Sunday, October 9, 2011

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris #7

A little piracy for your Sunday.

When we last left off, Dejah had just been captured by Phondari, the Pirate Queen of Barsoom, and her band of cutthroats on their ship, the Jedessa's Revenge. As this issue opens their ship is attacked by a bigger craft. Facing capture, Phondari agrees to release Dejah, who quickly using her golden wings joins the fight, but are out numbered and captured. Eventually we meet the captain of the bigger ship: Xen Brega, another pirate who has a history with Phondari. After revealing he has also capture Dejah's men from the Helium Pumping Station, he sends Dejah, Phondari and her crew to be prepared for dinner...

At this point I figure the best way to approach the Dejah Thoris series is the same way I approached the 1970s Marvel John Carter: Warlord of Mars series as a mixed success. Like that series, the strongest asset is the artwork, here done by Carlos Rafael that manages to catch the eye-and not just because it has scantly clad women (even though that doesn't hurt). The attack on the Jedessa's Revenge is well handled, and the ship design for Xen Brega's ship is pretty cool, if maybe a little too Star Wars.

On the flip side is the storyline. While the story so far doesn't reach the low points of say the Wingmen section of the "Master Assassin of Mars" run from the Marvel series, it still has some storytelling issues. Again the problem could be trying to review it on an issue by issue basis without knowing how the story will end, leaving the reader with an unfinished chunk. Part of it could also be the fact that since this is story takes place prior to John Carter's arrival we know that Dejah will make it through, robbing the reader of any potential suspense as to the outcome. It can be hard to get invested when we know that our hero won't face any real perils. That said Arvid Nelson's writing is sharp and at least manages to capture the pulpy tone well.

I'll end with the same recommendation from my review of the previous issue-give it a look at the store and if you seem interested go for it.

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