I’m usually not a big fan of spin-off books, but I was pleasantly surprised by this comic. Set 100,000 years before John Carter arrives on Mars, Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom #3 is actually an interesting story about the history of the planet Mars and its inhabitants.
A lot of spin-off or tie-ins tell the stories set 1 day or 5 minutes before the beginning of the movie, or you’re stuck with between the scenes stuff, where you already know the outcome of the story and immediately think “Wait, why am I reading this again?” But writer Robert Place Napton does a nice job of telling a tale that is very independent from the story of John Carter that we’ve all read before. This is legitimately a fun, exciting story on its own, just set in the John Carter “universe.”
Artist Roberto Castro kind of gives me a very early Leinil Frances Yu vibe, and his artwork is very detailed and fits great on this book. The man KNOWS how to draw action. My one complaint — and it’s a very minor one — is with the coloring. The character named Anouk is a red Martian and I honestly didn’t notice it until her line of dialogue: “Whites don’t ask, Whites take. I know your kind. You think of Reds as animals.”
All in all, this was a very fun book. It read a little too quick for my tastes, but about half the book is either splash pages or half-page splash panels. Overall, a solid comic and it’s worth picking up.