Don’t think me a prude, but methinks I’ve figured out why so many fanboys approach this particular WARLORD OF MARS title with such reverence, such fondness, and such acclaim: at times, it’s arguably as close to an action-packed issue of PLAYBOY. (They read them for the articles, after all.) Our heroine – the unimaginably delightful Dejah Thoris – always appears in the same Martian princess garb, which is to say it’s reminiscent of Princess Leia’s metal bikini from 1983’s RETURN OF THE JEDI but without all of that uncomfortable fabric. Or bra. Or panties. Basically what you have is an alien centerfold running around in little more than a thong and curley-Q clip-on earrings to cover her areolas.
I’m no expert on such matters, but now that the action has switched from the Martian plains to the arctic wastelands, isn’t she gonna catch cold?
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
When we last saw our Princess of Barsoom, she had been captured by some sky pirates and hauled away from her fellow tribesmen. As this issue opens, we see that she’s been strung up to a thick pole, and she’s being harshly interrogated about what she and her people are looking for in the Arctic wastelands. The pirate lead – a lovely ‘black’ known as Phondari – finds her ship in hot pursuit from yet another largely pirate ship, and, despite their best efforts after even joining forces with Thoris, they’re all captured by an even surlier brute – a hulking menace known as Xen Brega. It would seem that Phondari and Xen have previous history – the women fled his service, and he’s been pursuing her ever since – and things take a grim turn when he announces that he’ll have her and Thoris sent to the galley … to be prepared as his next meal!
Much like so much of what’s come before, WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS #7 essentially excels are maintaining its high camp sensibilities. While the circumstances are dire for the characters, I don’t honestly believe scribe Arvid Nelson wants his readers to take any much less all of this with great seriousness. It has a deliriously demented feel to it some of the times, and it’s all plotted out with a kind of space-swashbuckling charm … pirates, included.
Those who tune in for their monthly regimen of near-porn (seriously, Dejah Thoris wears next to nothing in this incarnation) have a little something extra to get excited about in this chapter: Phondari – the sky pirate who takes our beloved Dejah hostage – is equally … erm … shall we say ‘endowed’? She appears essentially in the same style as the princess; perhaps they’ve both shopped from the same catalog?
WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS #7 is published by Dynamite Entertainment. The story is written by Arvid Nelson; the tale is illustrated by Carlos Rafael; the work is colored by Carlos Lopez; while the book is lettered by Marshall Dillon; and all of this is naturally based on the works of the master, Edgar Rice Burroughs. It’s available for a cover price of $3.99, a bargain if you can get it.
RECOMMENDED. While I didn’t find it as fun-loving as the last issue, so very much of DEJAH THORIS #7 continues serving up the same spirit and kitsch the title has become known for. It helps to think of it as being thematically similar to 1980’s camp classic FLASH GORDON but with way more midriffs. As I’ve counseled all along, there’s really nothing wrong with that per se; it’s just that as much as I love gawking at luscious ladies I still don’t feel there’s anything wrong with giving Dejah a shawl every now and then. Otherwise, some panels feel downright dirty, bordering on pornographic. If that makes me an old fuddy-duddy, then so be it.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that I’ve repeatedly contacted the fine folks at Dynamite Comics in hopes to arrange for reader copies of WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS; however, the company apparently does not recognize nor cooperate with requests from new media outlets.
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