Story: Dan Abnett
Art: Vasco Georgiev
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
“Barsoom has always been a dying world. Closer to death these days, perhaps.” From DAN ABNETT (Guardians Of The Galaxy, Justice League Odyssey) and rising star VASCO GEORGIEV comes an all-new vision of the Princess Of Mars! Dejah has been many things: Wife, mother, royalty. But now, she is a determined scientist, dedicated to discovering why her world is freezing, and which political factions know the secret of this global catastrophe? Experience glittering palace intrigue and visceral adventure in the new ongoing adventures of DEJAH THORIS!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With so many different creative teams giving voice to Dejah Thoris the last few years, there’ve been a lot of fun stories. A lot of them were crossover stories as well, which muddies up the waters but are still no less fun. With this series, we get back to something a bit more traditional for a story as helmed by Dan Abnett. There are a lot of changes in the wind here and it’s pretty dialogue-heavy at the outset but that still gives Vasco Georgive plenty to work with as there’s a slate of solid characters, settings, and some time with the Green of Barsoom as well, which is always a delight to see getting all riled up.
With a good bit of time passed, we now see that it is beyond when Dejah’s family would rule Helium and now an isolationist runs it. Which isn’t a surprise as the climate crisis of the world deepens and people are in denial, retreating inward. At the same time, the Tharks are also under new rule and with them being so far on the outside and left for dead in their view, the new leader is ready to march them to war. For Dejah, she’s put aside all that she’s lost and with a bodyguard in Kantor Kan, she’s wearing her scientist hat and investigating in the far northern reaches for clues about how fast things are changing and how – especially if it may be because of the factory in Helium. The other new wrinkle is that enough time has passed that not only does she have an adult daughter but also an adult granddaughter named Llana. Llana and her mother have been looking for a new place to hold out as things get worse and are hoping Gathol will be up to her mother’s desires.
With this as the backdrop, Abnett does a solid job of taking us through a political and social upheaval from the traditionally known Barsoom in many books. I’ve enjoyed this on other looks at this property as well as there’s a lot to explore in how things would go down in so many ways, and parallels to draw. There’s no subtlety here in playing to the reality of our world from a number of areas but it works well because it’s split across different groups and the basis of how they’re acting is, for better or worse, pretty accurate. Some will react outwardly, some will withdraw, many will hope and strive for a better solution but most will just be lost and unsure of what to do in the face of something beyond comprehension in actually doing something tangible.
I’ve really enjoyed a number of Dejah Thoris interpretations over the last few years and this one looks to tickle a particular fancy. I like that the family is out of power but still a threat, one that looks close to being quashed no less as others want to ensure their plans unfold without her interference. I’m curious to see how well the Tharks will be handled as they go through their own changes. I really want more on Dejah’s family and to touch upon some of what happened that has sent John away, though I suspect it’ll be little more than a nod and a “given” of something that’s happened. With some solid artwork from Georgiev and a busy and verbose script from Abnett, the opening installment sets all the main foundations with room for so much more to be introduced. Definitely one to watch for.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 11th, 2019