There's a lot of John Carter going around these days. Considering the character made his debut back in 1912, nearly one hundred years ago, it's great to see the recent revival along different interpretations and updates to the character. Edgar Rice Burroughs (also know for creating Tarzan), wrote several novels depicting the adventures of Carter and established that the natives of Mars refer to their home as Barsoom.
As a former Confederate Soldier, Carter was transported to Mars and became a hero and prince.
We caught up with writer Arvid Nelson to find out what makes John Carter tick and what's coming up with him.
Comic Vine: At this point, how long has John Carter been on Mars?
Arvid Nelson: It's more a question of how long he hasn't been on Mars! Carter was back on Earth for ten years – and not by his own choice. When he returns to the Red Planet, things are very different.
At first, he's not even sure he's on Mars. But when he finds out the exact spot he's returned to, he realizes he's in a whole heap of trouble.
CV: What can you tell us about the "son he never knew" as mentioned in the upcoming solicits?
AN: Carthoris – that's his son – is a chip off the old block. We've spent some time developing his character in the last few issues. Carthoris has his father's super strength and agility, but not his forbearance. Who could be a better teacher to him than John Carter?
CV: How does John Carter feel about his situation? Is he content to be on Mars fighting or would he rather be back on Earth away from the fighting?
AN:There's nothing John Carter loves more than a good fight, and there's nowhere he'd rather be than Mars. But his second time around on the Red Planet, he finds he can't rely on just his sword arm. He's forced to deal with a political crisis in Helium, the city-state where he is a prince, and he's trying to reconcile the entire planet to the grim truth about very deeply held religious beliefs.
CV: John Carter has been through a lot. What would be something that would surprise or frighten him?
AN: Carter loves his princess, Dejah Thoris, more than his own life. That's how to get at him. It's the classic ploy of any villain, real or imagined – "defy us, and we'll hurt your family". That's the exact situation Carter finds himself in in Gods of Mars.
CV: The 'history' of John Carter has been written already. Have you thought about how you would write his final days? Would it follow the existing mythos or would you rather add your own spin?
AN: Interesting question! I'm not sure I have the right to kill him off, to tell anyone else what his final days are like. I guess I sort of reject the idea a hero like John Carter has an "ending". First of all, Carter is literally immortal – that's made explicitly clear in the books.
WARLORD OF MARS #13 is on sale right now and issue #14 is out in January. Check out these pages for both issues (along with covers to issues 15 & 16) to get a taste of what the action is all about.