In Review: Dejah of Mars #3

The covers: A beautiful Dejah stands on a rocky perch with two gorgeous moons behind her. She has a wicked, bloody blade in her right hand and held in...


The covers: A beautiful Dejah stands on a rocky perch with two gorgeous moons behind her. She has a wicked, bloody blade in her right hand and held in her left, Yorick-like, is the recently severed head of a green man of Mars. Dejah looks impassively at the readers as she displays this gruesome trophy. The artwork is by Jay Anacleto with Ivan Nunes doing the colors. Amazing art with beautiful colors. Simply stunning. The Incentive cover is by Fabiano Neves and it’s got our princess in a bad situation. She’s been captured by a horde of green men. Her hands are bound before her with a bizarre binding around her shoulders, arms, and chest. She’s riding an absolutely grotesque mount. The art on the green men is sketchy, but Dejah looks awesome. The coloring is also good, though I wish she was red. There is also a Risqué cover that is the same art as the Main cover, though Dejah is topless. The coloring is also radically different, with the background being a burnt red. Overall grades: Main A, Incentive B+, and Risqué B

The story: This issue picks up exactly where last issue left off: Dejah surrounded by possessed dolls controlled by Sprang. The problem is quickly dealt with and then the next problem arises on 5 that makes no sense as the floor of the room should be littered with devil dolls. Why was no mention made of this? The scene then moves to John Carter being tortured and he and his captor continuing to exchange barbs. Back in the shop, Dejah finds something that sets up the conflict for this issue. Mark Rahner’s story follows too closely on the heels of Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars because the antagonists in this issue are engaging in the same evil deeds as the baddies were in the first few issues of that series. I’m experiencing a huge case of deja vu. I have no idea what the threat is on Page 15 because I can’t see it, so I’m indifferent to whatever it is. The final reveal on the last page left me at a loss. I don’t know why anyone is doing what they’re doing and what the stakes are. My hand doesn’t need to be held to understand a story, but his is frustrating to read. Overall grade: D

The art: Jethro Morales’s work goes from high to low very quickly. The demon dolls are just silly, there’s no way around it. The setting in the opening pages is Midwest America, not Mars. The second panel on Page 7 is amazing: a tremendous figure rendered brilliantly with intense crosshatching behind him. Page 3, where did she get “that” from? It couldn’t have been on her person, judging from the art on the previous page, unless she pulled it out of her ass, which I mean literally. The design of that item is more Dashiell Hammett than Edgar Rice Burroughs. Why did the dolls revert to their original form? What happened to their Freddy Krueger fingers? Why is the character that appears on Page 4 so into bondage? I’m all for original costumes on characters but this is so glaringly inconstant with Barsoom it’s laughable. Page 9 is outstanding visual telling of the story without any words. This is brilliant. Then there’s the weapon on 10. That’s a blunderbuss. This is high technology? This was used by passengers on the Mayflower, right? The artwork on 12 is, again, fantastic–with their vehicle being beautiful; that’s technology for an alien world! And yet the same vehicle at the bottom of Page 13 looks like a Hot Wheels with fins. This is awful. My concerns for the story are the same for the art on 15–I have no clue what I’m seeing, so I have no immediate threat to consider. Page 17 looks great in every panel, with that amazing crosshatching in the background. And yet 18 is laughable because of the weapons, with that last panel being just silly. Dejah looks amazing in every panel, but with so many speed bumps and potholes in this art, beauty cannot save it. Overall grade: D-

The colors: A highpoint of this book are the colors by the Salvatore Aiala Studios. The red men and women of Mars are wonderfully scarlet, empty panels flawlessly filled (panel two of Page 2 and the second panel on 3), excellent lighting effects (6), and even a border colored to emphasize the energy involved (7). There’s no faulting this group. They’re great. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, sounds, story title and credits, a transmission, and final words are created by Marshall Dillon. The KLIK on 19 is perfect, it’s essential to the story and mood. Overall grade: A

The final line: Just make it stop. Thankfully, this series is concluded next month. Overall grade: D

By Patrick Hayes

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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