By PS Hayes
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Mars Attacks #1 Story & Lettered by John Layman
Art by John McCrea
Colored by Andrew Eder
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Covers 1-55 by Norman Saunders
Retail Exclusive Cover by John McCrea
Retail Exclusive Cover Colored by Andrew Elder
San Diego Comicon Exclusive Cover by Matt Frank
Box Set Cover art by Zina Saunders IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99
Mars Attacks #1 was a very different sort of animal. Sure, you can guess by the title that there are creatures from the planet Mars and that they’re attacking, but beyond that, it’s really not like what you’d expect at all.
John Layman takes the old Mars Attacks formula and turns it a little bit askew from what we’re used to. And it works like a charm!! I know you’re sick of my saying this, but I try to NEVER give away spoilers, but this story is told from an unusual point of view. There’s also an unusual narrative within the book, one that makes you want the LAST issue (or close to it) to get here as quickly as possible.
One thing that I LOVED was that the Martian dialogue isn’t translated for the reader, that is SO much fun. This allows you and and I to make up our OWN dialogue for the Martians and I love when writers do this with aliens or monsters. It makes it that much more intense for the reader because there’s a certain air of mystery about the villains…or, in this case, Martians. This will surprise you, but I have NO nostalgia for Mars Attacks, and yet, I really liked this issue, and will definitely collect the series to see where it goes. Layman has also given us the ULTIMATE cliffhanger ending – right on the first page.
If someone told me that this art was by John McCrea, I would strongly argue that it’s not. But, it is. He REALLY changes up his style here, and I would’ve guessed that his normal style would’ve looked perfect in this book anyway. There are a couple panels that are vintage McCrea, but other than that, they look very different from his “normal” stuff. And I LOVE his designs for the Martians and their tech. They’re classic, yet don’t quite EXACTLY look like the ones that have been used for the last almost four decades. He’s taken some great chances with his art here and it pays off well. A beautiful-looking book!
I’d say pick this one up. It’s a good time. Pure escapist fantasy and it’s a very well done book art-wise. But most of all, it’s fun. There’s nothing heavy about it at all. I’m not sure if the Mars Attacks franchise has any continuity to it, aside from the card set, but to me this felt fresh AND familiar, both at the same time. Highly recommended!