The long wait is over and the invasion has officially begun! Hold on to your hats, folks, because Mars Attacks!
The issue centers mainly on one martian who crashed on Earth back in 1962 (nice touch there) and went through a rather nasty ordeal including being beat up, sold to a carnival and getting a scar on his face. Zar, as he’s called, swore revenge on the humans no matter how long it would take. Fifty years later, he’s back to get his vengeance. While it’s interesting to see that at least one martian has a personal reason for wanting to destroy the humans, my hope is that it isn’t the only reason. I kind of like the idea of Mars attacking Earth simply because they wanted to. Martians are evil buggers.
However, the plus with having a character like Zar is we can actually identify with one of these martians. For the most part, they all look the same and are following orders from someone but with Zar we have one with a personal vendetta against Earth and in some ways it’s justified. But having the humans so over the top vile is a bit much, the martians should be the villains here, not the humans.
But this is just the first issue so there is no way to tell what direction we may be going here but I do know this: Mars Attacks! is another example of IDW Publishing taking a property to the next level and they have promised that this is the beginning of an all new universe of Mars Attacks! so you don’t have to be familiar with the cards or the 1996 movie to be able to get into this series! It’s hard to imagine that this is the same IDW that, years ago, I would get zombie comics from. Anyone remember the series Zombies! Feast? Seems like this publisher has come a LONG way since then!
So, the story is already fantastic and I’m eager to see where it goes from here so let’s talk about how the book looks. John McCrea’s art really gives this book the big event feel. Even when we are seeing what Zar goes through, it has the look of ‘this is not going to end well for anyone’ to it. It should also be mentioned that the colorist here, Andrew Elder, does a great job as well. The whole package just looks fantastic! One of the nicer touches is the inclusion of panels made to look like the Mars Attacks! trading cards. That was very nice!
Speaking of package… Mars Attacks! came with a total of 58 covers. Fifty five of them were reproductions of of the classic trading cards from 1962, 1 was a 1:10 retailer incentive cover, 1 is the San Diego ComiCon exclusive and the last one was available only with the purchase of the Mars Attacks! Complete Box Set, which also included the RI cover and the 55 card covers. I ordered the box set because I’m a sucker for these cards. I’ve always wanted to own a set but never have.
The card covers were much better looking than I expected, even the owner of my LCS commented on how they look really good for being oversized reproductions of 50 year old trading cards. I spent a long time just staring at many of these, just soaking in the detail. Some of these would make sweet posters!
The box itself was bigger than I expected, I’ve included a picture of it here to give those of you who haven’t seen it an idea of its size. It’s a very well made box, nice and sturdy which makes sense considering it was to contain over 10lbs. of comics! The empty box will find a home on a shelf along with the Mars Attacks! figures I plan to buy and place around it.
Overall, this was probably the biggest launch for a series I’ve ever been involved in as a fan and reader. I can say that this book did not let me down at all. The story is a great starting place for new fans, just forget the movie which was fun for what it was but it’s wasn’t pure Mars Attacks! because this gives you everything you need to fully enjoy it. The art is fun and vibrant, it fits perfectly with this book.
Here’s hoping this series lasts for a very long time!
And now, here are the rest of the covers for this book, starting with the Box Set Exclusive: