Rating: 3.5/5 – Dejah Thoris is Hiding in Plain Sight.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell
I didn’t even know that this comic existed until I was looking for something other than my normal monthly comics to check out. Recently I have been branching out, trying to find interesting reads that are not DC or Marvel. While looking through a long list of releases I found a title that looked familiar to me, “Dejah Thoris”. I had read the John Carter books back when I was younger, and I liked the recent movie, though other people did not. I realize that Dejah Thoris comics have been out for a while now, but they recently started renumbering them. Issue 2 came out this week, and I grabbed the first issue as well to be caught up to speed. Having read the various Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars novels allowed me to jump right in, even without reading any prior Dejah Thoris comics.
Writer Frank J. Barbiere provides a good story concept and dialogue, but the layout of the story was a bit confusing for me in this issue. Dejah Thoris is in hiding and she’s walking through Helium with a hood over her head being careful not to be recognized. As soon as she is outside of the city, she removes her hood with a group of militia men who also just left the city, like these people won’t notice her and they don’t. Even when at a camp for the militia she is the only woman in any of the squads, and you would think any military official would recognize royalty, especially the only female in the camp. She’s a royal woman trying to hide in a militia of all men wearing some pretty stand out armor. As I was reading I was hoping someone would notice, and it never happened, which took me out of the story. If Dejah Thoris cut her hair or did something to disguise herself or conceal her identity outside of the city I wouldn’t be left questioning how she is not recognized.
Artist Francesco Manna provides amazing art, the composition, camera angles and depth proportion were all great. When Dejah Thoris is walking through town in the beginning not one scrap of detail is missing. Backgrounds are my big thing, especially city blocks. Angles are everything to sell it and everything looks amazing. The only thing I can point out that confused me a little is the lady Dejah Thoris meets in the marketplace. In her first appearance she looks to be in her 30’s or 40’s, she has a robe on so you can’t really see the color of her hair, but on the next page she looks much older. The way the scene is played out, this is the same woman but she looks as though she has aged years between pages.
I like how Barbiere is making sure people know that Dejah Thoris is not just a pretty princess on a throne, but in the blink of an eye she can be thrown in the slums or into the military and handle herself. I did have a few issues with the story and art, but overall I’m enjoying the series and will continue following it.
Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
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