Mind Capsules – John Carter: Warlord of Mars #14 and Amazing Spider-Man #5

John Carter Warlord of Mars #14
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #14

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

The final issue of John Carter’s second series at Dynamite ends with more of a whimper than a bang and it is a bit of a letdown as the series started out quite well with a big storyline and a new villain and then continued with an epic quest to save the planet by trying to renew its natural resources. Sadly, as the issues went on, and more towards the end, it felt rushed more than anything. It was as if Ron Marz and Ian Edginton were told the series would be wrapping up and whatever it was that they did have in mind had to be thrown out in favour of ending it satisfyingly for the readers. That was accomplished because it finishes with John Carter and Dejah Thoris finally returning home to Helium, but doing so empty-handed. The book sees the return of an enemy they thought they had defeated before and overall, the story was decent, but for a finale, the story to end your series with, it could have used a lot more excitement and perhaps a little more action or mystery or anything to get you to feel something before it ended and sadly, it did not. It is disappointing that Dynamite had to cancel the book, especially for those that were invested in it. For the most part it was pretty good, and while this story was lacking, it was one of Dynamite’s better titles. On the horizon is a new Dejah Thoris book and that is a good thing, but it would have been nice to have two titles instead of just one. What was nice to see in the book over its short run was the fact that Marz and Edginton tried to make Carter’s world bigger, introducing new characters and concepts along the way, making it a more interesting read instead of just relying on the same old tried and true characters and situations. There is nothing wrong with doing so, but sometimes something new is a good thing, it is just a shame that it was not enough to save the book. Still, John Carter: Warlord of Mars was a good book when all was said and done, it just would have been better to have a send-off that was a little stronger.

3 out of 5

Amazing Spider-Man #5
Amazing Spider-Man #5

Writer – Dan Slott, Christos Gage
Artist – Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker – Cam Smith
Colours – Marte Gracia
Letters – VC’s Jo Caramagna

With the situation in Nadua under control and the Goblins defeated, Spidey can now focus on the Zodiac, but not before getting berated, and assaulted, by Mockingbird for putting the mission at risk. Thankfully, Peter has a plan and soon he and S.H.I.E.L.D. are engaged in a fight with the Zodiac with the hopes that they will be able to stop them before the Zodiac can acquire whatever it is they are hoping to obtain. The one thing you can always count on with Amazing Spider-Man is a lot of humour and usually a lot of action and Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Giuseppe Camuncoli do not disappoint in this final chapter to the opening arc of the latest reboot. While there are a few one-liners to be found and a massive battle with the bad guys, we are also privy to a few other events, namely the firing of Sajani which you know is going to come back on Peter at some point. There is also the ongoing mystery of Doctor Octopus, originally thought to be dead, now somehow still alive though not in the way you would naturally expect. One of the better things about the book at the moment is the fact that its rich supporting cast has gotten even bigger over the past few issues. It has changed of course with the locale as Peter is no longer situated in New York, but Sajani, Anna Maria, Aunt May and more are still present, but now we also have the added bonus of Prowler, Mockingbird and S.H.I.E.L.D. It gives the book added depth as Peter is now able to play off of more than just a few characters and it also lends credence to his new job as head of Parker Industries, now a global entity. The book leaves us not on a cliff-hanger which is nice for a change, but a mystery and essentially a promise, one that is sure to rear its head again to cause trouble for our hero.  Something you can always be sure of is that the Amazing Spider-Man never lacks in any department and can always be counted on for a very entertaining read.

4 out of 5

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