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John Carter of Mars is the eleventh book of Barsoom, and composed of two short novels (novellas). It is the final work of Burroughs before his death.

John Carter and the Giant of Mars[]

John Carter and the Giant of Mars is the first novella, and, although it is credited to Burroughs, it is almost universally believed that the story was in fact written by John Coleman Burroughs, his son. Among fans, it is quite possibly the most disliked of the Martian stories, due to its extremely juvenile writing quality as it was originally supposedly to be published as a children's book.

The story of it is simple, Dejah Thoris is abducted and John Carter tries to rescue her. In the process he discovers a plot by Pew Mogel, a Hormad who apparently survived the events from Synthetic Men of Mars, to conquer Helium and eventually Barsoom by using an army of White Apes fitted with the brains of Red Men, and his own creation: a giant named Joog. Pew Mogel's army is carried into battle by Malagors. The day is saved when John Carter brings hundreds of Three Legged Rats to scare away the birds. The White Ape-army is defeated by the combined forces of Helium and the Thark, Pew Mogel is killed, and John Carter manages to make Joog retreat.

The Skeleton Men of Jupiter[]

The Skeleton Men of Jupiter is generally more liked than The Giant of Mars. In it, John Carter is abducted by the skeleton men (or Morgors) and is brought to the planet Jupiter. There, he learns about their plans to invade Barsoom. The Skeleton Men got the idea of abducting John Carter from Multis Par, the prince of the kingdom of Zor which has been conquered by Helium five years earlier. When John Carter refuses to cooperate, the skeleton men also abduct Dejah Thoris, but still Carter won't comply and is sentenced to death by emperor Bandolian.

Carter realizes the threat the Morgors pose, since they have ships that can be rendered invisible with the help of some special sand. While imprisoned, Carter makes some allies, including the Savator Zan Dar, the Red Martian U-Dan, and the Morgor Vorion. Together they escape, steal a ship, and free both Dejah Thoris and U-Dan's love interest Vaja. Carter is captured again, however, while the others escape to Zan Dar's home country Zanor.

Imprisoned once more, Carter meets a group of Savators who are also sentenced to death. The group has to fight in an arena during the graduation exercises of the next graduating Morgor military class. Led by Carter, the Savators manage to kill all the Morgors and make another escape. Carter and two Savators named Pho Lar and Han Du then embark on a months long journey across Jupiter. Pho Lar leaves the group to go to his own homeland. Carter and Han Du reach Han Du's city. Here, Carter steals another ship from a Morgor scout party and flies off to Zanor, hoping to soon be reunited with Dejah Thoris.

What is important is the story doesn't really have a true ending. It is never revealed if Dejah Thoris (and the others who escaped along with her) are actually in Zanor, nor is it known what will become of the Morgors and their planned invasion of Barsoom. The story was intended as the first in a series of novelettes to be later collected in book form, similar to Llana of Gathol. These sequels were never written however. Several other writers have written pastiche endings for the story. One of these pastiches is a 40-page special issue of the John Carter: Warlord of Mars comic book series by Dynamite Comics, published in March 2015. In this story, the Morgors finally follow up on their threat to invade Barsoom, but are defeated by an alliance between Helium, the Tarids and a rebel fraction of the Morgors led by Vorion.

External links[]

About John Carter and the Giant of Mars (ERBzine)

The Morgor Wars (fan fiction sequel to The Skeleton Men of Jupiter)[1]

Cover Gallery[]