Burroughs' politically incorrect hero
Funny that Bob Wallace was writing online about his love for Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars series while I was revisiting the series myself. I just finished the third novel, The Warlord of Mars, this afternoon. I hadn’t read it in probably 35 years or more, and I still found it exhilarating when the gorgeous Phaidor, daughter of the Holy Hekkador of the Holy Therns, plunged her gleaming blade deep into the heart of the vile Thurid not once but five or six times before shoving his carcass off the deck of the flier and into the yawning depths of the chasm outside Kadabra. This book completes the “John Carter trilogy” that began with A Princess of Mars (1912) and continued through The Gods of Mars (1913). There are eight more Mars books beyond Warlord, which was written in 1914, but they deal generally with characters other than John Carter, including Carter’s son Carthoris. John Carter remains my favorite Burroughs character, other than Tarzan.
The Mars (aka Barsoom) novels are still terrific, filled with fantasy, swordplay, pageantry, and always a heavy, heavy dose of coincidence. But today, John Carter is the most politically incorrect of heroes: a former Confederate officer from