Review: Dejah Thoris #1

Dejah Thoris is published by Dynamite. It is written by Amy Chu with illustrations by Pasquale Qualano and colors by Valentina Pinto.

I have to start off by saying that when another Dejah Thoris relaunch was announced, I had little to no interest.

However, as soon as I saw Amy Chu’s name as the writer I knew it was going to be a solid comic. I loved Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death and her work on the current Red Sonja has been simply fantastic. If her name is on it, I’m going to read it. And yet again, my faith was not been misplaced.

Although there are a couple nods to Issue #0, they don’t make it an absolutely necessary read before Issue #1, which is something I think is very important because #0 issues should not be mandatory reads (in my opinion). While I really do want to find out what happened to the green guy, his purpose has currently been fulfilled and needed no further explanation. Though, I do hope we see him again soon.

The thing about Dejah Thoris is she is basically the exact opposite of Red Sonja. She is selfless and she genuinely cares about her people. She wants there to be peace and for the thousands of years of wars to finally come to an end. She is also a thinker. Rather than putting all of her energy into being a great warrior (though all reds are taught how to fight), she instead chooses to learn. Unlike the royal council she is used to dealing with, Dejah searches for scientific answers as opposed to blindly believing in the gods.

In this issue, Dejah has only become more determined to find Ephesyum (the lost city that is said to have been able to create water). Despite discouragement from her tutor, Dejah continues to try to find a way to journey from the castle in search of Ephesym.

Even if it’s not real, she has to find out. She has to try. So when she is introduced to three of the brightest students at the Royal Academy of Lesser Helium, she thinks she has finally found her perfect team. However, despite how intelligent they all are, none of them truly know what its like in he vast deserts of Helium, and none of them are prepared for the dangers they face….almost immediately. Like…I don’t think they went more than a few miles and it was like BOOM! Vicious monster.

Amy Chu’s portrayal of Dejah is naive, but she isn’t stupid, she isn’t helpless, and she isn’t afraid. Pretty much all of the women I’ve seen so far have this aura of badassery about them. You don’t need to be a killer to be a badass. None of them are warriors and yet the way Amy Chu has written them, they emit this kind of intensity. Pasquale Qualano’s art has a lot to do with it as well.

While there are times Dejah is drawn in a way that is clearly sexualizing her, this does not detract from what’s happening, nor does it detract from the look in her eyes like she will totally murder you without hesitation if you get in her way. Qualano manages to find this balance between keeping her looking sexy but also strong and fearless. Plus, when she gets her armor she looks so freaking cool.

OVERALL SCORE: 8 / 10

Make sure you pick up a copy of Dejah Thoris #1 from your local comic store! Happy reading!

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