on April 9, 2016
"Adventures of a naked girl on Mars, volume one." Quite the re-imagining of Burrough's Dejah Thoris (he casts her as a brave, but ultimately helpless damsel; in this book, she starts off as a girl to be married off as a peace offering, but quickly becomes a leader and and action heroine). Overall very enjoyable, and the art style is top-notch. Get it before SJWs start calling for it to add to the book-burning list.
on March 13, 2016
Edgar Rice Burroughs and Arvid Nelson should be appealing, and there is a lot of that could be interesting about Dejah Thoris beyond slave-girl aesthetics, but this just doesn't seem to hit the mark.. Nelson's work on Rex Mundi is excellent, so I was somewhat surprised how stilted the dialogue was in the book. Carlos Rafael's art is fairly strong, but almost all female characters look the same as do almost all male characters. Rafael's figure work is good for cheesecake artwork, but it doesn't differentiate itself enough even there. Nelson also doesn't do much with the setting being so much earlier than Burroughs' canonical works. Dejah Thoris is a stronger character here than it Burroughs' work, but even with that caveat, Nelson just doesn't do enough with her. Dynamite's inclusion of the sketch work and alternate covers, however, is a bonus as many of these are strong
on June 10, 2014
Four hundred years prior to John Carter traveling to Mars, Dejah Thoris appears to have been the hero and action star. The storytelling done in these Dynamite Entertainment graphic novels retains the pulp action feel of the original novels and takes the premise of Dejah Thoris as action princess as in the 2012 film. As heroic and commanding as she is, who needs Carter??
The story: The jeddak (king) of Yorn seeks to use the inter-city rivalry between Helium and Zodanga to his advantage to conquer both by the use of an ancient super weapon, the Colossus.
The art: The book has beautiful artwork both for the story and the bonus illustrations throughout. The artist proves that pulp-style art never goes out of fashion if presented right. The heroine does pretty much goes near topless for the entire story but it seems to fit in the overall arc of things.
Rating: 5 stars for both story and art. Any fan of E.R. Burroughs and/or the Warlord of Mars novels will enjoy this action tale.
on June 29, 2012
hadowhawk reviews the first two volumes of Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, Colossus of Mars (collecting issues #1-5) and Pirate Queen of Mars (collecting issues #6-10), published by Dynamite Entertainment.
"Colossus of Mars and Pirate Queen of Mars are exhilarating, rollicking rides through Barsoom that are more than worth reading. They are great sword & planet adventures!" ~The Founding Fields
My only previous exposure to the characters and world created by Edgar Rice Burroughs is the recent movie, John Carter, which I highly enjoyed and even reviewed a few weeks back for the 24FPS movie review blog. The entire setting of Barsoom, as Burroughs calls Mars, is really intriguing, whether its the people, the culture, the technology, the mythology, the creatures, the world itself or what have you. I came across Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris Volume 1 on NetGalley which is a great resource for reviewers (you have to at least check it out!). Reading and finishing it in one sitting, I just had to get the second volume too, because the comics are just that good.
The Dejah Thoris comics are set centuries before John Carter ever arrived on Barsoom and they feature the scantily-clad Princess as the main protagonist as she fights, schemes and fights for the future of Lesser Helium (Helium at this point in time is divided into two warring states). I have to say that the whole notion is quite an interesting one, it sets up a lot of intriguing possibilities with regard to the storylines. And since the people of Barsoom are long-lived, effectively immortal, that just adds more possibilities to the mix.
The first five issues, collected together in a single volume titled Colossus of Mars, tell how the two cities of Lesser and Greater Helium are at war with each other and how the ruler of Yorn, Jeddak Senneth Dor, schemes to take over all of Barsoom. Expect lots of betrayals and double-crosses, heroism and cowardice, and the plans of a madman to dominate the entire world.
I really liked Colossus of Mars. The main reason is that it is simply more stuff related to John Carter, but also because it is a really good story. Not groundbreaking or mindblowing by any means but it is still good. Sometimes all you need is a "basic" story told really well and this one does that in spades. The twists are good twists and they keep you guessing and turning the pages. Consequently, the story moves along at a really brisk pace. It is a war-story after all.
There are a few characters that I really liked: such as Dejah herself, Senneth's son Dor Valian who is an inventor of sorts, and Khanid Thal who is the Jed of Greater Helium. These three were really enjoyable, Dejah for her heroine-antics, Dor Valian for being the clumsy guy who finally grows up, and Khanid for being so damn sincere. The bad guys, in the form of Senneth Dor and his henchmen were somewhat compelling as well, and not a little humorous given the appearance of at least one of them. Overall, a really varied cast of characters that'll appeal to everyone.
Some really emotional scenes as well in the comic, which really make it worth a read. They are not too emotionally-charged but they are still compelling enough to move you. Part and parcel of the double-crosses going on.
The artwork, both the cover and the panels themselves, as well as the various illustrations and inking are also damn nice. My only concern with the art is that the people of Barsoom wear far too less clothing, especially the women. Its... disconcerting. I have no clue if that's how it is in Burroughs' novels so I can't comment in that respect as I am only familiar with the Barsoomians from John Carter, who are quite covered up! The whole we-are-not-really-wearing-much thing is offputting a bit since it makes the combat really unrealistic at times. This is an old problem with the genre however and while I don't mean to be dismissive here, it is what it is.
Another concern, a minor one however and I hope it was only me, is that at times I was confused where the action was taking place. Whether we were still in Yorn or in one of the Helium cities. It was just slightly jarring and made following the narrative a tad tedious, but like I said, its a minor point.
All in all, it was a blast reading Colossus of Mars and I'm glad I picked this up. Gives a whole another layer of context to events in John Carter, although the two aren't related story-wise in any way. Also makes me all that eager to get around to reading Burroughs' novels sometime soon. Got my fingers crossed on that one.
You can find the full review over at the Founding Fields:
on July 2, 2015
Excellent Loved this 1st Volume of WOM: Dejah Thoris! The art work of Carlos Rafael is amazing, it reminds me of the Michael Whelan covers for the 1979, Del Rey/Ballantine Books of the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars novels. As soon as I received this in the mail I read the whole book the story flows really well, can't wait to read the volume 2.
I have to tell you, I usually avoid comics and so-called "graphic novels." But after enjoying the first two of Burrough's "Barsoom" books and the big-screen "John Carter" film, I was primed and ready for more adventures set in the same universe. To that end, "Colossus of Mars" delivers the goods. And even though the story is set some 400 years before the time of Carter, it is far more faithful to the written word than the movie (which I DID enjoy very much, but for different reasons). Unencumbered by the need to tell a family-friend story, the writer and artists really let loose with a true fantasy adventure tale, complete with bloodshed and ample flesh on display. Again, I liked the movie, but THIS is the Dejah Thoris I pictured when reading the original books.
My only gripe--and this extends to my complaint in the opening sentence above--is that things happen far too quickly. I realize this volume contains 5 full comic books, but I breezed through the whole thing in about 30 minutes. When you consider the cost of these things, that's hardly a bargain. Still, the artwork is terrific and the story well-told, so it may not be a huge problem for some. Certainly, if you are fan of the Barsoom stories, you won't be disappointed. I just wish we got a little more bang for our bucks.
on January 30, 2014
The art inside of these comics don't do justice to the covers. Although it's all very good, I expected much higher quality based on what the covers looked like. Also, I was a bit confused as to the lack of nudity. I'm guessing that some editions show Dejah Thoris topless throughout the entire comic because of images of this on the internet. My edition had her wearing two tiny golden nipple covers. No big deal really, if I was looking for porn I would have gotten porn. I just didnt realize that there are multiple versions of the art as well as many cover variants.
on May 31, 2012
When I ordered the books from Amazon I was very excited for this new media and story telling on the old subject.
When they arrived I saw the most wonderious books with covers that jumped out at me like no comic book could, the artwork is astounding, as with the rest of the books.
As I read them I was reminded of the comic book with a modern day form of artwork that caters for the graphical titillation of people today.
I am a text book reader with the imagination to bring the book to life (with most of the help from the author), where these books, like comics, relies on the graphics to do the work for them. I give the artists much credit to produce this excellent work, which in itself, needs imagination. The extra artwork is a bonus which I also welcome and appreciate.
If there is an artist out there with the talents of Burne Hogarth, step forward and start work. He could depict life in the true sense, and to see someone of his caliber would be a dream come true.
I would recommend these books to the new generation of collectors and old alike, as I will be collecting them myself, knowing that it is the graphics, and not the story that will keep me interested in them. I hope that in a few years they will inspire me to go back and read them again, as the text books have done.
These books deserve 5 out of 5, but I give them 4, as the storyline is less than I expected. To me these books will never hold the same awe as the text books do, but they are excellent books none the less.