Wednesday, March 23, 2011

John Carter, Warlord of Mars #7 - Dec. 1977

"Dejah Thoris Lives!" by Marv Wolfman, Gil Kane, and Tom Sutton.

John Carter, nearly beaten to death by an angry mob, lies in bed, clinging to life with only one thing on his mind:
Dejah peppers Gargan with questions about The Council of Five. At first Gargan tries to avoid answering, but he is too charmed by the comely Dejah and begins to provide information about their mission.

The Council wants to destroy the Atmosphere Factory, killing all Barsoomians. Picking a small group deemed worthy of saving, they will be given air breathers until everyone else has died. Only then will the atmosphere be turned back on, leaving only a "worthy" society.

Dejah is shocked at this mad, murderous plan, but plays along when Gargan promises she will be saved because he is enamored of her. Growing suspicious of her constant questions, Gargan slaps her, then forces her into a clinch--big mistake.

As Gargan is busy thinking below the waist, Dejah uses the opportunity to grab his knife, stabbing him in the back! Some members of the Council fire upon Dejah as she escapes, but with the help of a nearby laser she finds a room to hide in.

In the room, though, is Dejah's nemesis Krela. Krela prepares to scream, but at gunpoint Dejah forces her to strip off her clothing. Hotcha!

Moments later, some of the Council on the hunt find Dejah, and open fire, killing her. Unfortunately, they're of the ready-fire-aim type, which means of course they've killed Krela in Dejah's clothing!

Meanwhile, Dejah sneaks out a back exit into a nearby airship:
sg can see why John Carter likes Dejah so much!

Dejah flies back to Helium, where she finds her father and Tars Tarkas. Overjoyed and morale lifted, the Barsoomians fire upon the Council's ships, trying to stop their assault on the Atmosphere Factory.

But the Council's plan is so far along that everyone can start to feel the air getting thinner already. An oxygen mask pops down in Dejah's ship, and she decides to make a frontal assault on the Council's main chamber, all by herself!

Meanwhile, John Carter wakes up when he hears that Dejah has been found alive. When he is told she is attacking the Council personally, he leaps out of bed into a ship of his own. Within moments, he sees his beloved firing upon some Martians inside the factory, and he leaps out of the ship onto the ground:
sg be continued!

Nice to see Dejah given a bit of a solo adventure here--it helps makes her a little more of a rounded character getting to see her independent of John Carter. She's such an ass-kicker that you can totally understand why she and Carter are so into each other.

The Kane-Sutton art team here is my favorite combo of the series so far; it really gives the book a loose, scrappy feel--perfect for the blood and guts adventure that is John Carter, Walord of Mars!

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