Issue by Issue – John Carter: Warlord of Mars Vol.2 #10

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

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 in the 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 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, one knows 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 the 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

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