REVIEW: ‘Dejah of Mars’ #1

(Dynamite Entertainment, 2014)

Written by Mark Rahner
Illustrated by Jethro Morales
Colored by Salvatore Aiala Studios
Lettered by Marshall Oillon

I don’t know how much John Carter experience you have reader, but I myself haven’t had too much, but I plan on changing that soon (i.e. reading the Edgar Burroughs 1911 book series). Well, that is if Dejah is anything like her comic.  Princess Dejah Thoris is Carter’s Martian wife/mother of his children, and boy does she know how to kick butt. And, personally, I love a woman who can kick some butt.

The comic takes place on Mars or Barsoom as it is called, and begins with a man of power having servant woman poor him drinks. The scene quickly changes to a fight between the man and one of the servants who is no other than Dejah in disguise. She quickly gains the upper hand and asks the man “Where is he?” Flashback. Dejah awakens to find herself alone in bed, with her husband nowhere to be found.  After much searching she eventually finds some of his blood, but no other sign of a struggle; however, she still thinks foul play is involved. But she appears to be the only one.

The scene changes and we see Dejah and her grandfather – it was just discovered that Carter has taken a sacred artifact, and her grandfather is not happy. He is even more upset because it was taken by an “outsider.” However, Dejah is fast to defend her husband and reminds her grandfather that he brought their world peace.  His only response is to ask her where Carter is.

We now find ourselves with Dejah and her son Carthoris, who is quick to fight anyone who would steal his father and make him do such an act. The two quickly devise a plan in order to find Carter. During this time Dejah thinks of all the times her husband has saved her and states that it is her turn now. While Dejah and Carthoris chase down leads/fight anyone who gets in their way, we briefly find ourselves with Carter and discover that a man called the Red Reaper has kidnapped him. We again find ourselves with Dejah and her grandfather as she is once again defending her husband, but her grandfather will have none of it. He reminds her that no one is above the law, and that Carter’s punishment will be death. He then tells his granddaughter that she is forbidden from finding and/or interfering with her husbands capture. So where will she go from here? On the one hand, she is a strong woman who doesn’t take no for an answer. On the other, she is a mother and a ruler and has other people who will be affected by her decision.  Of course we can all pretty much guess what she’s going to do.

I really enjoyed this comic – mostly because Dejah isn’t the one-dimensional heroin that we usually get with comics who have a female protagonist. It is clear from the beginning that Dejah is a fighter – she can bring down a man twice her size with ease. On the other hand, she also knows when physical fighting will not work, using words with her grandfather and reminding her son that there is a time for fighting and a time to listen. And speaking of her son, she is a mother (in the book she has a son and daughter). And as a mother, she continues to teach her child, even if it is how to spy and fight.  So often we see only one of these characteristics present in female characters, and I was happy to see her in the same light as that of her male counterparts. And I for one, reader, can’t wait for issue number two. I hope you feel the same, and don’t forget to read this comic – there are so many levels to it that my review doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Until next time!

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AliCardaropoli-profile-pic-small

Ali is a creative writer with an emphasis on Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Comic Books. She first fell in love with superheroes when they were used to teach her to read. When not practicing at her dojo or out seeing the latest superhero movie with her friends, Ali can be found curled up on the couch with her dog and a good book.

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