Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Comics Review: DEJAH THORIS VERSUS JOHN CARTER #4

DEJAH THORIS VERSUS JOHN CARTER, VOL. 1 #4
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. (October 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 #4 opens, Dejah Thoris, Queen of Helium, and John Carter, hero of Barsoom, are prisoners of Rotak Gall in Dar Shadeth, a ruined palace from ancient days that is also far from civilization.  Gall reveals that his true target for imprisonment was Carter, whose DNA he will use for an army of clones – vessels for The Longborn.  Trapped in an adjacent dimension, Dejah and John cannot escape without Gall's help.  Now, Dejah comes to a decision that could lead to their doom.

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 #4, the fourth issue of the series that I have read and only the fourth Dejah Thoris or John Carter comic book I have read.

In Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter, writer Dan Abnett has offered a comic book that offers traditional serial fiction thrills.  This isn't a great comic book, but it is a quick, delightful read, and I find myself wanting more by the time I reach the last page.  Abnett keeps things interesting with new twists and turns, and this cloning thing promises to be a twist supreme.

I highly recommend Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter to fans of Dan Abnett's comic book work.  I think it is good enough to warrant more after the current series ends.

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

B+

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


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