Writer Chick Brown joins us this week to discuss John Carter of Mars #1, his recent new book from Dynamite Comics:
[+++ WARNING: This Writer’s Commentary contains potential spoilers for John Carter of Mars #1 +++)
We begin the book with John Carter having a relaxing day with his wife Dejah and his son. In reality, this is all an illusion. You can call it heaven or just a paradise created by John Carter’s consciousness that lives on after death. Either way, he’s ripped from it by the power of the Ninth comet and sent hurling toward Earth. George [Kambadais, artist] did an amazing job of conveying John’s trip from the great beyond.
Back on Earth, John’s resurrection isn’t pretty. I wanted it to be gruesome and painful. When he realizes he’s alive and no longer in his personal heaven, he sheds a tear. If you look close, you can see it rolling down this cheek.
Here we are introduced to Hines and Charlie, two soldiers in the U.S. Army. It’s the year 1919 and Hines is not allowed to mingle with the white soldiers. He and Charlie’s friendship is taboo, and even dangerous for Hines. Hines is on a mission to solve the mystery of humans, including his wife Thai, disappearing around the world. His wife had access to John Carter’s journals and believes Carter is connected. We are also introduced to the villain, Etor the Thern, on these pages. He’s amassing a Martian army on Earth.
This is one of my favorite pages. John Carter learns that he still has his abilities on Earth. This is due to the Ninth comet and the merger with Mars.
Here we show the Ninth hand that is the cause of all the problems. The hand actually belongs to Etor in this scene. It was transformed into Ninth through a ritual he and other Therns performed with the comet. You may notice that he has two hands on these pages. I could have just shown his hand was missing. But since the Therns are shapeshifters, they have the ability to create a new hand after losing one.
I really love the last panel on his page. Carter loves a good fight and we can see it all over his face!
John Carter of Mars #1 is out now from Dynamite Comics