Dynamite Entertainment's Lords of Mars #1 (JUN130943) is a crossover that sees Tarzan and Jane Porter of their Lord of the Jungle series team with John Carter and Dejah Thoris of the Warlord of Mars franchise. The six-issue series will be written by Arvid Nelson and illustrated by Roberto Castro, with the first issue available in multiple cover editions featuring art by Alex Ross, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Panosian, and Ardian Syaf.
In Lords of Mars, the legendary Tarzan has claimed his title as Lord of Greystoke, but his very life is threatened when a hunting excursion with his fellow "gentlemen" goes disastrously wrong. Meanwhile, on Mars, John Carter is forced to respond to a veiled threat from his defeated enemies. Mars and Earth might be separated by millions of miles, but a sinister force is at work on both planets, setting the two iconic adventurers on a deadly collision course.
PREVIEWSworld caught up with writer Arvid Nelson to learn more about the series.
PREVIEWSworld: You've already worked in both the Warlord of Mars and Lord of the Jungle universes. What were those projects/storylines, and what did you enjoy about working on them?
Arvid Nelson: Writing Warlord of Mars and Lord of the Jungle have been one of the greatest thrills of my so-called "career" as a writer. From the beginning, Nicky, Joe and I were committed to doing the adaptations the “right” way, as close to the spirit of the originals as possible. We only made changes where we felt they were absolutely necessary. Otherwise, we let the stories tell themselves, in all their unabashed, pulpy glory!
PREVIEWSworld: When Dynamite first contacted you about working on Lords of Mars crossover, what were your thoughts on bringing together two iconic characters?
Arvid Nelson: It’s funny- Nicky, Joe and I all had the idea for a Warlord/Jungle crossover independently, at the same time. For Lords of Mars, I want to tell an epic story, one that takes place on Mars and on Earth, one that involves a sweeping arc of time and space, one that tears the character apart and brings them back together again. Intrigue, action, romance, suspense – everything. I’ll let readers be the judge of how well I succeed!
PREVIEWSworld: What do you see as the main differences and similarities between Tarzan and John Carter?
Arvid Nelson: John Carter is more comfortable around human beings than Tarzan. He’s more of a leader, but he’s most in his element in times of conflict, as opposed to the backstabbing and intrigue of “peacetime.” Tarzan is more a force of nature. In terms of raw strength and agility no one can match him, but he’s not fully in control of himself – he’s like The Hulk in that when he loses it, he loses it.
PREVIEWSworld: Will either Dejah Thoris or Jane Porter play a significant role in the Lord of Mars storyline?
Arvid Nelson: Absolutely. Both of them, yes. Jane will be more central to the story, but Dejah’s going to play a critical role, too.
PREVIEWSworld: Should we anticipate any other significant characters from either mythos to appear in the Lord of Mars series?
Arvid Nelson: John Carter’s past conflicts uniting Mars are going to come back to haunt him. And Tarzan. More than that, I dare not say. You’ll just have to read the story!
PREVIEWSworld: How do you get into the writing mood when preparing to write a Lord og the Jungle or Warlord of Mars story? Is there research to the era/locations that you do?
Arvid Nelson: I never have a problem getting into the writing mood when there’s a deadline looming! The greatest inspiration for me is the original stories. Burroughs was a fanatic for novelty. He didn’t like exploring all the details and intricacies of the things he’d invented, it was always about the shiny and new for him. That’s great for me, because it means there are so many untold stories left to tell.
PREVIEWSworld: What themes / character elements do you want to explore in Lords of Mars?
Arvid Nelson: Tarzan’s relationship with Jane has always fascinated me. For all of Tarzan’s amazing abilities, he’s quite innocent and vulnerable. So Jane is his big sister as much as his wife. And of course, Tarzan’s reconciliation with John Carter will be the fulcrum of the series. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!
PREVIEWSworld: Would you consider Lords of Mars a good jumping-on point for new readers?
Arvid Nelson: It’s a great jumping-on point. In fact, I always go out of my way to make sure new readers are never at a loss, regardless of where we are in a series. But people who are following Warlord of Mars and Lord of the Jungle will get a lot out of the series, too. I don’t think anyone does contemporary pulp fiction like Dynamite. If you’re reading The Green Hornet, The Shadow, Red Sonja, or any of Dynamites titles, I hope you get a kick out of Lord of Mars.