13.Mar.2011 Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #1 [At the Mercy of The Crowd]

Welcome to the first installment of “At the Mercy of The Crowd,” a new ongoing feature here at EnemyOfPeanuts.com. For a full explanation of this feature, head here, but the simple explanation is… Each week I’ll buy a new comic based on suggestions solicited online and write up a reaction or review of it.

Based on the recommendation of friend and co-worker Lucas Beechinor, I picked up Dynamite’s Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #1 this week for the premiere edition of “At the Mercy of The Crowd.”

Mr. Beechinor and I share a love of bare-chested barbarian comics, but I’ve never read any of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars material, nor the comics based on it, so I was curious to see how the swords and sorcery genre would crossover with science fiction. As far as I can tell, this combination pulls the dress code (Near nudity. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered what a comic/movie with an entirely nude cast might look like, this comic is a good indicator.) and combat (Hand to hand, sword to spear.) from fantasy and the scenery (Mars) and transportation (space ships) from sci-fi. It’s a mishmash indicative of the time period Burroughs created this universe, so while dated, it’s still good fun.

Arvid Nelson, who rocked a rad Kull arc a few years back, delivers a classic setup of feudal political intrigue and a cliffhanger that—due to my lack of knowledge of Burroughs’ Mars—has me pretty intrigued. The art is extreme beefcake and cheesecake, a bit too exaggerated for my taste, even considering my love of the half-naked heroes from the pages Robert E. Howard’s creations come to comics. So, while the T and A is pretty over the top…

…that doesn’t just apply to the ladies. It’s got plenty of man boobs, flabby or firm, as well!

Dejah Thoris #1 also features the most raucous teacup toast I’ve ever seen, which is kind of rad and kind of silly. (Not a bad thing!)

This issue ends up being around a five out of ten for me. I think I prefer my old school sci-fi a bit more traditional (Lasers and vintage ’50s rocket designs.) and my bare-chested barbarians and buxom beauties relegated to battling wizards in fantasyland as opposed to the surface of Mars—which is odd, as I normally love genre-mashing series, like Firefly (Wild west meets outer space). That’s not really a fault of the comic really, and maybe some time with the source material would turn me around, but despite some strong scripting, this ends up being a pretty middle of the road comic for me.

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That does it for week one, folks! I’m already looking for suggestions for next week (Comics on sale March 16), so start shooting me recommendations!

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