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WARLORD OF MARS coming from Dynamite


If you are a long term Beat reader, you know that we here at Stately Beat Manor are big fans of the campy yet imaginative John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. (Sample chapter title: Chained in Warhoon.) A John Carter movie is in the works from Pixar, meaning (as we fear) it will either be the movie that breaks Pixar’s string of making SOME OF THE THE GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME, or maybe….it will be the John Carter movie we’ve always dreamed of!

The first five books in the Mars series — from A Princess of Mars to Chessmen of Mars — are actually in the public domain, and so, we have a new Mars series, WARLORD OF MARS, coming from Dynamite this October. As a Mars fan, I have to say this looks promising…except for the gross porn star Dejah Thoris in some of the covers. YUCK. PR below:

The original warrior of Mars returns!  Dynamite is proud to announce the October release of Warlord of Mars, an enhancement to the classic story Princess of Mars!  If you thought you knew Princess of Mars before, think again!  We are so proud and excited about this book, that we are offering the first FULL issue for the introductory price of just $1.00!

Princess of Mars is an Edgar Rice Burroughs science fiction novel, the first of his famous series, which initially began publication in serialized form within the pages of All-Story Magazine in February 1912.  It is also Burroughs’ first novel, predating his Tarzan stories. Full of swordplay and daring feats, the story is considered a classic example of 20th century pulp fiction.  This series is written by Arvid Nelson and is illustrated by Stephen (Avengers/Invaders) Sadowski and Lui Antonio, and features covers by Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, Lucio Parillo, and J. Scott Campbell!

“We’re trying to stay as true to the spirit of the originals as possible,” says writer Arvid Nelson.  “The novels are told as the “memoirs” of John Carter, the main character, and the comics will be told the same way.  I think Mars is going to be something really special. We’re doing this adaptation the right way, and I’m so excited for people to read it!”

“This is a project that we’ve been working on for quite a bit,” says Dynamite Entertainment President Nick Barrucci.  “We plan to capture all the grit and action of the original, while expanding the story with brand-new elements, exploring the back story and earlier events of this classic tale!  To allow the series to be accessible to fans old and new, we are offering the first issue at the Introductory Price of $1.00 for the full ENTIRE 32 page comic, as well as dedicating both of the Dynamite front gate folds of the October shipping Previews Magazine to our launch.  Get on board for the biggest comic book launch in October!”

  1. Interesting bit of trademark law and licensing here…

    Disney/Pixar is developing the official movie with the Burroughs estate.

    Dark Horse has a solid relationship with the Burroughs estate to reprint older comics as well as new titles.

    Both Marvel and DC have issued official John Carter comics in the past, yet Dark Horse has only reprinted the Newman/Marsh comics.

    If the first John Carter novels are in the public domain, then why haven’t there been more graphic novel adaptations?

    Might we see a Marvel Illustrated edition to tie in with the movie trilogy?

  2. There was a tacky direct to DVD John Carter film last year, called A Princess of Mars. Disappointing in so many ways.
    Looking at the covers, 3 of the 4 feature the princess in her metal bikini looking pouty- oops, I mean seductive.
    I wonder who Dynamite sees as the target audience?

  3. Actually–Disney’s making the film, not Pixar. Pixar worked in the early stages on some initial designs, now it’s at Disney.

  4. Wow. Of the four artists, only Joe Jusko seems to have a grasp of human anatomy.
    And he seems to be the only one who might have read the novels.

    Why is Dynamite even publishing any of the other variants? Publish it with the one cover and market that one heavily. The variants dilute the impact.

    — Rob

  5. I like Alan Davis’ theorys on the Mars books. That these ARE John Carter’s memoirs, but he’s gone through some post-combat stress or that he exagerates a bit. Like the green men of Mars are only 10 feet tall, not 15 feet tall.

  6. The “campy” John Carter of Mars books?

    The “gross porn star Dejah Thoris”?!

    “An enhancement” to A Princess of Mars?!?

    I realize I’m speaking prematurely, but I have to say I don’t have very high hopes for this version, based on this write-up…

  7. @Hoyte: I couldn’t believe that awful cover was Ross. To say that he phoned it in would be insulting the concept of phoning it in.

    And Campbell should start drawing from life, not from Vivid videos.

    — Rob

  8. The SyFy Channel aired an abomination titled “Princess of Mars” a few months ago, with former porn “princess” Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris. It was one of the worst things I ever seen. It made me weep for the legacy of John Carter.

  9. I wish them luck and I’ll buy them. I (and many other old ERB fans) hated the writing on the Dark Horse John Carter/Tarzan crossover in spite of the nice art. To real ERB fans it is about the stories first. Modernizing them isn’t what we want. I expect that ERB Inc and Dark Horse may make some noises about this but the early books are PD, so we’ll see. ERB Inc hasn’t complained about the PD reprints of the original text versions of these books done in recent years, so what would really be their objection to an accurate comic book adaptation of them? ERB has some control left because ERB wrote Tarzan and Mars novels his whole life so the later books in the series remain in copyright. But if Dynamite prevails I’d like to see other publishers do their versions just like there have been other comic book versions of Time Machine, Dracula and War of the Worlds.

  10. Actually Jusko seems to be wayyyyyy off on his anatomy and proportions. The guys head is too small, there is no way that could be his left hand on her back, why is his right arm so stubby, how is it even possible to straddle your legs that distance, in that position. That is some real bizarre proportions going on there. That’s what you get by taking two different model reference photos, and trying to stick them together. But that painting by Boris Vallejo, looks up to his normal standards.

  11. Many of Burroughs’ books are public domain in the United States–but nearly all (including the Mars books) remain fully protected in the Berne Convention life + 70 countries such as the U.K. Hope Dynamite doesn’t plan to distribute in the wrong countries, or has really good lawyers.

  12. I believe Frank Cho is exclusive at Marvel.

    Although, with the Disney connection, I would love to see a licensed Marvel Illustrated edition of John Carter!

    Or Alan Davis (picked up his Marvel Killraven collection).

    Actually, how about covers by Cho, interiors by Davis? Or they switch off with each series?

  13. Keep ERB’s stuff the way he wrote it. Use joe jusko’s art, I love his stuff. He is also a nice guy. I just hate it when people try to change ERB writings and idea’s, But I will buy the Joe Jusko cover, I like Cho paintings but he is not even close to Joe jusko…JAB

  14. With Dynamite doing the (allegedly) faithful adaptation, Dark Horse issuing reprints (the Jesse Marsh book is out, a collection of the DC material is coming in January), and Disney working on the movie, it’s a good time to be a John Carter fan. Looking very forward to this series.

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