In Review: Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars #4
The covers: An absolutely stellar cover by Jay Anacleto on the Main cover showing a close-up of the princess in ornate armor, and a helmet, holding a sword to defend her prize: a Thark’s severed head. Mr. Anacleto, you are an art god! There are also the myriad Variant covers, but I’ll stick to the three I found on Dynamite’s website. Walter Geovani has created a stunning image of Dejah, her dagger ready, a green hand holding a sword in the foreground. Look in the mirror behind her–five Tharks seeking murder! Amazing! Cezar Razek has our pale princess, topless, with a short sword covered in Thark blood (two dead bodies surround her) and a pistol still smoking from the conflict. The entire image is against two moons. She needs to be more red! Ale Garza has a scantily clad Dejah pulling back her cloak to reveal her attributes, so you won’t notice the sword in her right hand. Okay. Overall grades: Main A+, Geovani A+, Razek B-, and Garza B
The story: Will Dejah escape the clutches of Voro and his flesh eating Tharks? C’mon, you know she will! The story by Mark Rahner becomes a how and what will she, or John Carter, do to Voro? It takes a few pages to get there, which include another pause in her story with John and Tars, which finally makes sense in this issue! But what I loved was Page 9–this is the princess I know and love. Her choice is perfection, and its results on Page 12 are a “Hell, yeah!” moment of justice. Are there any surprises? Oh, yes! Page 18 floored me! completely unexpected, as was Page 20; but given 18, it shouldn’t have been. Worth checking out! Overall grade: A
The art: I like Lui Antonio’s art. It’s somewhat cartoony, but with this story (and Dejah’s body) it’s not for the kiddies! I’ve focused on Dejah, the Tharks, and the caves in the previous reviews, but I should mention his excellent cities and tech, Pages 4 and 9–the design work on Page 9 looks primitive, yet high tech–sweet! And I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the top of Page 5: it’s only one panel, but amazing. I know Dynamite does The Lone Ranger (and the art on that book is tops!), but Mr. Antonio, I would love for you to do a book set entirely in this time period. I’m very happy you’re doing this book! Overall grade: A
The colors: Bright, bold, awesome colors by Arison Aguilar. I really like how the cave scenes are bright enough to see what’s going on, but still look dark. The exterior shots are gorgeously bright: the transition between Pages 3 and 4 shows this colorist’s skills. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Solid dialogue and great sound effects by Marshall Dillon. One quibble: Page 12 is mute. This is the payoff for the entire series and I want–need–to hear this! Overall grade: B
The final line: The horror has ended, but the terror is only beginning. This series is getting an additional four issues! Thank you, Dynamite, for giving the fans what they want! Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently taught 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.