Carson Napier’s Venusian adventures continue in issue two of Carson of Venus: The Flames Beyond. In this installment, Varlek Sar has taken Napier captive and brought him to his lab in the technocratic city-state of Havatoo. Sar has built a device that is able to not only make Napier’s astral projections manifest physically, but also to duplicate the projections, as well. He coerces Napier into his machine for dastardly results. Meanwhile, Napier’s betrothed Duare attempts to rally the different races and nations of Venus to attack Havatoo to not only free Napier, but to save the planet from tyranny.
Issue two is a plot issue, light on action and heavy on exposition. The witty one-liners of fisticuff sequences from issue one take a backseat to scenes of pulp weird science and masterminds. It is quite old school and charming; writer Christopher Paul Carey really channels the Burroughs-ian style in presentation with the narrative proper.
The art of issue two by Cyrus Mesarcia is a bit of a mixed bag. In closeup scenes, the characters of The Flames Beyond are depicted excellently and emotively; however, it is the exterior, landscape pieces in the comic that are not up to snuff. For example, when Napier and company gaze upon the city of Havatoo, what should be an impressive city of skyscrapers with interconnecting tubes instead looks lifeless and textureless. For a sci-fi setting full of wonder, the artwork does not capitalize on it.
However, landscape artwork aside, issue two is an exciting adventure and an excellent entry in the sword and planet genre. American Mythology has carved themselves a niche by continuing many of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ stories in comic book form, and it is nice to see Carson Napier receive attention that has been somewhat elusive.
Creative Team: Christopher Paul Carey (writer), Cyrus Mesarcia (artist), Beezzz Studios (colorist), and Natalie Jane (letterer)
Publisher: American Mythology
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