Thursday, January 7, 2010

Groove's Faves: "The Story of Dejah Thoris" by Wolfman, Cockrum, and Nebres

Ol' Groove finally got to watch Avatar (dug it), and it got me to thinking about how cool the upcoming (2012) Disney adaptation of John Carter of Mars will be (if you watched the movie, I'm sure you'll figure out why it made me think of Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoomian saga). That got me thinking about my favorite issue of Marvel's John Carter Warlord of Mars with it's done-in-one-issue Reader's Digest abridged adaptation of A Princess of Mars by regular writer Marv Wolfman, guest-penciler Dave Cockrum, and semi-regular inker Rudy Nebres. A trio of titanic talents to be terribly truthful, and it was especially cool that uber-JC fan Cockrum got to draw the issue. Even under Nebres' heavy, stylistic inks, Cockrum's style is still strongly displayed, especially with his recognizable poses, body shapes (you can spot a Cockrum-drawn figure by it's very silhouette!), and faces (especially in close-ups). Though "only" a fill-in issue, Ol' Groove feels John Carter Warlord of Mars #11 (April 1978) is really a high-water mark for the entire series. Even the cover is so good that Penguin Classics has adopted it for recent printings of Burroughs' A Princess of Mars novel!


  1. Hey, I just bought this issue, and the Penguin edition of Princess of Mars! I gotta tell ya, this blog has got me back into my old comics and into buying old comics!
    YOU ROCK OL' GROOVE!! Don't stop groovin!!!

  2. Cockrum was such an underrated artist, still in my top five after 35 years!


    1. One of comicdom's best talents, ever

  3. Groove:

    Just picked this one up myself. I was never much of a John Carter fan growing up, but have been falling in love with it here lately. Of course, the Cockrum art here doesn't hurt!


  4. Yes, Dave Cockrum IS underappreciated in spite of his X-MEN connection. There was no better superhero artist in comics in 1973-74, when he was drawing the LSH as it moved from backup to lead feature in a day when the field was full of contenders. He rarely hit that high mark again-- X-MEN # 100 and a number of standout covers are exceptions-- but that was part of the deal with Bronze Age Marvel-- if you were any good as a penciller, you didn't get to ink your own work. That's how you make an un-prolific but very good artist your de facto cover man. As for interiors, the JOHN CARTER pencils here are excellent and take Nebres' heavy inks without vanishing, and I recall a couple of very nice MS. MARVELs with Wiacek and Milgrom inks. Let's not forget the Jack Kirby INVADERS cover Cockrum inked; best cover inking Kirby got during his second run at Marvel!



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