Comic Book Review: Dejah Thoris #1
After a satisfying #0 issue, I felt that it was worth moving forward to see what the #1 issue had to offer. Like I said, I may not be familiar with the older stories of Dejah Thoris, John Carter, and so forth, but I’ve gotten to know her in recent stories to feel anticipation when she has a new series. The point in time they have chosen to tell this new stories as well is cool for the exploration we know we are in store for.
The last volume of Dejah Thoris grabbed my attention because that one provided a side to Dejah that impresses you for her skills in both leadership and combat. This volume on the other hand takes us on a different path where she is driven to save her people and this planet by finding the legendary Gardens of Mars. Since reading the #0 issue, it was also smart that it was a lead into this story. Having that issue would have been meaningless if it didn’t press upon the idea that she wanted to find this garden to save the planet.
Staring us off with a look to the past again was a wise choice to get into the mind of Dejah. The statement is made loud and clear that she is driven to find this resource, and that is what will remove the question from her actions in the present. While the conversations with her master are generally the same, it made sense that she would have someone close to her that would challenge having this ideal when she should be focusing on leading like her father and grandfather. Taking us into the present we are met with a Dejah who has fully developed ideas and priorities of her own. This was the version of her that I came to admire because there was nothing that would get between her and whatever her mission is at that time. Now the recruits for her expedition team of scientists were an interesting group to say the least. Not just fr their level as students, but for how inexperienced they are about the outside world like Dejah. That made for a moment of realization where we then needed to brace for what came next.
Knowing that things don’t go as planned, and the Princess learns the hard way just how dangerous Barsoom really is didn’t change much of what you needed to look forward to. Dejah was going to be challenged on this expedition of hers, but it was a question of what kind of danger she would run into that mattered most. Anyone well-informed about this planet would be excited for whatever she might face outside of those palace walls. But even then, it was the effort to make this expedition possible that engages us most. Something like this doesn’t happen without stepping on some feet, namely her family’s. The burden of her responsibilities are not something they want us to forget, and they drove that message hard.
The artwork for this book was a big sell. I have to say that if the artwork wasn’t satisfactory, that would have probably been a dealbreaker. With that said, it took some pages for me to feel genuinely captivated by the artwork. More so when we got to the scene where the story transitioned into the present. Those first few panels instantly grabbed me because there was so much fire and grace that they put into Dejah Thoris and that made a statement about the kind of person we were dealing with. What impressed me was how consistently they could change-up her wardrobe and all of it be both creative and stylish. For me personally, I enjoyed the different headpieces. Especially the one with the horns, ribbons, and the way both weaved through her hair. The colors brought a lot of this together in the end. Whether it was the way everything gold popped, or the unique skin tones of the Reds, it all created a fully rendered image of their culture. The lightning and application of warm colors throughout was perfect as well. You would think a planet like this might come off pretty dull, but this art team found beauty in even what is left after the water and plant-life is gone.
Dejah Thoris #1 is the start of yet another series that I feel nailed what is needed to be invested in what this story has to offer. Great character development, plenty of new introductions, and provided a lot of potential towards exploration which should play a big role in what’s to come. Dejah is not a character to underestimate and I hope this creative team continues to show us why.