Comic Book Review: Dejah Thoris #10


Talk about a slaughter, am I right? I like a story where I have little to no expectations, but this is chaos for what the Helium forces are suffering at the hands of enemies who came prepared for them.

Right into the fray is where we went with Dejah Thoris #10. Those are words I’m still getting used to when this new story arc is so much different from what came before. That was all exploration, adventure, and discovery. This arc has thrown us into a different direction that embraces more of the madness that comes with the militaristic life of Helium. The constant fear of enemies, the fear of loss, and the obstacles faced just to make sure that said battle isn’t going to be the end for someone major. Things that mattered more than anything else in this chapter of the story when the Jeddak of Helium is barely holding on, and the other two aren’t faring any better under the sudden threat of the Tharks.

All things come to head as the royal fleet is attacked by the Tharks. My biggest worry about this situation was how this creative team planned on shaking things up. This was one fight where Helium forces pretty much lost before the fight even began. If it wasn’t one enemy, then it was another pushing their backs against the wall. That is great for the atmosphere they were able to set and hold on to. However, that could only go for long before something had to lead away from the destruction. Where they chose to shift gears was wise since it took us back to a discovery that you probably would have forgotten due to all the action. For Dejah Thoris, this worked wonderfully for the appeal of her character since this was a discovery she was able to act upon when it mattered most. She is a proven warrior in combat, but what we are never allowed to forget is her sharp mind that doesn’t miss details that most others would under duress.

Even at a time like this I was caught off guard by the endearing moments that we could get out of some of these characters. For as brave as everyone acts, it does matter when you have those minutes where they can drop that charade to realize what is in front of them. Whether it is the Jeddak and his love sharing what could have been their final moments, or a fleeting moment shared between Dejah Thoris and a respectable old friend, these were defining moments for what lied within their cores.

What impressed me about this story was how everything came together for a reader of this series who never quite understood the story of Dejah Thoris or “Princess of Mars”. Now all the pieces began to fall into place and I felt a stronger appreciation for where this story was headed than I did at the start. There was a clear intention in where this battle was headed that genuinely changed everything I assumed about these characters. I never had a high opinion of the John Carter stories, but now I see that there was much more to this than what was only taken from the cover images.

With so much chaos and destruction surrounding these three in the midst of battle, credit where it is due that this art team did some of their best work to make sure that we were engaged from start to finish. During times like this, your biggest worry would be losing quality to the characters or world around them because of how messy things might get with ships falling apart and explosions everywhere else. Fortunately for us, that was not at all a problem here. I enjoyed the focus on clarity that they put into this, the varied perspectives they took with a ship that was dropping out of the sky, and the strength of the moments where character expressions and body language spoke volumes to the emotional weight of this conflict. Especially when it came down to this part where Dejah Thoris had to make a big decision in the face of the person who is to blame for all of this loss.

Through the events of Dejah Thoris #10, I have to say that this was a story worth seeing to the bitter end. This was anything but the way you assumed this to conclude for the princess, if you are new to these stories like me. All I ever knew was who Dejah Thoris was while captured by the Green. Everything I have now come to understand about her time before, created a memorable experience.

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