DEJAH THORIS VOL. 3, #5, available from Dynamite on June 10th, confronts Dejah and her crew with giant cave spiders and crawling brain bugs on her hunt to find Kurz Kurtos. Written by Dan Abnett and drawn by Vasco Georgiev, this issue boasts plenty of action, strong art, and a solid introduction to a new character.
Lucio Parrillo’s cover art immediately elevates the quality of any book. Dejah Thoris’ pose is both sensual and deadly. And despite the impossible design of her iconic outfit, Parrillo’s realism style gives the concept of “gravity defying” a whole new sense of believability.
Dan Abnett’s story has a lot going on with one main plot and two sub plots, but the issue doesn’t feel rushed or complicated. Dejah and her crew battle an army of cave spiders when they encounter an unexpected ally that has a telepathic bug for a head. It sounds weird. It is weird. And yet, it blends right in with the world Abnett has constructed.
Abnett’s writing is strongest when projecting a sense of urgency. Every character is either running away from something or running towards something; constantly confronting danger. That urgency keeps the pacing high and the tension tight, making this issue a fast read.
If there’s one area the writing doesn’t quite work, it’s in the dialog. Llana’s speaking style is so contemporary American that it doesn’t match her Martian warrior persona, and Morokh’s words read as determined or impassioned speeches in direct contradiction to his emotion-less character. The latter could be a result of the lettering, but the end result is a break in the story where it’s not intended.
Vasco Georgiev’s art is excellent. It’s an even-handed mix of detail that’s pulp without looking cartoonish. Georgiev showcases the art well by intermixing a wide array of camera angles for each panel to keep the scenes moving when characters are sitting/standing around and simply talking. This issue is a great example of taking static scenes and giving them movement with an unexpected perspective.
Favorite Page/Panel: For the favorite, I’ll point to a collection of panels that span pages 10 and 11. Let’s call it the “mounting” scene. Morokh’s brain crawls along its synth body and mounts itself to address Dejah’s group. It’s creepy, a bit gross, and well executed.
Dearbhla Kelly’s coloring is remarkable for imagining what hues look like on an assortment of characters in a dark cave lit by pink (yes, pink) flame. Kelly adjusted skin tones, armor reflections and hair shine to match the ambient hue of pink flame. It must have taken a great deal of trial and error to match the flame colors with the lighting and surroundings without crating an ugly contrast.
Simon Bowland’s lettering is as imaginative as Kelly’s coloring, in the sense that there’s no precedent for what kind of balloon to use when a bug brain is speaking telepathically. Bowland devised the right combination of bubble border color – again, matching the pink flame – and line style to help the reader suspend disbelief. The interesting use of colors really elevates Bowland’s lettering.
DEJAH THORIS #5 has dynamic art, urgent and tense story pacing, and imaginative visuals. Strongly recommend you get this issue…unless you’re deathly afraid of spiders.
Author’s Note: Local Comic Shops (LCS) are going through a tough time right now with the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19. Comics fans of every flavor that care about his or her LCS should try to do what they can. So, here’s my part:
If you’re in Northern Delaware, South East Pennsylvania, or Southern New Jersey area, please take a moment to visit Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, DE. Say ‘hi,’ pick up a book, order a book (they’re on Comichub.com), and let them know you support them.
If you’re nowhere near that area, please find YOUR LCS using Comic Shop Locator and lend your support.
Thanks, and stay safe.