Saturday, February 23, 2013

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris & the Green Men #1


Dejah! Green Men! OK?

Picking up some time after A Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris is coming to terms with the peace between Helium and the Tharks but still remembering-and being haunted-by the past atrocities that the Tharks inflicted on her people. After expressing her concerns to John Carter, Dejah agrees to take a pre-celebration appearance with a Thark named Voro to show solidarity. When he suggests that take a drink though things go really wrong as Dejah is abducted and discovers that Voro has decided to sell her to other Tharks. But the worst thing? She's to be sold piece by piece as Tharks have a taste for red man flesh and that a princess demands a high price.

Following up the horror story infused Dejah Thoris and the White Apes of Mars, which I enjoyed, writer Mark Rahner tackles another horror subject-cannibalism-with a rather grisly story that starts off rather unpleasantly with Dejah flashing back to her own torment at the Tharks, from being branded to other humiliations that gets this opening issue off to a uncomfortable start that is rather off putting. Once that moves on though I felt that Green Men of Mars does pick up with Dejah showing her strength against her abductors and the horrifying fate she is facing. I just feel that this will split most readers down the line so you might want to prepare yourself, especially if you only know Tharks from Andrew Stanton's comedy versions.

For the series artwork we have Lui Antonio returning with his rather curvy Dejah sporting even less than usual. If you have issues with a well stacked Dejah you need to check out now. That said Antonio delivers some good monster moments with the Tharks, who come across even more repulsive than in previous Dynamite versions and manages to keep the artwork consistent so that gets a good check.

In short, the first issue of Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars is a really mixed bag. The unpleasant opening may be necessary but I still felt it was too far in that respect. I hope that the next issue manages to find a more subtle balance to the horror elements. Also is it just me but does the Dejah on the cover look like Milla Jovavich? Just leave your thoughts and let me know if I am being too squeamish.

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