*EDITOR’S NOTE* There comes a time when a comic series is more than Wooly Toots can handle on his own. That’s when it pays to have good friends ready to answer the call to action. When Toots assembles his crack team of readers, they become greater than the sum of their parts. They become…THE OMNIBROS!
Reading an Omnibus can be intimidating. They’re typically monster-sized volumes and can be a major commitment. I don’t know about you but I’ve got a few on the shelf with no real plan on how or when to start reading them. Well, all that changed when Camarillo Brillo tweeted me a pic of the Marvel Comics John Carter Warlord of Mars omnibus. As the fates would have it, I already owned the book, so I shouted back “hey let’s read it together starting May 1st.” This was during April so I had some time to think things over about the reading so I came back with “Let’s read one issue a day and then let’s review it.” Not wanting the review to be too long since it’s a thirty-one issue series, I also suggested we aim for five word reviews of each issue. To top it off, we agreed to not share our reviews with each other until the end. This was going to be epic. As the reading began I posted pics of every cover on Instagram and Camarillo live tweeted his reads every night. We sent pics of panels back and forth and at some point Camarillo adding #omnibros to his tweets. That’s when I knew we were on to something. So here it is, the end result. After the reviews are our final thoughts on the whole run. But I’ll say this, reading an Omnibus is best with an omnibro. It’s like having a workout partner. Next stop … Mars.
WT: Southern Gentleman in space origin
CB: No time for love making
WT: Mechanical arm worth the pain
CB: Doomsday conspiracy with killer ploy
WT: Mars lions have eight legs
CB: Male bondage for a change
WT: Man energy gives T’Rallaa wings
CB: Air pirates? Sign me up!
WT: Fulfillment of a death oath
CB: Passion drove me wild
WT: False accusations from hooded strangers
CB: Dead babies and thoats magoats
WT: Hot soup spilled on Dejah
CB: Orgy of warfare is aphrodisiac
WT: Making out while sand skiing
CB: Martian beach blanket bingo
WT: Grogg, I owe you one
CB The battle rages on!
WT: Don’t ask women for advice
CB: Tree of life? Ape abduction?!
WT: Princess Dejah Thoris is gorgeous
CB: Dejah is impossibly hot
WT: His name: Pan Dan Chee
CB: Law of Horz can suck it
WT: John is called Dotar Sojat
CB: Giant skull castle!
WT: Sola really does love worrying
CB: Fighting Tars and skeleton armies!
WT: Zhuvan D’Ark, master of puppets
CB: Bring the princess here
WT: Two tales for one price
CB: Time hopping used to be fun
WT: Implanting brains into sexy bodies
CB: Headmen? More like head trip
WT: Even their spaceships do it
CB: Claremont doesn’t scratch my itch
WT: Dejah Thoris up for auction
CB: Hawk men are total dicks
WT: Thark shall not kill Thark
CB: Four armed sword fights rule!
WT: Dejah now Chan Tomar’s concubine
CB: The keen blade drew blood (This title shouldn’t be this hard to write 2 years in)
WT: How does Carter know Judo?
CB: Wingless rent boy explores ancient volcanic shafts
WT: Dejah Thoris stabs Chan Tomar
CB: Dejah slays world’s worst archer
WT: John draws his radium pistol
CB: John finally uses his revolver
WT: Dejah Thoris proves her quality
CB: They’ve left me her weapons
WT: The Three Marskateers together again
CB: It was a magnificent battle!
WT: John duels Mordin master assassin
CB: Tars was a hundred feet or more away
WT: Killing assassins while in bed
CB: Four-armed warriors on six-legged horses
WT: Dejah births John’s egg baby
CB: Death marathon means boredom marathon
WT: Sasoon does not like it
CB: Activate the mobile holographic projectors!!!
WT: Amazon space babes are jerks
CB: Just on the verge of being a fantastic Heavy Metal issue
WoolyToot’s reactions to John Carter Omnibros read through:
The series in Marv Wolfman’s hands really had me thrilled. The guy was a fan of the Mars Chronicles. He had been writing John Carter stories for DC in their Weird World’s book before moving to Marvel. He even had a place and time where his stories would fit into the series of novels. Where and when did it go wrong? Cause it kinda did. I really wanted to love this series and hoped it would be great. But it’s just OK. Dejah Thoris was cast in the “damsel” role far too much. She is a warrior princess, yet I felt John stymied her. Woola, John’s faithful space dog thing, only appears in one or two issues. Woola never leaves his side, yet is non-existant here. Chris Claremont comes along with a twelve part story, at the end of the series, which flounders for the first six or seven issues. It’s like they were just filling space with the book. The series also ends rather weakly in a two issue story that felt rather disjointed from the storyline proceeding it. So although I love John Carter, I can’t say the same about this series. It was an interesting read though and having an omnibro made the reading a real hoot.
Camarillo Brillo’s reactions to John Carter Omnibros read through:
The series started with such promise, then there was a huge dip in art. It’s curious that John and Tars look drawn off a model sheet but Dejah always reflected the artist’s desires. Like she’s Aphrodite and everyone has a different ideal. Claremont’s writing was palpably bad in my opinion. If the series was lagging in sales, a 12 part arc with no real planning was a bad idea. Almost half of those issues had no effect on the plot. It was fun to read this way, but i would have nixed it from my pull by halfway. Not sure if I’d be up for sampling a revival or not. Beyond Dejah, there’s nothing really unique to this particular IP I can’t get elsewhere.
The Omnibros will return…!