Robbed of her life, her past shrouded in secrets and half remembered memories, Dejah Thoris takes to the streets of Helium to try to understand and rectify the problems that the sudden claim to her throne has caused. However, not one for sulking about her plight, Dejah moves forward whilst also trying to keep out of the clutches of the Royal Guard.
The second issue moves at a slightly faster pace than its predecessor, mainly due to the fact there is no need to re-introduce the characters, although writer Frank J. Barbiere does eschew a “previously on” page in favour of a panel filling monologue. In this instance this isn’t much of a problem; things may be different 5 or 6 issues from now.
Barbieri continues to provide a fun script and dialogue over what is essentially a simple plot. The idea that Dejah isn’t who everyone believes her to be can go a couple of ways; either a new status quo will be created or the reset button will be pressed. These options may annoy a number of fans, but I am more than happy to give Barbieri the benefit of the doubt, with the fun element he brings and the portrayal of a very capable and strong female character.
Francesco Manna’s art is gorgeous throughout the book. With Dejah on the streets, Manna is allowed to cover her. This will no doubt disappoint a certain group of fans, which it shouldn’t as it allows the craft of the work to shine through rather than the image of a half-naked woman. Manna’s smooth lines and strong inks does show an Adam Hughes vibe, as Dejah drives through her continuing quest of truth. Colors are provided by Morgan Hickman, who again gives Helium an other world quality.
So far, the Dynamite revamp of their core heroine base is doing well with this book and Red Sonja, giving the characters a sense of respectability whilst also proving that female characters do not need to be “Batgirl’d” to be popular.
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Art: Francesco Manna
Publisher: Dynamite Comics