Science fiction has a long history with ‘cheese.’ I’m not talking about camp. I’m talking (really) about skin. Flesh. Lady parts. Think Barbarella adorned in her skimpiest get-up, and I think you get the drift. Heck, even the master of the modern sci-fi western – George Lucas – felt it necessary to serve up Princess Leia as a dish for fanboy consumption in a metal bikini as part of the opening of STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI. So far as I care, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it! Thankfully, the creative crew behind Dynamite’s DEJAH THORIS title agree with me!
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type 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 …)
As the issue opens, it has become very clear to the red people of Barsoom that Yorn intends to wipe out not only the Green Horde of the North but also any man, woman, or child who stands in his path. Thus, the various peoples of Helium have come together in secret in order to discuss joining forces to keep the planet safe from destruction. As is often the case in matters of state, the men and women are quick to realize that they’ll need much more than words to convince their mortal enemies to link up for battle against a common foe … so how convenient is it that the Colossus strikes during their fateful meeting!
At this point, Nelson and his team feel like they’re cruising on all cylinders. The plot has been clearly laid out – this is essentially a struggle for survival – so they can dispense with any great character revelations. Still, they’ve cleverly held back a trump card in that respect, and it gets served up when – lo and behold – Prince Valian shows up having escaped his father’s wrath. He brings with him a knowledge of lost sciences, but he also delivers something more; he finally divulges privately to Dejah what happened in Yorn’s past … something that possibly served to create such anger for the various Martian clans.
What else does he bring?
Naturally, Dejah won’t be sitting the final battle out, and Valian gives her some nifty equipment: she gets wings! With that body and those Cover girl good looks, Princess Thoris looks like one of those Victoria Secret’s angels come alive!
WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS #4 [Ongoing] is published by Dynamite Entertainment. The story is written by Arvid Nelson; the artwork is drawn by Carlos Rafael; with coloring provided by Carlos Lopez; and the lettering is done by Marshall Dillon.
RECOMMENDED. Issue #4 of WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS is a bit of a revelation compared to what’s come before. There’s some modest character development at play late in the pages as an escaped Prince Valian who’s taken up refuge among the ‘red people’ confides in the princess some information about Yorn that leads them to better understand what event may’ve shaped the evil ruler, putting the world of Barsoom on a path toward annihilation. As they say, “Better late than never!” Alliances are struck, plans are revealed, and the warriors appear en route to an epic showdown with the Colossus!
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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