Monday, June 30, 2014

Comic Review: Dejah of Mars #2

In this issue we discover hell hath no fury like a princess looking for her man!

Cutting between reassuring her son Carthoris that she will be OK and questioning a prisoner about John Carter's whereabouts, Dejah receives word from fellow Heliumite Rek about a growing resistance growing within the Royal Guard of Helium. It seems a fellow commander named Ka Pell is now obsessed with tracking down Carter and getting revenge for Carter's supposed act of heresy. Meanwhile Carter is being kept alive by the Red Reaper, who reveals his own past: he was nearing the end of his life and planned to take the final trip down the River Iss when Carter brought down the false religions of Barsoom. With her husband's life in the balance, Dejah finds herself investigating a black market in red eggs, leading to her another ghost from her past and a deadly adversary...

With this issue, Mark Rahner bounces back and forth between Dejah's quest and the scenes with Carter and the Reaper quite well, keeping a balance of intrigue and growing tension that kept this reader turning the pages. It builds on past events both from the novels and the comics (including a reference to Green Men of Mars) and raises an interesting concept about Carter's destruction of Issus and how some on Barsoom still cannot accept the false hood that they built their beliefs on. There are some problems, most notably with the ending (seriously?) but all told it's a cracking tale.

Helping is the artwork by Jethro Morales, who does a good job with a rather dialogue heavy issue, at least as far as characters are concerned. The backgrounds in some cases are just blank colors, which shows a lack of time it appears. I guess chalk it up to the characters being vivid and not wanting to overwhelm them? Also is it just me or does the religious symbolism get a little obvious in the Carter scenes?

Even with those small qualms this is still a good issue and a nice addition to canon Dynamite has built up. I hope the upcoming relaunch does just as well. Until next time folks...

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