Warlord of Mars #0 Review

“Brady’s story is deftly paced yet dense and his work is perfectly complimented by the detailed, frenetic flourish of Jack Jadson’s art. “

Warlord of Mars #0

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Matt Brady
Artist: Jack Jadson
Inker: Marcelo Mueller
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Release Date: Wed, July 10th, 2014

Zero issues can be hard to appreciate at times; some of them provide enrichment material, some of them don’t and they can become easily forgettable. Some zero issues go wildly divergent from the source and some of them pay homage to a character’s origin by looking at them from a new angle.

Dynamite Entertainment’s Warlord of Mars #0, featuring the solo debut of writer Matt Brady and dynamic artwork by Jack Jadson, is an excellent one-off story that defies the expectations a reader might have regarding a standard zero issue release. Right off the bat, Brady’s knowledge of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter shines as the story hits the ground running with a very unique opening sequence that will shock fans of the character. Without spoiling much, let’s just say that Carter is on Earth…and he’s mysteriously struggling to remember his life on Mars.

Maybe I’m a seasoned reader who can be a bit jaded at times but I have to confess that Brady’s opening had me immediately riveted to my seat. Carter’s struggle with the memory of his Martian life and Deja Thoris are integral to the story that continues to develop back on Mars. Jack Jadson’s art is exquisitely detailed and his line work can be described as lush at times; his panel layouts are exciting and good match for the fast pace of Brady’s suspenseful plot. Also, Jadson crafts a number of really solid larger panels that are full of iconic detail honoring the various characters of Burroughs’ universe.

The real star of this book, however, is Matt Brady. Very rarely do “Done-in-One” stories have room to begin to breathe and execute in an industry where stories are manufactured for trade collections by featuring long arcs of decompressed storytelling.  Brady’s excellent pacing drives the success of the execution of this story from start to finish. His premise sets up a unique situation that takes the protagonist and places him in immediate danger that is strange in terms of canonized John Carter stories. Also, Brady is capable of writing a story focused on Carter that actually executes a second story from within featuring Carter’s supporting cast at the same time; his plot plays Kansas City Shuffle with the readers’ sense of direction to create a dizzying two-pronged suspense that balances between  John on Earth and Deja Thoris and Tars Tarkas on Mars. Further, readers will be able to tell from the flowing nature of the characters’ voices that Brady is channeling his own love for Burroughs.

One of the very few caveats I had with the issue involved the inking of some of the panels; some of Jadson’s pages seemed a little distorted by inker Marcelo Mueller. Also, lettering is usually a “silent” member of the creative process but the choice of having square talk bubbles as opposed to the standard round bubbles is a little visually jarring and sort of took away from my appreciation for Jadson’s artwork initially.

Again, the rare satisfaction of a perfect “Done-in-One” should speak for itself with any seasoned comic book reader. Additionally, this is the perfect starting point for young readers who want to try something different that is iconic and yields decades of accessible material from novels to the recent film and a solid series of comics from Dynamite Entertainment. If you’re looking for a great investment of your time and entertainment dollars this week, Warlord of Mars #0 delivers the goods. Brady’s story is deftly paced yet dense and his work is perfectly complimented by the detailed, frenetic flourish of Jack Jadson’s art.

Be sure to get on Twitter and let @DynamiteComics know you grabbed a copy of Warlord of Mars #0 this week.

Warlord of Mars #0 Scores Big 9/10
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)