Posted - May 29, 2013 | Updated: August 17, 2015
Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris
If Dynamite wanted to make a great impression with their first Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris story arc they made the right move by choosing "Colossus of Mars". The story arc encompasses the first five issues of the comic and it has everything. Drama, action, romance - you name it. It also fittingly serves as a great introductory story arc since it features the Martian political structure, racial mix, customs and social dynamics as the tale progresses. This is definitely a ride that you won't regret. Let's go . . .
So, as a bit of a backgrounder: The Martians stop getting older once they reach adulthood and do not die unless slain. They're effectively immortal. This explains the period setting of the adventures in this collection - a full four hundred or so years before the arrival of the Earthman John Carter. Dejah Thoris, and her peers, don't age, think about that. It's an amazing piece of information that only makes the fantastic setting even more enjoyable.
Our story starts with a war between the twin cities of Greater Helium and Lesser Helium.
Deja Thoris is from Lesser Helium.
Just at the crucial moment when Lesser Helium is about to win the war, the attack is interrupted by this guy
Visually I'm a bit surprised, pleasantly surprised. This personage is an emissary from the Jeddak (chieftain or ruler) of Yorn. He's not very fit, up until this time everybody looked unbelievably buff. Making this guy anything but was a good call. Giving everybody the body of a god introduces boring uniformity. Anyway we now know that both Greater and Lesser Helium are vassal states of Yorn. And we also know that the Jeddak of Yorn will not allow one side to win over the other - he has interests in seeing both eternally fighting each other. He's a stinking despot that's what he is.
Being a king, the Jeddak has ordered the marriage of his son, Valian, and Deja Thoris. When asked by her family if she wanted this marriage we get these panels.
It's all there, body language, subtle statement. It speaks volumes. This is a great subtle panel from writer Arvid Nelson and artist Carlos Rafael.
So the presentation of the bride and groom arrives and we finally see the Jeddak of Yorn.
Excellent facial expression. I can see intelligence, charisma, arrogance and cruelty. This is a powerful rendition. And here comes his son Valian.
Looks like a nice guy, a tad clumsy though.
Later on, we find out that this wedding is a sham But before that, there's this nice panel that I want to show you. So a banquet is held and Dejah Thoris toasts the cities of Helium and the coming peace. The Jeddak of Yorn, bastard that he is, stops the nonsense to say that he is taking over. But before that, Valian, his son, is about to join the toast. Look at this panel were the Jeddak signals to his son to stop joining the farce.
No dialogue between the two but we know exactly what is happening. Brilliant. We also know tht Valian had nothing to do with this travesty.
More than that, his father has totally no love for his studious and chubby son.
And here we have the reason for every move the Jeddak has made.
The giant, the Colossus, is an ancient war machine that lies under Lesser Helium and is irresistable to the power mad Jeddak of Yorn.
Soon, matters are complicated by the arrival of a third force - the green Martians.
We also learn that the secret location of the Colossus was deciphered by Valian. Inept Valian who now attempts the not so inept rescue of Dejah Thoris. Rewarded with a kiss.
Valian gives Dejah a clever weapon.
Double blade sword with cannon in the middle. How cool is that?
Jedah is freed just in time. Jedah Thoris' father and grandfather are about to be tortured.
With the green Martians attacking, the Jeddak of Yorn gets desperate about how to activate the Colossus. Soon enough the Jeddak is swallowed by the war machine.
And the Colossus comes to life.
A power mad ruler now commands irresistible power. Here is the Colossus hounding his foes - the other Jeddaks of Mars.
I love the distinctive word balloons used when the Colossus speaks - you just know its an otherwordly sound.
The original Colossus was the Colossus of Rhodes. A huge statue stradling a port in the ancient world. The scope and size is certainly evoked by this panel
A resistance forms against the Jeddak of Yorn and Valian joins in
Valian uses his smarts to create some wondrous devices First, something to temporartily disable the Colossus.
Then a pair of wings that will allow Dejah Thoris to come in close for the kill.
Once again, the Colossus in action.
And here, Dejah Thoris, going in for the kill.
See the Jeddak in the chest area?
Unfortunately, the brilliant Valian also perishes.
All in all, a wonderful first arc for this great new series.