Sunday, May 27, 2012

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris #12


This week's comic book review finds possession, strange eating habits and skinny dipping (!) on Barsoom. Not that the Princess wears much anyway but still for those with delicate sensibilities you might want to skip out.

When last we left her, Dejah had been awaken to find herself under the spell of a Boora Witch in the Toonolian Marshes while Kantos Kan is about to become a lizard creature's dinner. Kantos survives to find Dejah, who has stumbled upon a reserve of the materials they were searching for. Unknown to Kantos and everyone else though Dejah has now been possessed by the witch. While Kantos begins to suspect something is not right, the witch makes her own plans-including a gruesome meal to restore her power, a midnight swim and attempted seduction of Kantos and a deal with Helium's arch nemesis Sab Than!

Coming after the previous two story lines in this series, writer Robert Napton is taking the series into more sword and sorcery territory here. The idea of a young woman being possessed by an evil witch is pretty much a staple of that genre (heck it was even used in the recent Conan the Barbarian film) and it definitely does seem an odd fit with Burroughs' world. In the novels Burroughs mostly avoided outright magic and witchcraft even though it has been used in previous comic books (I'm thinking in particular the short story arc from Marvel's John Carter Warlord of Mars series where a dark wizard raised an army of skeletons and attempted to possess John Carter's body and use Dejah's for his dead lover). Napton does his best though to keep the story moving, focusing best on developing Kantos Kan' s character and his rise in the Helium guard and his loyalty to the Princess. If anything I like that we get to see him in a bigger role than most of the recent John Carter/Warlord of Mars series he's been in. The setup is also interesting as we see Sab Than reenter the picture. It also has a strange line that seems to imply that he's now the ruler of Zodanga. What happened to Than Kosis? Is that being saved for a later comic book series?

Art wise again we get Carlos Rafael and anyone who has followed his work on the Warlord of Mars comics will either love it or not. I like his character designs (even though I know some who feel Dejah looks too revealing) even though some the backgrounds don't stick out as much as I would like. Still it's nice and pleasing work.

I don't have a clever ending here. If you liked the first issue of this arc you will probably enjoy this one. If not then I doubt it will change your mind. Until next time have a good day!

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