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Friday, January 10, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars by Mark Rahner

Okay, first off, I have a confession to make. I haven't read any of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels in a very long time, and honestly don't remember much about them. I know that I enjoyed them, back in the day, but I'm not what you would call a hardcore fan. So, when I spotted Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars Volume 1, it was really nothing more than a whim that made me revisit the world.

To be honest, while it was an okay read, I didn't feel like it was anything special. It didn't make me want to dig out the old paperbacks in my basement, but it also didn't make me desperate to revisit the original material in defense of Mr. Burroughs.

My main problem with the series is that it really stretches a simple story line pretty thin, with nothing really happening. You've got Dejah Thoris captured by the Green Men of Mars, and John Carter wandering around wondering where she is, but not really doing anything to find her. Really, that's about it - the entire series is basically Dejah getting beat up, trying to escape, and getting some payback.

Having said that, there were some great scenes in the comic, particularly when we get our first glimpse of the Tharks' rather hungry plans for Dejah. Similarly, there's a lot of violence here, some of it rather bloody, and it does make for a great bit of pulp fun. The story also does a decent job of attempting to address the evolution of Burroughs' world, complete with lingering distrust and the intricacies of forming alliances with old enemies. Most importantly, of course, there's a lot of flesh on display, and Lui Antonio is to be commended for his skill in capturing the essence of those old pulp-era adventure covers.

One flaw I found with the series - and this, to be fair, may be a deliberate limitation in the digital galley - is that the artwork is a little rough, almost as if it's out of focus. The dialogue blurbs are crisp, as is the lettering, but they almost seem to float above the page because of the difference in quality. Like I said, it may be a deliberate sort of copy-protection, but I did find it distracting.

Overall, Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars Volume 1 didn't leave me clamoring for second volume, but it was a pleasant enough distraction.


Paperback, 112 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2014 by "Dynamite Entertainment"

2 comments:

  1. That's a shame!
    I reread Princess of Mars before the John Carter film and found I still really dug it.

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  2. "Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs" anthology that came out late last year with contributions from F. Paul Wilson, Mercedes Lackey, and others. I may dig that up next.

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