Dan Abnett (writer), Simon Bowland (letterer), Nate Cosby (editor), Vasco Georgiev (illustrator), Dearbhla Kelly (colourist), Lucio Parrillo (cover artist) Dynamite Entertainment February 12, 2020. The failure of the white ape attack is the last straw. Jeddak Kurz Kurtos wants Dejah Thoris and her family dead and is done with trickery and playing nice for the popular vote. Add an ice storm and the powerful jeweled warriors that are going to beat both Kurz and Dejah to the destruction of the Jasoom Dynasty, and we’re in for one action-packed issue.

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So far, each issue of this series has ended with an attack by an enemy stronger than our protagonists, and this one is no different. Though the white apes were defeated, Dejah, her granddaughter Llana, and her companion Kantos, have realized that Kurz is pulling out all the stops. They know that the weather is changing for the worse, but they don’t yet know about the Jeweled Killers that are tearing apart the city of Ptarth where the Jasoom grandsires thought they were safe. Dejah’s daughter Tara is with them, but even her strength may not be enough to stop these mysterious killer soldiers, and Dejah’s aerial race against Kurz’s ships and the storm means she might not make it in time to help.

The action does not stop in this issue and Vasco Georgiev manages to keep up with Dan Abnett’s pace with larger panels that spread out the battles, and smaller, tighter panels when Abnett needs to get a message across. The action is explosive, with Tara getting to show off her father’s (he who still shall not be named) superhuman gifts, and Dejah showing off the technology of Barsoomian aircraft, as well as her own strategic mind.

I am loving this older and wiser Dejah Thoris. All the confidence she’s always had is now tempered by wisdom and calculation. Her goals have not changed, but she no longer has to ask permission for what she wants to do in the defense of Barsoom, or worry about anyone trying to marry her off for the purpose of alliances. But, with everything attacking all at once, that’s a lot for one princess to handle. So I am also enjoying the opportunity to get to know her daughter and granddaughter, though their interactions have been cursory thus far.

Finally, let’s talk about that cover. Lucio Parrillo’s covers thus far have been simply stunning, and this one is no less so. The soft, swirling pastels almost seem incongruous with the image of two mighty warriors facing off against each other. Like most of her covers, Dejah is not free from her tiny vestments, with Dejah Thoris #3’s variant covers offering various designs for her minimalist Barsoomian attire. But what I’ve come to appreciate about Parrillo’s covers is the strength, tension, and intention of his character’s poses and expressions. He doesn’t opt for images of Dejah lounging in repose or half-heartedly wielding a weapon while she gazes lustily at the reader. This is a warrior ready to strike, having found the chink in the armour of a more powerful enemy that thinks her nothing but a trifle. The gold itty bits are a distraction, but at least it’s clear here that Dejah Thoris is always ready to fight and defend. Sweep that leg, princess. Sweep that leg.