Mind Capsules – John Carter: Warlord of Mars #13 and Guardians of the Galaxy #2

John Carter Warlord of Mars #13
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #13

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

After defeating the last Orovar, John Carter and Dejah Thoris have been stranded in the desert as their craft has broken down. Soon enough, the pair faces danger once again, this time from beneath the waters of an oasis. It is there that they find ancient technology, an ancient race of creatures and a chance to get home. As far as current issues of this series go, this one is quite par for the course and offers little new. But, as previous issues have been a lot of fun and featured our heroes battling against all odds to overcome, being more of the same is not necessarily a bad thing. Of course, it would be nice to see something a little different once in a while, but the book could be much worse off than it is and for the moment, Ron Marz and Ian Edginton have been doing a great job chronicling the adventures of Dejah Thoris and John Carter. What is a little disappointing to see is that our heroes are going home without finding a means to save the planet. They still could of course, but as of this moment, they have failed and it is not often that either John or Dejah fail at anything they set their minds to. The artwork is decent and better than most Dynamite books tend to sport, but it would be nice to see a real A-list artist on the title just once and take it to heights it has previously seen. Another thing the book is lacking at the moment is a big, epic-type of quest for our heroes to face, much like they did in the opening arc of the series. The done-in-one stories that have been featured of late have been entertaining, but they lack that extra bit of excitement that the title had when it started out. A good outing, but bigger would be better.

3 out of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #2
Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist – Valerio Schiti
Colours – Richard Isanove
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit

The most apt description you can give the Guardians of the Galaxy’s title is that it is okay, though it is getting better which is a good thing. The first issue of this volume (which would be the fourth?) was a vast improvement over much of the previous series and this current issue continues that trend. Brian Michael Bendis is a good writer and he is someone that you either love or hate, usually with little middle ground. While his current Iron Man series is fantastic, his tenure on the Guardians over the course of nearly thirty issues has been somewhat lacklustre and reading their adventures had become something more of a habit than a joy. So yes, it is improving and it is nice to see it doing so with the book continuing to pick up the plot threads dealing with the Kree home world. A new character named Hala, taken after the planet of her birth, who is supposedly also the last Accuser, is introduced and she blames the Guardians for the destruction of her planet and the deaths of her friends and family. To that end, the book is packed with action and a lot of one-lines to lighten the mood. As far as story development goes, there is not a lot of room to do so as nearly the entire issue goes towards the battle and Hala’s introduction. Ben Grimm gets a moment to shine and it still feels really weird to see him on the team, though if Kitty Pryde can pick up the mantle of Star-Lord and Venom can be on the team, why not Ben Grimm? You have to assume that at some point, Bendis will address Peter’s presidency and Gamora’s current situation and the other plot thread’s he has left dangling, and it would be nice sooner rather than later, but such as it is and at two issues in, the book is pretty decent and is becoming a more enjoyable one. If the title keeps on track, it could end up being a far better run than Bendis’ first outing, and perhaps by doing so, bring back all the lapsed fans.

3 out of 5

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