John Carter of Mars

When I was a mere stripling lad of about 13 I was mildly obsessed with Conan the Barbarian books and comics. I loved the setting, the adventure, and a protagonist who lived his life the way he wanted – which mainly consisted of travelling, fighting, drinking, and shagging bargirls. This has obviously had no bearing on how I eventually grew to be the man I am. I haven’t had a fight in years and am married.

My dad then mentioned the John Carter of Mars series and I was hooked. The first book in the series is A Princess of Mars. John Carter is a prospector who for some reason has always been about 30 and can’t remember his childhood. At the beginning of the book he is chased into a cave by some Apaches who then look on in horror and leg it. He then wakes up on Mars. Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author (who also wrote Tarzan), never really bothers with explaining much and frankly it doesn’t matter. Carter is on Mars and is about 30 alright?

He is already pretty awesome with a sword and he soon finds that because Mars has a weaker gravity he is much stronger than the locals and can easy leap 9 foot green aliens with a single bound. He then hooks up with a hot princess, becomes a warlord, and sets about Mars twatting the bollocks out of anyone who is bad. Which turns out to be a lot of people.

So that’s the story of the book. It will be interesting to see how the upcoming film goes about doing it. Even though it’s Disney, it could be pretty good. Like a space Pirates of the Caribbean. The trailer looks cool. In case you think, ‘Well that looks a bit like…’ You are probably wrong. These books were written in 1911 and therefore are likely to predate anything you may have been about to say. So there. Anyway, enjoy the trailer, it looks great.

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