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.

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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.

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.

JOHN CARTER THE END #1

“Twilight of the Red Queen”
Writers: Brian Wood & Alex Cox
Artist: Hayden Sherman

John Carter and Dejah Thoris are living on the moon of Titan. It is a bleak place and it is thousands of years in the future. A ship arrives with some green men. They have come for their help. Barsoom is dying they say. A war of genocide is being waged by a dictator. This dictator Den Thokar is their son. A son that Dejah thought was dead. In reality John Carter faked his death. The boy murdered another child when he was little and apparently is a psychopath. He wanted to conceal that from Dejah who is not too happy about the deception.

So they both agree to go back. When entering the atmosphere the ship comes under attack and crash lands on the outskirts of Helium. This Helium has changed and looks like a ghetto. As they are about to leave Dejah takes off alone into the city.

John Carter has always been portrayed as a timeless figure who can’t remember being a child and seems to live forever. Burroughs established this mystical persona that every subsequent comic adaptation has stuck to. This idea of an actual end to his story is very intriguing. Here we have a visibly old John Carter and Dejah Thoris. They have been living the life of hermits on a bleak desolate moon. We find out this is because of their sons death. A son who is apparently a psychopath and now waging a genocidal war that is destroying Barsoom. Indeed our first glimpse shows a ghetto that is Helium. I am looking forward to how this series develops.