Dejah Thoris #1

by Olivier Roth on February 07, 2018

Written by: Amy Chu

Illustrated by: Pasquale Qualano

Colored by: Valentina Pinto

Published by: Dynamite


Having some Edgar Rice Burroughs’ work on the Barsoom saga, I am already somewhat familiar with the character of Dejah Thoris. Having said that, after reading this first issue, I can appreciate how Amy Chu and the rest of the creative team set up this series to be very new-reader friendly? How so? Well, Chu makes it a point to not only give a sense of who this particular version of Dejah Thoris is, she is a princess of Barsoom, but is so much more, but she also makes it a point to give Dejah a clearcut motivation from the word go: she is looking to save her planet from an unending civil war.


The plot is simple: Dejah has heard of a long lost city that used to be the sole producer of water on the planet of Barsoom (aka Mars) and her purpose is to find this lost city of legend to bring about the end of the current civil war that is being fought over this scarce resource. However, not everyone believes this city exists and actively work against her quest to find it - stating the lack of resources they currently have to do so.


Like I said, it’s quite simplistic, but does work in the context of the story. Chu also makes sure that there really isn’t a moment to breathe in the issue as she plots it out so that Dejah explains her end-goal, finding the lost city, demonstrates her plans to do so, shows her failing on the first attempt, but then finally finding a way to start her quest - with some allies in tow.


Qualano’s art is a highlight of this issue and I hope to see him on the title for the foreseeable future. I can only describe his linework as “breezy” as it feels like everything is drawn effortlessly on the page. I’m curious to know if he has some kind of bet going on with someone else on the creative team to see how many different outfits he can come up with for Dejah (namely the headdress), as by my count, Dejah is at least 4 different outfits throughout the issue.

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