Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris Volume 4: The Vampire Men of Saturn TP - Carlos Rafael, Robert Place Napton, Deborah Carita My husband and I saw the John Carter movie and thought it was reasonably good. I didn’t expect the movie to hold true to the book, but I didn’t expect to dislike the book quite so much. Pulp fiction clearly doesn’t work for me, but apparently I’m as much a sucker for Dejah Thoris’ lovely face and jewel-covered pretty bits as John Carter and every male in her universe.

In fairness, the cover art for this series is really beautiful. Unfortunately, it stops at the cover. If you’re going to have a buxom woman run around in nothing but some carefully placed pieces of metal held up by hope and a smile, I’d have liked the artwork to help me overlook the ridiculous outfit. If I can’t have that, then at least give me an interesting character and story.

Eventually, I resigned myself to ignoring the attire, since no one else in the book noticed that she was almost naked. Even Dejah herself comments on how glad she is to have furry boots and a cape to keep her warm while she traipses through the ice and snow. The only person bothered by her almost nudity is me. The men and women (uh wait a minute… there weren’t any other women except for the three bloodslaves) of the story see beyond her T and A to the strong-willed, brave and noble woman behind them. Even the vampire who falls in love with her is in love with the passion and strength he tasted in her blood. Unlike John Carter in A Princess of Mars, he didn’t merely fall in love with her the moment he saw her boobies.

As the story goes, the Princess of Barsoom is on a self-imposed exile after forced to commit murder while her mind was controlled. The guilt of her sins is mentioned initially, but eventually forgotten when she is kidnapped to Saturn by a race of vampires. At least she was able to get out of the snow. Edgar Rice Burroughs intricate political plotting and world building is sorely missing from this comic. The vampires are just evil creatures who subjugate the race of purple people and put Dejah in chains.

I suppose I was hoping that, in spite of the (lack of) outfit, the comics would take influence from the movie and make Dejah Thoris slightly more than just a trophy princess. She does get to be a self-rescuing princess, freeing herself from chains that make her pose awkwardly not once, but twice (or was it three times?) in the story. But in the end, when the vampires threaten her kingdom of Helium, she is forced to unleash her ultimate power: selling herself to a man to save her kingdom.

Cross-posted to
The BiblioSanctum