Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars: Weird Worlds

edgar rice burroughs john carter of mars weird worlds
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 5/10

John Carter comes to DC Comics

Series deserved a better release

Comic Info

Comic Name: Tarzan (DC)/Weird Worlds (DC)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Marv Wolfman

Artist: Sal Amendola/Murphy Anderson/Gray Morrow/Joe Orlando

# of Issues: 10

Release Date: 2011

weird worlds #1 cover john carter tarzan dc comics

Weird Worlds #1

Reprints stories from DC Comics Tarzan #207-209 (April 1972-June 1972) and Weird Worlds #1-7 (September 1972-October 1973). Confederate soldier John Carter collapses in an Arizona cave and wakes up on Mars (Barsoom) where he meets aliens like the Martian warrior Tars Tarkas, his daughter Sola, and his faithful Martian “dog” Woola.  A stranger in a strange land, John Carter finds life on Mars is one battle after another as he fights for his new allies and the beautiful Deja Thoras, the woman who will guide his actions forever.

Written by Marv Wolfman, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars:  Weird Worlds present back-up stories from DC Comics’ Tarzan series reprinted by Dark Horse.  John Carter of Mars was Burroughs’ successful (yet slightly less successful than Tarzan) series of eleven books.  The character first appeared in 1912 in the short story Under the Moons of Mars but eventually that story was developed into the book A Princess of Mars (1917).  The collection features art by Sal Amendola, Murphy Anderson, Gray Morrow, and Joe Orlando.

John Carter always intrigued me.  He was just a normal guy on Earth, but essentially a superhero on Mars (due to the lighter gravity).  He could practically fly when he jumped and possessed the strength of ten men in confrontations with strange aliens and monsters.  It is a great set-up for a series.

weird worlds #5 cover john carter dc comics

Weird Worlds #5

This collection starts out by adapting A Princess of Mars but then becomes a bit of a mess by taking on other stories about the time it jumps from Tarzan to Weird Worlds. It is obvious by the end of the short book that word was given that John Carter’s time at DC was finished so the story wraps up in a not very satisfactory conclusion.

The art in the John Carter also is all over the place. Sometimes Carter has short hair, sometimes he has long hair…this is just an example of the inconsistencies since multiple artists handled the comic over its short run. There are a couple of faults in the books in that artists have a very difficult time illustrating Tars Tarkas and his people as described by Burroughs. Their long bodies just look weird and often look like they were formed wrong…I credit the artists for trying to determine their appearance from the description but it doesn’t translate to the illustrations well.

John Carter is an interesting character who has never made the big jump. After the run at DC, Marvel Comics had a John Carter comic series in 1977 for a number of issues (also reprinted by Dark Horse). Currently, there are multiple John Carter comics on the market. John Carter had his big chance again to become a name in 2012 with a big screen film, but John Carter bombed at the box office (due in large part to the marketing and release)…leaving John Carter without a solid home again.

Related Links:

John Carter (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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