Defending The Naked Dejah Thoris Against The Lawyers

The legal fight between Edgar Rice Burroughs’ family and Dynamite over the publication of Warlord Of Mars and Dejah Thoris has been picked up by Hollywood Reporter. And the aspect that we picked up on has been highlighted, that the Dynamite comics have damaged the Warlord Of Mars and Dejah Thoris properties by portraying them in a pornographic manner.

In July 2010, says the lawsuit, the defendants introduced new comic books, including the “Warlord of Mars” series, which the plaintiffs believe to be an infringement of the John Carter series.

The covers were risqué. Here’s one example of “pornographic” work that ERB is now complaining about, saying its “extremely valuable reputation may be permanently damaged.”

Really? I mean, the Dejah Thoris depictions are rather of the clothing-deprived nature.

But… have the Edgar Burroughs people read… what Edgar Burroughs wrote when we first encountered the woman in question in Princess Of Mars?

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.

The UK copyright issue, I think that’s a slam dunk, the trademarks, that’s an arguable issue, but the nudity? Please. This is like the future estate of Pamela Anderson objecting to an image that shows her cleavage.

You put a bangle and a tiara on a totally nude Dejah Thoris, and it’s in keeping with canon. If anything the more family friendly version seen in the movie and other, earlier, comic book adaptations, is less in keeping with the original.