The Difference Between Mars and Barsoom: Warlord Of Mars Attacks #2

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The Martians have made it to Earth, and they’re destroying everything in sight. Earth’s weapons are doing little to the invading forces while the Martian’s weapons are capable of disintegrating everything. Mave, Ramon, and Dr. Norman barely escape the city alive. Norman has a location away from the population centers that hopefully has an answer to why this horrid attack is happening. Norman knows about Barsoom and John Carter, and he hopes that this information could somehow save Earth.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 cover by Greg Hildebrandt
Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 cover by Greg Hildebrandt

Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 follows the story we often see; the Martian Moonheads attack Earth and burn everything to the ground while our military barely slows them down. The story often takes the form of a comedy, and Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 attempts to uphold that tradition.

Unfortunately, Warlord of Mars Attacks isn’t all that funny. Most of the jokes come from Ramon being really casual about the impending apocalypse, though there is a weird montage of the Martians killing specific stereotypes of modern culture one at a time, such as a Juggalo and a “can I speak to your manager” lady. The jokes are a little tired and comes off as needlessly aggrieved.

One twist that stood out is that the Warlord of Mars books still apparently existed in this reality, and that’s how Ramon knows about John Carter and Barsoom before Carter even shows up in this book. Edgar Rice Burroughs was transcribing his book from John Carter’s journals.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 art by Dean Kotz, Omi Remalente, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 art by Dean Kotz, Omi Remalente, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Dean Kotz’ artwork is still quite good. It delivers a classic comic feeling that takes advantage of more impressionist technique than the more common photorealistic approach of the modern era. The Martian Moonheads still look ugly and terrifying, and John Carter makes for a striking and heroic figure. Omi Remalente’s color art is solid and well-balanced too.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 isn’t an especially exciting read. While there are some decent jokes spread throughout and Kotz and Remalente deliver good visuals, the story isn’t interesting. Plus, more jokes miss than hit. I can recommend this to the diehard John Carter fan, but that’s about it.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #2 comes to us from writer Jeff Parker, artist Dean Kotz, color artist Omi Remalente, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, cover artist Greg Hildebrandt, and variant cover artists Jonathan Case, Ramon Villalobos, and Ben Caldwell.

Final Score: 5/10

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