Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Comics Review: DEJAH THORIS VERSUS JOHN CARTER #3

DEJAH THORIS VERSUS JOHN CARTER, VOL. 1 #3
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Dan Abnett
ART: Alessandro Miracolo
COLORS: Dearbhla Kelly
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joseph Michael Linsner; Alessandro Miracolo; Sebastian Fiumara; (Rachel Hollon cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated Teen+

Based on the characters and stories created by Edgar Rice Burroughs


Dejah Thoris and John Carter are characters that first appeared in the serialized novel, Under the Moons of Mars (The All-Story, 1912), written by Tarzan creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs.  When it was first collected and published in hardcover, the novel was re-titled, A Princess of Mars (1917), the first of Burroughs' “Barsoom” novels, which were set on Barsoom, a fictional version of Mars.

Dejah was the title character of A Princess of Mars, the princess of the Martian city-state/empire of Helium.  John Carter was a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War who was transported to Mars via “astral projection” where he got a new body that was similar to the one he left behind on Earth.  John made several trips back and forth between Earth and Barsoom, and Dejah and John were married and had two children.

John Carter first appeared in comic books in the early 1950s, and Dejah has become a prominent comic book character since 2010 via Dynamite Entertainment.  Now, the star-crossed lovers are the stars of Dynamite's new comic book, Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter.  The series is written by Dan Abnett; drawn by Alessandro Miracolo; colored by Dearbhla Kelly; and lettered by Simon Bowland.  The series finds Dejah and John caught in a war to save Mars from an ancient race, “The Longborn,” that has returned to reclaim the planet, and their surprising ally, the rogue scientist, Rotak Gall.

As Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter #3 opens, Dejah Thoris, Queen of Helium, is a prisoner of Rotak Gall in Dar Shadeth, a ruined palace from ancient days that is also far from civilization.  However, where she is in Dar Shadeth is “outside of the present” because of Gall's use of “arcanotech.”  Dejah will learn that “The Longborn” have new plans for her, and Gall is activating those plans.

Meanwhile, John Carter fights through Gall's “Black Pirate Synthetics,” hacking and slashing to find Dejah so that he can rescue her.  But what is John's part in Gall and The Longborn's plans?

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter #3, the third issue of the series that I have read and only the third Dejah Thoris or John Carter comic book I have read.

I found the first two issues of Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter to be likable, although I thought the second issue was stronger.  I enjoyed this third issue so much that I wish I could read more of the series right this very moment.  The art by Alessandro Miracolo still reminds me of the kind of art that readers would find in a Flash Gordon comic book, and that is appropriate.  Miracolo's art and Dearbhla Kelly colors sell the idea that this story takes place on a faraway world full of action, adventure, aliens, monster, hybrids, and ancient gods.  This is pure, lovable primordial science fiction and fantasy.

Writer Dan Abnett, a veteran comic book scribe, kicks the story into the next gear once again.  With each issue, Abnett raises the stakes, and this third issue offers a shocking and frightening vision of the immediate future for Dejah and John.  Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and this third issue suggests that the fourth might be even more exciting.

I highly recommend Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter to fans of Dan Abnett's comic book work.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Dynamite's Dejah Thoris and Barsoom comic books will want to try Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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