Review – Dejah Thoris #1
Dejah Thoris #1
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Francesco Manna
Cover: Nen, Jay Anacleto (connecting variant), Tula Lotay (variant), Jay Anacleto (Black and White variant), Tony Fleecs (variant), Blank variant, Ming Doyle (Retailer Incentive variant), Nicola Scott (variant), Robert Hack (Retailer Shared Exclusive Signup variant)
I have to say I was excited to pick up this book, but wasn’t too excited to keep reading it. As the story goes, Dejah Thoris is living her life on Barsoom along with her husband, John Carter, in the great city of Helium. However, some parts aren’t that great.
Dejah Thoris has taken the name Larka and is fighting for her survival. She says that she has lost everything, but we don’t know how until we get a flashback of a few days before. Dejah Thoris decides to take a walk with her servant, Thana. Dejah is stopped and told to follow a guard. The guard leads her into the throne room, where a puzzled John Carter is standing, to find that the Jed (king) is missing. Councilman Valoris appears and tells Dejah that she must become Queen while the guards handle the investigation. In the middle of the night, Dejah is arrested for the assassination of the Jed (says Valoris), and thrown in jail.
John Carter comes to Dejah, not to free her, but to tell her that Valoris is challenging her “bloodline and right to the throne”. He says that she is adopted. There were documents showing that she was brought to Helium from the Badlands as a baby. Memories are triggered and so is Dejah’s identity crisis. She wants to find out who she really is. After an assassin made an attempt on her life, she flees Helium with help from Thana and an old man. Meanwhile, John has to deal with Valoris and his corrupt guards, who finds out that Valoris must be behind all of this. I mean, the guy has a bald head and a curly mustache and goatee. If that doesn’t say sinister, I don’t know what does. Maybe John is a little slow to notice things.
This issue isn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t too bad. The story is very predictable. King vanishes, evil councilman/adviser, princess confused about her past, servant helps her escape. Okay, it’s not all bad, but it could have gone better. It is only a first issue, but we know we are eventually in for some action thanks to that little scene at the beginning. Frank Barbiere does lay it all out for us, but its only the beginning, and you are left with some unanswered questions. The art is great. I’m loving the dark blacks in most places, everyone is anatomically accurate, the clothing isn’t stiff, and the little architecture we do see is great. Most of it is very Earth-like. Two things that I didn’t like with this: I don’t know how Dejah’s clothes are staying up and there are recycled panels. When I say recycled, I mean they took the same panel, used it twice, but recolored it. I know you don’t have to draw more than you should, but that just seemed a bit lazy. Other than that, Francesco Manna put out some good work. Also, these variants are beautiful. Lots of eye-catching beauties. Since I felt as this was going a bit slow, I will be following. It can only go uphill from here.