Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #13 is the first issue of the series I’ve read. As I’ve previously mentioned in reviews of its sister title, plain Warlord of Mars, I’ve never read the original Edgar Rice Burroughs “Barsoom” series either, so I don’t know if Dejah Thoris #13 is a true retelling of any of Burrough’s work. I hope not. I like to think he had more class. Here’s the book’s official description from Dynamite:
Kantos Kan’s gambit pays off and he learns the truth about Dejah Thoris’ possession. Believing him too dangerous, the processed Dejah tries to eliminate him, but he escapes to the Marshes in hopes of discovering a way to save his princess.
Robert Place Napton‘s plot might be decent enough, but it’s hard to tell, between the ridiculous scenes that are inserted only for titillation purposes (the most disturbing comes when the entity possessing Dejah Thoris forces her to get in bed with her grandfather. Nothing happens, but the imagery is bad enough as it is.) and the terrible dialogue. I could put the stilted phrasing down as the way Martians speak, but Napton almost completely foregoes the use of narration boxes, and just has all the characters speak their thoughts to empty rooms.
Carlos Rafael‘s artwork is -ahem- serviceable. The problem is, of course, the subject matter, which isn’t really under Rafael’s control. His Dejah Thoris is ridiculously hot -and has a tendency to assume provocative poses for no reason. That’s the whole point. While there’s nothing in the art quality that makes it fantastic, I have no real complaints. The book could be shaded a bit more heavily (Dejah’s hair is typically the only solid inking in any panel) but other than that it’s fine.
Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #13 is the worst kind of comic book. It gives the whole industry a bad name. It’s essentially porn. You see the get-up she’s wearing on the cover? That’s more than she ever wears. If you’re going to buy this book, fine. Just call it what it is and don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s because the story is good.