This month’s conclusion to Dejah Thoris and the White Apes of Mars is my first introduction to the series. Thankfully, I won’t have to read it any more. Apes is just as bad as its sister series, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, but for different reasons. Here’s the description from Dynamite:
The harrowing horror epic’s explosive conclusion! The princess has seen her crew and best friends killed and eaten by the white apes that infest a dead Martian city. She’s run, hidden and tried to fight the apes. Now she’s out of options – with Carthoris and a ship full of children about to arrive. Who will survive to learn the secret behind the legendary Face of Mars?
In Apes, Mark Rahner avoids including the overtly sexual scenes found in other WoM books, but that’s one of the only good things that can be said. While the book starts out alright, with a series of low dialogue pages where Dejah orders her son Carthoris to bomb her hiding place and kill the apes that are chasing her, it spirals down from there. Several scenes are completely out of context, with panels breaking from what happens previously. Some dialogue bubbles may be attributed to the wrong characters, although it’s hard to tell, considering what a hot mess the whole thing is.
Lui Antonio‘s art is the most cartoonesque of any seen in the Mars books, so unlike with Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, I didn’t feel like I was watching bad porn. Unfortunately, that same cartoon quality leads Antonio to stretch Dejah Thoris’ body to ridiculous proportions. Antonio also wavers drastically in style, sometimes verging into a sketch-like style that’s more serious than the majority of the book. As with some of the scene changes, this is seemingly done with neither rhyme nor reason.
If the issue four conclusion to Dejah Thoris and the White Apes of Mars is indicative of the rest of the series, I count myself lucky that I haven’t had to read it from the start.