DEJAH THORIS #10

“Untitled”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Pasquale Qualano

The Xataxian is under attack by the Tharks. Dejah, her grandfather and Dekana are the only ones left. When it looks like the end old Sajad comes riding in on a malagor. He can only take one and takes the wounded Tardos Mors. After he leaves than Dejah attacks Dekana for she knows that she was part of the conspiracy. They fight and at the end Dejah is rescued by her friend Xahar who is dying from her wounds. Dekana falls to her death and now Dejah has no choice but to surrender to the victorious Tharks who manage to board the ship as it crashes to the ground. They loot the ship and take Dejah captive. It is here she hears of the mysterious stranger from Jasoom.

So the final issue in the series wraps everything up nicely. Dejah gets to take care of Dekana who she never liked or trusted. At the end she is prisoner of the Tharks which is how she first met John Carter in the very first book A Princess of Mars. A cool idea to give us the backstory to the scientific expedition that Dejah was on. An interesting story to something that was probably assumed to be a dull scientific expedition. I do love Dejah and Dynamite has been giving her plenty of quality stories.

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SWORDQUEST #5

“Where One Game Ends….A New Adventure Begins”
Writers: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Artist: Ghostwriter X

Konrad Juros wants to know what happened to Peter Case. He has the twins and Terry captive. The activation of the sword has brought back some magic which Konrad can now use. He creates a strand of light and pokes out the eye of Terry. Terry remains defiant but luckily Peter comes back and stabs Konrad with the sword. Konrad dissolves into a red light. Peter tells how he found himself on Atara. The last of the hooded ones tells him that he is the reincarnated soul of Rulero and can free Atara from Tyrannus. So Peter comes back to save his friends. The police show up but Peter uses the sword to transport them back home to Chicago. Peter decides to spend his last moments of life to free Atara. The Perez twins join him and together they enter the portal to Atara.

So the ending of Swordquest was quite satisfying. We get to find out Peter is the reincarnated soul of the hero. That his obsession with the Swordquest game was actually his spirit continuing the quest. He reconciles with his friends and defeats the evil wizard. It also left it open for more adventures. I wouldn’t mind seeing them but I think this series didn’t do so well. Dynamite has seemed to drop its planned Atari based series. Which is a shame since I loved the idea of exploring this nostalgic blast from the past. Still you never know what the future holds.

DEJAH THORIS #9

“Untitled”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Pasquale Qualano

The Black Pirates have captured the Xataxian but its captain Keel has a plan. He is going to sacrifice himself by blowing the doors to the pirate ship open. Dejah goes to rescue her grandfather. Tardos Mors is wounded and passes out. The traitor Ando Norak then seems pleased for now the Jeddak’s lover Dekana can release him. They are in league but Dekana decides to end it by stabbing Ando. When Dejah arrives she claims that he escaped and tried to kill the Jeddak.

So Keel succeeds and blows the doors open allowing the Xataxian to escape. Only now the ship is fast loosing altitude as its buoyancy tanks are empty. And to make matters worst the Tharks are waiting for the doomed ship to fall.

Another fast moving issue. It goes so fast I am a bit confused as to how they escaped so easily. Also we finally learn that Dejah has reason to not trust Dekana. Yet we still don’t know what her ulterior motives where in allying with the traitor Ando Norak. Hopefully all will be revealed in the final issue.

SWORDQUEST #4

“Final Level”
Writers: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Artist: Ghostwriter X

Peter and his friends plan their heist of the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery from the video game expo. Like any plan it usually doesn’t go as planned. First off Konrad Juros acolytes take Alvin hostage so Amy will behave. Then Peter meets Konrad himself and goads Peter into hitting him. This gets Peter thrown out. But Peter isn’t deterred and steals a senor Bagel costume to get back in.

At the panel that Amy is giving Konrad comes to present the sword. Peter is discovered and security come to arrest him. Amy knocks the sword out of Konrad’s hands and Peter manages to pick it up. There is bright flash and Peter disappears with the sword. He finds himself transported to another world.

The big heist for the sword was a fun story. Terry the man-bun guy is a total fruitcake and gets distracted. Amy and Alvin are threatened by Konrad’s hooded acolytes with guns. Peter Case the chosen by the sword manages to continue and get the sword. He finds himself in the mythical world of Swordquest. So a charming story that I look forward to seeing how it ends.

DEJAH THORIS #8

“Untitled”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Pasquale Qualano

A giant black pirate ship is about to capture the Xatatian. They manage to evacuate most of the crew before the ship is swallowed up. In meeting with the blacks the Jeddak finds out that they want the radium cannons and the traitorous architect Ando Norak. The black pirates are also allied with the Zodangans. Naturally Tardos Mors refuses and the crew prepares to fight. They plant radium bombs and set a trap with nets for the attacking pirates.

Another interesting development in the story. The black pirates have made an appearance and are allied with Helium’s enemy Zodanga. The artist portrays the blacks as over eight feet tall which I don’t remember from the original books. The story is fast paced and goes quickly which is not necessarily a bad thing.

SWORDQUEST #3

“Stage Two Start”
Writers: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Artist: Ghostwriter X

Peter, Alvin, Amy and the mysterious man-bun who is named Terry are heading to California. They have to get through the TSA but arrive safely in L.A. The first stop is the headquarters of Conjure Software and a meeting with Conrad Juros. The receptionist can’t get them a meeting until Peter tells him they are there to see the Dark Arcade. Well that works and Mr. Juros greets them all smiles. He shows the Dark Arcade which has all the failed video games from the eighties. The one they are most interested in is Airworld.

Juros leaves Peter alone as the others leave. Juros tells them that the game was never finished and impossible to win. Peter comes out a few minutes later looking dejected and the group leaves. Later Juros discovers Peter won the game. Terry gave Peter a copy of the Airworld comic which had all the clues and Peter easily won. So Juros gets his corporate board together and they don sinister robes. For the sword has chosen its champion and Peter Case must die.

Well this series just keeps getting weirder and weirder. It has plenty of humor like Peter joking about milking his condition for a best case scenario of six months. Or Terry who has a bandolier of burner phones and his response that he doesn’t want the dark sinister forces to monitor him gets a special TSA body search. There is a certain surreal feel to this story. The evil wizard who masquerades as a friendly video game designer. The stuffy board members who can change into evil cultist types. You still wonder if everything is real or just a figment of the characters crazy imagination. Quite an engaging story.

DEJAH THORIS #7

“Untitled”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artists: Pasquale Qualano & Vincenzo Federici

Dejah and Keel Kors are searching for the assassin. Dejah studies the plans and notices that there seems to be a secret space in the bottom of the ship. They explore there and find the assassin. It is Ando Norak the architect of the ship. He is angry at the corruption of Helium and claims to control the 8th ray buoyancy tanks. At the end the ship is attacked by the Black Pirates of Barsoom.

So some more interesting developments. We find out the assassin who has control of the ship. Keel Kors is hopelessly in love with Dejah. It ends with introducing the Black Pirates. This was a short and sedate issue but did set up to move the story into more exciting action.

SWORDQUEST #2

“Atara!”
Writers: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Artist: Ghostwriter X

Long ago four worlds existed. Earthworld, Fireworld, Waterworld and Airworld. These worlds were unstable so were united into the world of Atara. Yet the four tribes of these worlds were constantly at war with one another. One day a thief Rulero stole the four talismens of the factions and melted them into a sword. This allowed him to be king of Atara. He had twin sons Tarr and Tyran. Tarr the first was more popular and made the heir. This angered Tyran who went to the dark wizard Konjuro for help in killing his brother and his two twin nieces. Then he killed his father but could not make the sword’s magic work. The tyrant Tyrannis the First had Konjuro take the sword to Earth to hide it because a prophecy stated that the true heir would use it to kill Tyrannis.

So man-bun tells the story. Amy has Peter leave man-bun with her brother Alvin so she can talk some sense into Peter. When they return Alvin has decided he wants to help steal the sword which really freaks out Amy. Man-bun says that to win the sword Peter must finish the fourth challenge but Airworld was never made. Amy says she heard one of the developers Konrad Juros is rumored to have the game. Man-bun also confirms that Konrad is the dark wizard Konjuro.

Well this issue had a ton of revelations. We get the story of the real world that inspired the Swordquest games. Then the second part is how this Man-bun was able to convince the two guys and reluctantly Amy to help steal the sword. The whole thing does sound nuts but I find it quite entertaining. A very offbeat series.

DEJAH THORIS #6

“Untitled”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Pasquale Qualano

In the city of Hastor the Xataxian the largest ship ever build is being launched. It is going on a scientific expedition to chart the atmosphere. We are introduced to the captain Keel Kors, prince of Hastor. The ceremony is interrupted by a Zodangan assassin that throws a bomb. He is then killed by Dekana the administrator of the Royal Academy.

Later Dejah is given a tour of the ship on its maiden voyage. She finds it loaded with weapons as Keel explains there are many dangers they may encounter. While sleeping Dejah is awakened by a sorak and meets Keel who is still up. Just then another Zodangian assassin strikes but the sorak attacks and drives him away. The blood trail leads to Dekana’s chamber. Dejah finds her in bed with his grandfather. Her grandfather take Dejah for a walk and shows her giant radium cannons that are going to destroy the Zodangian fleet.

So we are introduced to the second story line. Two characters that seem central. Dekana who is sleeping around with the Jeddak and someone Dejah doesn’t seem to like. The other is Captain Keel who is obviously infatuated with Dejah. The Zodangians are clearly out to kill the royal family and the scientific mission has an ulterior motive. Lots of intrigue and mystery so far.

SWORDQUEST #1

“Realworld”
Writers: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Artist: Ghostwriter X

The World Video Museum gets a call from a mysterious man with a man-bun about the Ultimate Sword of Sorcery that is on display. He finds out that it will be on display in Las Vegas at the gaming Expo. He then throws away his phone and takes off on his motorcycle. Peter Chase has come to a book signing by his old childhood friend Amy Perez. She wrote a book on video games. He also meets his other friend Alvin. In a flashback we see how the two broke up over Peter’s attempt to hold his hand during a movie.

Peter came to Amy to get help in stealing the sword. With her connections she could get him into the Expo. Naturally his friends think he’s nuts. Just then the mysterious man shows up saying that the sword wants Peter.

So this first issue is establishing the main characters. We get a glimpse of how Peter got out of touch with them. That Peter is kind of nuts in needing to steal this sword before he dies in six months. Then there is this mysterious man with the man-bun. Didn’t know there was a World Video game museum. I wonder if its real and where it is. Anyway the first issue has got my interest.