by Robert Sodaro
For those of you who labor under the impression that last year’s Disney film John Carter was just another funnybook hero to crack the big screen, with a storyline and visuals that simply looked just like all the other sci-fi comicbook films to hit the big screen over the past decade or so. Well nothing could be further from the truth. Nor — in spite of his adventures occurring on Mars — is Carter “technically” a science fiction character either. No, John Carter is actually more of a swashbuckling, fantasy adventure type of character who actually debuted in 1912, as the lead character in the first novel written byEdgar Rice Burroughs (the guy who gave usTarzan). Sure, sure ‘Carter’s adventures take place on Mars with great big green men with four arms, and lighter-than-air ships, and all that, but they were born out of flights of fantasy not hi-tech science.
On some level, what’s really important here is that this epic adventure revolves around the imaginative exploits of John Carter (formerly of Earth (circa 1860s) and currently of Mars) and now that he has made Mars his home, he is totally devoted to the incredibly beautiful and eternally captivating Princess Dejah Thoris. Over the course of the 100+ years since his introduction, there have been (understandably) numerous adventures about these two lovers. All of which take place on a world that is on the brink of collapse, amidst exotic locals and strange indigenous peoples. Throughout the course of all these adventures, Carter rediscovers his humanity and realizes that the survival of Barsoom (Mars) and its people rests in his hands.