Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
The Funnies #35 – September, 1939
Cover art by John Coleman Burroughs
This past week saw the Internet explode with news of the “leaked” Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, which is, admittedly, pretty darn cool; but as awesome as the preview of that upcoming film is, it’s still not the most exciting super-news to hit the electronic street over the past few days.
You may have missed it over all the Ultron ballyhoo, but it was announced last Tuesday (October 21. 2014) that the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate has regained all rights to Burroughs’ gentleman adventurer, John Carter of Mars. (Read more about it at variety.com.)
That’s right, Disney Studios, who infamously screwed the pooch (or ‘calot,’ if you prefer) with the marketing of their very well done but ill-fated 2012 John Carter film, has surrendered the rights to the character back to ERB, Inc., who is now shopping around for another studio to pick up the reins of pop culture’s most famous patriarch.
My personal preference would have been to see Disney admit that they just screwed up the promotion of the first film and then pick back up where they left off at the end of John Carter. I still believe that a well-executed second film could have allowed them to recover their losses and set the franchise back on track.
I loved what director Andrew Stanton did with the world of Barsoom (Mars) and I thought Taylor Kitsch was perfect in the role of John Carter, and it’s a shame to see all of that extremely entertaining effort abandoned. But if that’s what it takes to get another film made (hopefully one that is handled by studio executives who know and love the source material), then so be it.
So to celebrate the potential of the (hopefully not too distant) future John Carter of Mars movie, we chose to showcase the hero’s very first comic book cover appearance, in The Funnies #35, from 1939, illustrated by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ son, John Coleman Burroughs.
John Carter first appeared in pulp magazines back in 1912 (that’s over one-hundred years ago if you are counting), but the Martian hero didn’t see the pages of a comic book until The Funnies #30 (April, 1939), and wouldn’t make it to the cover of a comic book until that following September, with issue #35.
Now, I’ll let you in on a little known secret (and be sure to share it with your friends.) The ERB estate has a ton of old John Carter comics available for you to read for FREE at erbzine.com, and you can read the John Carter of Mars pages from this week’s featured Funnies comic by clicking HERE. You’re welcome!
Be sure to follow us on Facebook!