Dejah Thoris is published by Image comics. It’s written by Amy Chu (Poison Ivy Cycle of Life and Death, Red Sonja, and KISS).
Dejah Thoris is the Princess of the Martian Empire of Helium. Issue #0 starts off with letting the reader know what a terrible state Mars is in. Mars is dying. Future generations are inheriting a planet with little hope of surviving much longer. When Dejah was a young girl she was told stories of a great city. This city had gardens, water, and many different life forms. Things that no longer exist on Mars.
Dejah holds the memories of her grandfather sharing the tales of the great city Ephysium very dear to her heart. She of course hopes the stories of The Reds, the gardens, and the water is all true. When she was younger she dreamed of seeing this city in person. Years later Dejah hasn’t given up hope on Mars. She believes she can find a way to revive the planet.
As Dejah explores parts of the palace she is familiar with, she is aware that there are parts she has never seen. Just as she is reflecting on this it’s not long until it’s announced that her father has returned from a journey. He greets Dejah with a surprise. A living white ape from Basoom. I can tell she’s not used to seeing living creatures because of her reaction to the ape.
That’s when her father reveals a truth to Dejah. That the white ape will be stuffed and put on display. He says the white ape is unable to be tamed and it will be of more value if it can be scientifically dissected and put on display. I had issues reading that part and was happy when Dejah asked her father why he can’t just let the creature live. The sad part is, this is only the beginning of learning about some shady things going on in Helium’s empire.
Dejah and her father go to a part of the palace Dejah has never before seen. He tells her that in order for her to rule Lesser Helium she needs to know about this part of the palace: The Royal Prison. There are many different types of species locked up in this prison. Her father also wants her to kill the white ape in the morning. Are all their fates the same as the white ape? Dejah takes the tour, but luckily she doesn’t seem to believe everything her father tells her about the captives. That night she decides that she has to learn more, and she makes her way to the Royal Prison through a secret passageway on her own to find answers.
I should mention that this is a prequel tale, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect of Dejah in this early stage of her life. When she was first introduced I had no worries of her character because she was questioning things. Mostly her surroundings and she seemed to be very witty. I started to really love her when she decided she was going to search for answers to save mars, and when she questioned her father over the white ape. I didn’t tell you how this tale ends but it is one hell of a cliff-hanger. I can’t wait to read issue #1, and Amy Chu is doing a great job of evolving this princess into a bad-ass. Fans of the classic written by Edgar Price Burroughs will appreciate this version of Dejah Thoris and translates well to new readers.