This graphic novel takes place 100,000 years before the time of John Carter and supplies the history of how Mars became a dying, desert world. It begins in the city of Horz, Capital of the Orovar Empire. The Orovars, who are white skinned and have blonde hair, are one of the first races of Martians. They know their world is in environmental danger, so they construct a huge factory to produce oxygen. One of the main characters of the book is the scientist who designed it, Tak Nan Lee. The oceans are receding, the green Martians are becoming more violent, and there's a new race that will undoubtedly take over ruling Barsoom, the Red Martians. The other two races--the yellow skinned Okarians and the black "First Born" are the ones responsible for the creation of the Red Martians, by purposely intermingling their races. But the ruler of the Orovars wants to end the Alliance between the three peoples, as he views the wild Red men as competition for the planet's resources. The other main character is a warrior, a general named Van Tun Bor. He resides in the city of Thark. The Green hordes are constantly attacking the city and it's his job to protect his home. His story and that of Tak Nan Lee merge by the end, as they have to get the oxygen producing factory working or all life on the planet will die. And keeping with the themes of the Burrough's original novels, there's a beautiful Red woman and an insane, creepy mad scientist thrown into the mix.