There are few women of comics fiction I have enjoyed more – Clea perhaps, and Elektra and maybe the Black Widow – than Dejah Thoris, wife of John Carter in Dynamite’s current series, Warlord of Mars, as well as her own spinoff magazines.
She is, of course, a character from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of Martian novels. Princess of the Martian city-state/empire of Helium, Dejah Thoris is the love interest and later the wife of Carter, an Earthman mystically transported to Mars, and subsequently the mother of their son Carthoris and daughter Tara.
She played the role of the conventional damsel in distress who must be rescued from various perils in Burroughs’ novels, but is also portrayed as a competent and capable adventurer in her own right, fully capable of defending herself and surviving on her own in the wastelands of Mars.
That feminist mystique is amped to the max in the current Burroughs comics from Dynamite and she is certainly a favorite of all the cover artists (lol).
In the Martian novels, except for some jewelry, all of the planet's races seem to eschew clothing and look down upon Earth’s inhabitants because they do wear clothing. As Burroughs described Dejah Thoris:
“And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender, girlish figure, similar in every detail to the earthly women of my past life... Her face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her skin was of a light reddish copper color, against which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect.
“She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.”
As any reader of the Dynamite Burroughs comic books can tell you, Dejah Thoris is every bit the woman that Red Sonja may be thought of … and a lot more!