Written by: Frank J. Barbiere
Art by: Franceso Manna
WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW!
What sold me to write this review on Dejah Thoris, immediately, is the stunning artwork done by Francesco Manna. I described it in an email response without thought to our vice president and comics editor, Casey Walsh, like this: “Looks sick.” And it sure does look pretty. For starters, the titular character, Thoris, who introduces herself as Larka within the first few pages, has a striking resemblance to another Amazon warrior.
That’s how the comic begins, with a flash-forward. We see Thoris for the first time as Larka. Then, we go to what I guess what we can consider the present-day. Let me just say this, I would’ve preferred reading more about Larka because she’s bad-ass, and I’m ready for more female characters like a Jessica Jones or, again, Wonder Woman.
Once Dejah Thoris gave us the background and context of why she has two very different names, it became super trope filled.
- Set up as a story about cratering from the highest position, in terms of power, one can achieve to being face first in a pile of s—t, eventually finding the path to redemption.
- Thoris’ father, the king Jed, is nowhere to be found, so naturally all involved assume he’s, you know, dead. Enter a power hungry Valoris, a kingdom council member, who swoops in once the new position opens up.
- Someone has to be accused in order for people to back this radical transition. So Valoris brands Thoris as the betrayer and assassin of her own father. There’s not enough reasonable doubt for anyone to question this statement, thus she’s jailed.
- Now her origin, parentage is put into question now. Therefore, she wants to take a lone wolf path toward redemption absent of any sort of help, at least from anyone she holds close.
It’s not a story no one has read before. The artwork makes Dejah Thoris standout in its first issue. But the story is too cliché for it to go beyond just having potential right now.