The Complete Comic Books Of John Carter Of Mars

Update: May 20, 2014
Dynamite has announced that they have acquired the full rights to John Carter of Mars from the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. In the agreement Dynamite states, “Dynamite will also republish John Carter archival material, dating back to the early 1940s comic strips written by Burroughs’ son Coleman Burroughs.” The comic strip would be a welcome addition to the comics books that have been collected below. This strip ran from December 1941 — March 1943, lasting 72 weeks. If you can’t wait, you can read them all online now.
As for Dynamite reprint the DC, DC and Marvel comic books, I don’t feel that it would be necessary for them to do so.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately over the character of John Carter of Mars. The pulp icon has gained new found exposure thanks to the upcoming Disney film which celebrates his centennial. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who also created Tarzan, Carter has been extremely popular and his story has been carried out in many books. But he was also represented in several comic books and today we give you a rundown of what has been collected and what has not.

  • John Carter first appeared in comic book format with The Funnies #30-56 (Dell, May 1939-June 1941). Unfortunately, these comics have never been reprinted. I hope that with the rejuvenation of the character that these classic tales will again see the light of day.
  • Carter next appeared in 1952-53, again, under the Dell umbrella in Four Color Comics issues #375, #437, and #488. Jesse Marsh was the artist on the three books and he was no stranger to Burroughs’ work having been on Tarzan for many years. All of these comics have been collected by Dark Horse with the title of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars: The Jesse Marsh Years in January 2012.
  • Dark Horse has also collected earlier comics with John Carter Of Mars: Weird Worlds. These stories were originally published in Tarzan #207-209 (1972) and Weird Worlds #1-7 (1972-1974) both series were published by DC Comic and done by Marv Wolfman, Murphy Anderson, Gray Morrow, Sal Amendola and Joe Orlando.
  • John Carter Warlord Of Mars Omnibus (Marvel), $99.00, is being released today! This book collects the entire Marvel run, #1-28 and 3 Annuals that ran from June 1977-October 1979. Among the many creators on this series were Marv Wolfman, Peter B. Gillis, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Larry Hama and Dave Cockrum. Please note that Dark Horse released the very same Marvel comics in a Black & White, 632 page, Trade paperback in February, 2011 for $29.99.
    FYI, the three Annuals are placed in the following location: Annual 1 between #11-12, Annual 2 between #15-16 and Annual 3 closes out book by being placed after #28.

  • In 1996, Dark Horse teamed up Burroughs’ heroes in the four issue series Tarzan/John Carter: Warlord of Mars by Bruce Jones and Bret Blevins. As far as I can tell, it has not been collected.

More recently Dynamite Entertainment began publishing several new series, they include:

  • Warlord of Mars, the first two issues of this series is a prelude story and then issues #3-9 adapts A Princess of Mars. Issues #10-12 is an original story. Volume 1 TP collects #1-9, $24.99.
  • Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, is set 400 years before A Princess of Mars and focuses on her rise to power of the Kingdom of Helium. Volume 1 The Colossus Of Mars TP, collects #1-5, $16.99 and Volume 2 Pirate Queen of Mars TP collects #6-10, $17.99.
  • Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom is set 100,000 years before A Princess of Mars. The final battle continues as the Green Hordes overwhelm the last stronghold of the White Martian Empire. Volume 1 collects the 5-issue series, $19.99.
  • Dejah Thoris And The White Apes Of Mars is another upcoming series. I’m unsure of where this story takes place in the Dejah Thoris continuity, but it looks to be a follow-up to her first self titled series. Issue #1 is expected in April, 2012.
  • Dynamite isn’t the only publisher to issue new material. In 2011 Marvel did John Carter: The World Of Mars, a 4-issue prequel to the movie by Peter David and Luke Ross. There was also a new 5-issue adaptation of John Carter: A Princess Of Mars by Roger Langridge and Filipe Andrade. Both trade paperbacks are in stores now and are $14.99 each.
  • But Marvel is not done with our hero! Starting in March, there will be John Carter: The Gods Of Mars a 5-issue by Sam Humphries and Ramon Perez. This looks to be a sequel to the original Burroughs books as John Carter is transported back to Barsoom! Thanks to Roger Langridge on my oversight of the new Marvel Comics.
  • John Carter was also adapted into a Sunday color comic strip. It only ran in for 72 weeks and in only four newspapers, debuting in The Chicago Sun on December 7, 1941. John Coleman Burroughs, son of Edgar Rice Burroughs, wrote and illustrated the strip. Sadly, this series is uncollected, however all are available to read online.

Finally, Disney Press is also releasing today new printings of the all 11 original novels:

  • Collected John Carter Of Mars Volume 1 SC; Published from 1912-1914, A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and The Warlord of Mars, $16.99
  • Collected John Carter Of Mars Volume 2 SC; Published from 1916-1930, Thuvia, Maid of Mars; The Chessmen of Mars; The Master Mind of Mars; and A Fighting Man of Mars, $16.99
  • Collected John Carter Of Mars Volume 3 SC; Published from 1934-1943, Swords of Mars; Synthetic Men of Mars; Llana of Gathol; John Carter and the Giant of Mars; and Skeleton Men of Jupiter, $16.99
  • John Carter The Movie Novelization SC; This adaptation not only gives readers an amazing novelization of Disney’s upcoming John Carter film, but also the original text of A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, $9.99

When I was in high school I read the first two Barsoom tales, A Princess Of Mars (1912) and The Gods Of Mars (1913). I will be going to the movie due out March 9 and perhaps I’ll go back and read all 11 novels – probably on my Kindle.

6 thoughts on “The Complete Comic Books Of John Carter Of Mars”

  1. Great list! Just a heads-up about one you missed: I believe the collected edition of Marvel’s recent adaptation of A Princess of Mars, written by myself and illustrated by Filipe Andrade, will be out any day now. (I got my copies in the mail a few days ago.)

  2. Good summary of the character’s publishing history. One additional detail: the Tarzan/John Carter series was preceded by short prologue (also done by Bruce Jones and Bret Blevins) that was published by Dark Horse in San Diego Comic Con Comics #4. Something more to include, in case they eventually do a trade paperback.

  3. Hi – In the description of the Dark Horse omnibus of Marvel’s John Carter, Warlord of Mars, you note that the art is reprinted in black and white, which is correct. Does the new Marvel John Carter, Warlord of Mars Omnibus (Hardback) reprint the art in color? I cannot find this specifically stated in any sales descriptions. Thanks!

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