Friday, March 04, 2016

Number 1862: Otherworldly Tales: John Carter of Mars wraps up

Let us review. In 1963-64 when Gold Key reprinted the three issues of John Carter of Mars, originally published under the Dell imprint in the early fifties, they got the last two issues reversed. Dell #3 became Gold Key #2. So what I am showing today as the final posting of our Otherworldly Tales theme week, was published by Dell as #3, and then became GK #2. I am posting them in their Dell order, not Gold Key. If you have a problem with that or don’t understand what I have done, then please don’t complain to me. I have enough trouble keeping even simple things straight.

The artwork, as with the other two issues, is by Jesse Marsh. I’m not sure why Dell didn’t continue the 1950’s series. A guess is that it didn’t sell well enough, or it might have been licensed from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. as a three issue mini-series only. After 60 years, the answer my friend, is blowing in the ether.

If you prefer, you can go to the links below and click on them to read the posts preceding today’s.

Issues #1 and #2...just click on the thumbnails.


Unknown said...

I don't understand the titling of these comics. The adaptation of The Gods of Mars (your second posting of this series) was called "Black Pirates of Omean," while the third comic gets the title "Gods of Mars," which makes no sense, since this story (an adaptation of The Warlord of Mars) doesn't deal with religion like the second one did. It's rather inexplicable. Anyway, since the second comic didn't end on a cliffhanger, this story starts with Dejah Thoris already rescued. Whatever. Worse is the total elimination of their son, Carthoris, who went on to star in the next book. So, maybe there never were any plans to continue adapting the series.

The coloring of the people continues to bug me. I mentioned in my comment on the second comic that I didn't see anything racist about making the pirates ebony-skinned. In The Warlord of Mars, the Okarians are described as yellow-skinned, and I pictured them as actually bright yellow, like Yellow Bastard in Miller's Sin City. Instead, the comics people just made them slightly "Asian-tinted" and gave them yellow helmets! Weird. But, then, the Heliumites look more tanned than red, and Matai Shang is not pure-white like he should be but rather Caucasian.

Enough about that. My only other complaint has to do with the action, or lack thereof. One of the great things about ERB's Mars novels is his description of the action. Maybe, for the comic adaptation, they felt they had too much story to fit in for there to be many panels devoted to fighting, plus this was before comics became "decompressed" and cinematic, so we get, on average, two panels per fight scene, which comes off as stiff.

Desspite all that, I love the Barsoom Chronicles enough that I still enjoyed the comic adaptations. It's too bad Dell didn't do some more.

Pappy said...

Ryan, someday I hope to re-read at least a few of the Mars novels. I still have all my copies. I also have the Otis Adelbert Kline novels, Swordsman of Mars and Outlaws of Mars, which I still own in their Ace paperback editions, but have not read in 50 years or so.

Since it has been as long since I read the Burroughs novels I don't pick up on the details left out of the comic, as you do. I assume it was probably space and a pruning of characters that left plot threads and characters out of the action.

I do appreciate how observant you are, and how much you remember of the originals.

ellede said...

Oh, my. That was the expository dialogue from hell. :P

Pappy said...

ellede, a curse of comic books...expository dialogue. Hell, yes!