Mind Capsules – John Carter: Warlord of Mars #10 and Spider-Woman #10

John Carter Warlord of Mars #10
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #10

Writer – Ron Marz, Ian Edginton
Artist – Ariel Medel
Colours – Nanjan Jamberi

For a change of pace, Ron Marz and Ian Edginton give John Carter and Dejah Thoris the day off and instead focus on Tars Tarkas who then frame their tale as a campfire story told by Sola to the Thark children. Tars heads off to find Dejah and John, not knowing if they are alive or not but determined to find out with trusty Woola by his side. He faces many trials, including Jartak the Sand Spirit and through it all he is triumphant. By chance, he happens to look up to the sky and Tars Tarkas knows that his friends are all right. The decision to feature Tars Tarkas, the mightiest of all Tharks in a solo tale was great to see because even though he has been featured as a supporting character many times before, it is hard to think of a moment when he has ever had the book completely to himself. It was definitely a long time coming and so it is that this issue does a fantastic job of featuring our hero in the best possible light. He shows great strength of character by heading out after his friends, not knowing if they were alive or dead, only knowing that he must seek them out for peace of mind and to give them aid if they need it. It is a grand adventure, short though it it is and there is a lot of action as Tars must do battle with some Banths and then the aforementioned sand spirit. Marz and Edginton pepper the tale with high adventure and a lot of fun as well and as Sola relates the tale to the children, when one of them questions if it is real, as a reader, you know that Tars could have done all of that and more. While it is not expected that this book will often do issues like this where our protagonists take the day off to star one or more of the supporting characters, this was a most welcome break from the main story and told really well by all of the creators involved.

4 out of 5

Spider-Woman #10
Spider-Woman #10

Writer – Dennis Hopeless
Artist – Natacha Bustos
Colours – Vero Gandini

The World is ending and Jessica Drew wants nothing to do with it except to live her life to the fullest in what may be her last moments on Earth, but as Black Widow says, ‘once an Avenger, always an Avenger.’ In the last issue of Spider-Woman’s current series, Dennis Hopeless and penciller Natacha Bustos deliver yet another fun tale, hampered only by the impending doom of another world colliding with ours. There is still quite a bit of comedy to be had though as we find out what happened after the shooting of Porcupine last issue where it had looked as though he had died and thankfully, he did not. What was most unexpected was that at the end of the day, it was Porcupine who solved the mystery and saved the day. If one were up for breakout character of the year, Porcupine has a very good chance of claiming that prize. He may have started off as a joke, and pretty much still remains a joke, but he is starting to show some great character advancement, going from villain to hero and more importantly to trusted friend. By the end of the story that Hopeless weaves, it seems as if Jessica has finally found her place in the world and is doing something that she wants to do. When duty calls though, Jessica realizes that some things are a little more important, things like the end of all things. Overall the series has been filled with adventure, comedy and excitement and it stands as some of the best Spider-Woman tales ever told. What is really nice to know is that this is not the end of her title, only this volume and that she will be back for even more laughs and more stories to entertain the masses.

4 out of 5

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