As a spin off of the John Carter franchise, Dejah Thoris is no longer queen, and devotes her time to science and the betterment of her people. In the first issue, Abnett’s storyline sets up a theme of a growing climate crisis on Mars, one that Thoris is dedicated to fix. We’re also given insite as to the Thark, who look to attack the Helium kingdom, due to a lack of food; a direct impact of the growing crisis.
Another aspect we are seeing is the King, Kurz Kurtos, as he strives to maintain power by increasing Barsoom’s defenses and working alongside people he considers allies to kill Dejah Thoris and her bloodline.
All of these plot points are introduced with little to make the series confusing or feel rushed, instead it comes off similar to Game of Thrones as we get a few pages focused on different characters or parts of the world to give us insight as to wat everyone is doing and why they’re doing this.
As a writer, Abnett has written popular series for DC, such as Aquaman’s rebirth series and The Silencer; and Dejah Thoris showcases his talent in being able to set up a world and what important plot points we’ll see in the coming issues. In Silencer, Abnett used the first few pages to set up what the assassin world of Leviathan was like and what Honor can do.
Now in Dejah Thoris, we are seeing Abnett set up how the world of Mars is and what each of the important characters are like. We’re seeing a former Queen looking out for her people of Mars, as she works to fight a crisis, most likely inspired by our own Climate Change. We’re also seeing a politician doing everything in his power to maintain popularity and control, by working with evil influences of an unknown identity.
Abnett is also giving us insight into the natives of Thark, who hunt and gather, but lack the regular food supply due to the crisis. Finally, we see Dejah Thoris and her children, people who are aware that something is up; for reasons unknown yet, as they work to bring Dejah Thoris back with them to save her from what’s to come.
All of these story aspects were made prominent within one issue, something a lot of writers in modern comics struggle with, and have difficulty creating the gravity of a situation. In Abnett’s case though, he has done a great job at creating this world and what we need to look for in the coming weeks when reading this series, and I can’t wait to see what he has planned next.