technology as illustrated by the self-replicating drones. Barsoom is now a society that has abandoned its old chivalry. Indeed the city of Helium makes Detroit look like Vegas. Tars Tarkas is now a huge Thark over 20 feet tall. The Green men go through transformations over time. Tars is the first to live to such an age to experience such a transition. We also learn that Den Thokar is actually a great great grandson. This is such a fascinating idea. There is still so much more to explore. What happened to the other characters for instance. The other nations on the planet. Den Thokar claims he is the Jeddak of all of Barsoom so you wonder it there are any independent nations on the planet. Looking forward the to next issue.