Dejah Thoris #4 Writer's Commentary by Dan Abnett

Dan Abnett has a writer's commentary on Dejah Thoris #4 from Dynamite Entertainment. It was published on March 11th. Bleeding Cool will try and keep these going as long as we call. Abnett writes;

We enter the second 'arc' of the series, and the danger mounts. I'm not claiming this book has "Game of Thrones" levels of intrigue (yet?), but one of the things I really wanted to bring was a big story that would exploit the scope of ERB's Barsoom world: the rival cultures, the alliances, the dynasties. It's getting cut-throat and complex — in good ways, I hope. And can we all agree that Vasco is knocking it into orbit with his art, and Dearbhla's colors are amazing? Yes… yes, I think we can…

Dejah Thoris #4 page one

Dejah Thoris #4 gets a writer's commentary from Dan Abnett
Dejah Thoris #4 gets a writer's commentary from Dan Abnett

Big things are happening, but I've wanted all along to keep the focus personal, so that it matters to the reader. Here, despite the (literal) storm going on around us, a vast elemental fury, we stay close to Dejah as she reels from a trauma. I wanted to anchor this moment in her life. It's one of the reasons I chose an 'omniscient narrator' for this series, so that the book could when necessary 'lean in' and whisper to the reader some private insight, and do so across all the characters involved.

Dejah Thoris #4 pages two to six

Dejah Thoris #4 gets a writer's commentary from Dan Abnett
Dejah Thoris #4 gets a writer's commentary from Dan Abnett

How do you pilot a damaged Barsoomian airship through a terrible storm? The answer is, you don't. Dejah, Kantos and Llana are in big trouble, as Vasco's art spectacularly demonstrates.

Page seven

When the crunch comes… as it does on page seven… man, you just KNOW things are going to get worse. Right? Particular kudos to Dearbhla here for evoking the storm and rain so superbly.

Pages eight

Time to take shelter, and plan the next move. Guys? I don't think you should stay there too long. Guys? I don't think they can hear me…

Pages nine to eleven

Switching, for a moment, to our other story strand, Thuvia is also in serious danger near the city of Ptarth. Here we have arid heat and light to contrast the stormy darkness of Dejah's pages. Thuvia, after all that happened last issue, the loss of her city and family to the Jewelled Killers, is close to giving up. Looks like the lethal deserts of Barsoom will handle that for her.

Dejah Thoris #4 Pages twelve to sixteen

Back with Dejah and her companions, in shelter, the planning continues. They work out their next move, which allows us to unfold storyline and back-storyline through character interaction, plus get a little humor and personality in there too. We want you to believe in these characters as people. But is the 'dead city' of Golpas quite as dead as they think? You heard me warn them, right? You heard that?

Dejah Thoris #4 Pages eighteen

See? This isn't good. I mean, it's bad enough, but if you're arachnophobic…

Dejah Thoris #4 Pages nineteen to twenty one

In the frying pan of Barsoom's desert, Thuvia – meanwhile – is escaping from said frying pan into … more frying pan. She can't catch a break. Vasco renders the fearsome Warhoon (rivals to the Thark) in magnificent splendor. Can she survive this? Well, it seems she might have a few friends…

Dejah Thoris #4 Pages twenty two to twenty four

As ever, no spoilers, but if the end sequence doesn't make you fear for the lives of our beloved heroes AND make your skin crawl ALL OVER, then there's no helping you. A nightmare made real gets TOO real. Come back next "web-isode" and find out what we're 'spinning'…

Dejah Thoris #4 gets a writer's commentary from Dan Abnett
Dejah Thoris #4 gets a writer's commentary from Dan Abnett

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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