Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #6 is the beginning of a five-part arc called “Pirate Queen of Mars.” The start of the comic has Dejah Thoris walking through the streets of Greater Helium with Tardos Mors and his advisors surveying the damage done by the Colossus of Yorn. As the conversation turns to the water pumping stations and how the canals are drying up, they determine that immediate action is needed. Dejah Thoris volunteers to lead the expedition to the polar ice in the south to find out what is going on.
Arriving at the station in the south, they find the workers trapped in a room and everything is strangely quiet. When they find their transport ablaze they realize a trap has been sprung. After a bit of confusion, Dejah is caught and imprisoned, her captors are surprising well informed and prepared. A bit of monologue from the captain of the pirate vessel leads to more questions than answers, prompting the reader to grab the next issue to learn of the plan that Phondari, the pirate captain, has in place.
The story is a bit convoluted for the newer readers and a bit choppy for even a seasoned fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ Mars series. Arvid Nelson‘s writing shows a commitment to stay true to the original stories but doesn’t really tie it together well in this issue. My hope is that the next one helps the reader to commit to the story. The artwork is also slightly different than I would have expected. The bold strokes of Carlos Rafael seem very digitized and not very inspired. I liked the comic for what it was, but just didn’t get the same enjoyment from it as I did from the original books. I might read the rest of the arc, but I won’t make a final call on this series until then. If you love sci-fi or the old John Carter of Mars books, then you will most likely enjoy this; everyone might feel disinterested. I truly believe this series will be a love it or hate it type of comic for the masses.