Sunday, March 13, 2011

Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #1

Any comic being published should know what its strengths are, and there's no doubt what the folks at Dynamite Entertainment are depending on for this Warlord of Mars spinoff: sex.

The Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris, has long been a fan favorite for her role in the series of Edgar Rice Burroughs stories starring John Carter.

And let's face it, one reason for that is the skimpy outfits she wears, as immortalized by numerous artists - most famously Frank Frazetta.

But this series takes the notion of "skimpy outfits" to the extreme - if Dejah's costume were any skimpier in this comic, she'd be naked. Her costume consists of a tiny thong bottom and two pasties.

I find it difficult to complain too loudly about a beautiful woman being scantily clad - my heart's not in it to be upset - but it just seems like a blatant effort to gin up sales. It's sad to think that John Carter needs that kind of help. (I should also note that the men wear equally-small costumes.)

But Carter doesn't appear in this story - it's set long before he appeared on Mars, and the story by Arvid Nelson focuses on the political (and warlike) struggles between the twin cities of Helium. A solution to end the civil war may be at hand - but it calls for a sacrifice on the part of Dejah.

The art by Carlos Rafael is quite good, with Carlos Lopez supplying some excellent color work. They don't get much chance to show off - the story involves a lot of shots of people standing around talking - but the characters are expressive and the story easy to follow.

But the story doesn't hold up its end of the deal - it's mostly dull political discussions, and every plot twist was obvious from the start.

This story is based on the Burroughs character, but it has no basis in ERB's original Mars stories - and it shows.

If you want to see some nice drawings of a virtually-naked woman, this is your comic. If you're hoping for a good story to go along with it, keep looking.

Grade: C+


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