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Review: Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #26

Deja26-cov-RenaudA former student betrays his master, roping a younger student into his treachery. A woman clad in less than a cubic meter of cloth and golden pasties helps the tubby old master defeat his students and activate a 500,000 year old time portal. Add to that the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoomian milieu and you just might have the fixings for a 26th issue to this series.

My experience with Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris is tenuous at best. I’m a huge fan of the original novels, the first of which was published in 1917, and the series is a great mash-up of the swords-and-sandals action that would develop in the following decades and a great exemplar of mainstream early American science fiction. I say that my feelings toward this book are tenuous, because I struggle with the continued portrayal of Dejah Thoris in nothing but a bikini, despite the fact that Robert Napton is actually a skilled writer, and he captures the swashbuckling adventurist flare of Barsoom expertly in Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #26.

Napton presents a stand-alone issue that details Dejah’s visit to her old archaeology professor’s dig site, a hallowed ancient city called Dorvas. Swashbuckling and decapitation ensues, and Dejah and professor Syl Mak save the day (but Mak’s old and current students get a failing grade—academic pun, anyone?). The narrative fits nicely into the 24 pages, never feeling rushed or tiresome, and paces along so that I felt eager to finish up the issue.

Carlos Rafael and Carlos Lopez are a great team, with Rafael providing the solid lines and detailed expressive faces that help push the story along, and Lopez working his colors like any good colorist. It’s nothing ground breaking, but the pages are great fun and, again, Rafael makes facial expressions pop! Also, it’s clear that Rafael is skilled with drawing the female figure; you would have to be literally blind not to pick up on that…

It is frustrating, however, that Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris doesn’t seem to fall into continuity with the other Barsoom book by Dynamite, Warlord of Mars, since Dejah’s father and grandfather are mentioned early on in issue #26, but readers of the other series will know that that can’t be possible. Still, a fun read if you have the time or are a fan of Barsoom; I guess there could be other motivations for picking up a book featuring Dejah Thoris, though.

Story: Robert Napton  Art: Carlos Rafael and Carlos Lopez
Story: 7  Art: 7.5  Overall: 8  Recommendation: Read

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy to review