Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #16 sees the Martian Princess on another adventure, far from Helium, as she seeks absolution for her crimes. Here’s the official description from Dynamite:
While still in her self-imposed exile, Dejah Thoris becomes entangled with an Okar warrior from the North in a dangerous battle of survival!
If you’ve been following my reviews for this series, you know I don’t have the highest opinion of it. While the near-nakedness of the title character may be in line with Edgar Rice Burrough‘s original Barsoom stories, here Dejah Thoris is over-sexed to such an extreme that it almost completely destroys any attempt at storytelling. Because this is apparently a constant of the series, I thought I’d try to accept it and look at this issue’s other qualities. And then I opened the book and saw Dejah Thoris trudging through the snow, still in her golden thong and nipple covers.
Yes, she’s wearing a fur-lined cloak and boots, but everything a horny reader cares about is just as exposed as ever, flapping in the sub-zer0 breeze. It’s also noted that she’s here by choice; she wasn’t deserted here, she just decided to head North.
I hesitate to blame this on writer Robert Place Norton. Editors have undoubtedly determined that exhibitionism must be the principle quality of this book, and Norton has to do what they say. However, knowing that requirement, he chose to send Dejah Thoris to the North Pole in half a bikini. Altogether, it’s obvious that Dynamite doesn’t care a bit about having a quality story for this book.
Debora Carita handles art duties this issue, and, given the series’ emphasis on visuals, it’s no surprise that she does a great job. The crucial figure work is top-notch, although movement is sometimes stiff (one scene where Dejah is definitely supposed to be running flat-out makes it look like she’s jogging instead) and faces can be a bit flat. Still, the background’s are great, especially considering that a barren, frozen landscape doesn’t leave much too work with.
Obviously there’s more to this issue than Dejah Thoris wandering around in the snow, and some of the plotting is okay, but I find it difficult to care about the story when Dynamite itself is so obviously apathetic in that regard.