Comic Book Review: Dejah Thoris #8
A strong start to the new story arc if you ask me. There’s always everything to gain and lose for this Helium army when trust in the wrong person can turn a mission into a disaster. As I said last month, momentum and pacing are this story arc’s best friend. It is refreshing when from the very start we can be thrown into the chaos of this world and how this army and group of people rise to the occasion to overcome new obstacles.
Picking up with this second chapter, no time was wasted in showing what could go wrong with a sabotaged ship and an enemy catching them off guard. This moment both puts everyone in a vulnerable position, while at the same time challenging them to be able to take command under duress. This was particularly a crucial time to take advantage of this new character in Keel. Every reaction and decision from him is much different from Sajad. He doesn’t think like someone who is overcome with pride, or like someone who is quick to make snap decisions based on emotion. Having the King with them was good for measurement between them since it was probably about time that we could see how he would handle a situation like this if given the wheel. I was honestly very impressed by how bold he was when it came to making the hard call. Something consistently challenged in this series is what it means to be a Jeddak. We couldn’t have gotten a better example set for Dejah.
Now that the enemy has been addressed for this story arc, the only question to remain was the intention of making enemies of the Reds. What they wanted was not too surprising, but it was who they were working with that really elevated the danger of this situation. It was smart to create this problem where they were both outmatched in power, and behind in figuring out how their backs were against the wall.The difference-maker here was how they chose for Dejah and company to fight back against this threat.
The story of the Black Martians was appreciated. Every bit of new of information about the peoples of this planet is helpful towards overall engagement and discovery. These First Born were a good surprise when up to this point we would have thought that the most dangerous martian were the Greens. Knowing that there are darker entities that exist on this planet at the very least keeps us open to the fact that there is always something worse to prepare for.
This second chapter was just as pleasing for the interior artwork. Dejah Thoris has a series has shown so much improvement through this art team being able to find their foundation and never let go of the quality of work that has gone into this. Clean pencils, a strong form to the characters and structures, not to mention fluent action sequences that don’t fight against the pacing. I did enjoy the way that the Black Martians were designed. When you hype up these First Born to be so terrifying, there is an expectation to see that in their appearance. I was not disappointed between the height and build of these martians in contrast to the Red. Their armor is as well distinct to them. What I liked most about them is the balance in blacks used for their skin tone. Not too dark, but enough to capture sources of light and shadow. My only problem with the artwork was minor, but it was a scene where you could see clearly that one of the Black Martians were colored incorrectly as a Red. It was only for one panel, but it wasn’t something you could overlook either.
Dejah Thoris #8 was a great transition from the start of this story arc. The enemy is known, the stakes are set, and now there is only how the warriors of Helium will turn things around when the odds are stacked against them. There’s nothing like the thrill of battle when the heroes are underestimated.