Review: ‘Mars Attacks’ #9

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With incredibly smart writing and eye-catching illustrations, reader will definitely get a kick out of Mars Attacks #9. With a bit of quirky humor, this is a solid take on the alien invasion of Earth. Readers will become hooked with the “Mars Attacks” series after reading this awesome issue.

WRITTEN BY: John Layman
ART BY: John McCrea
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: April 10, 2013

The Martians came to Earth with the single objective to destroy its inhabitants. With an unstoppable force of spaceships and monsters, the Martians easily outnumbered and defeated the humans. Even after taking so many lives, the Martians were unprepared for a massive resistance attack. Because of his young age and lack of social skills, Tommy Bailey became the unlikeliest of Earth’s heroes. Smarter and cunning than everyone else, Tommy is able to outwit the Martians and survive on his own. But, Tommy is about to learn that there is something far deadlier and more dangerous than the Martians; the rest of the human race.

What I found interesting about John Layman’s writing is how he tells the story through Tommy’s naïve point-of-view. In most sci-fi/horror tales, the running theme is that it’s the children who know more than the adults. Because he was able to make a toaster walk on two mechanical legs, Tommy is an absolute genius. Layman adds a nice twist and portrays Tommy without any social skills. If he wasn’t such a loner, Tommy would have figured out someone was going to steal his Martian translator device. Tommy is too young and inexperienced to understand what human nature is truly capable of.

Avery Hendershoot (I swear that’s his name) is the type of character you need in an alien invasion. With his long trench coat and cowboy hat, Avery looks like he stepped out of a Western movie. Lucky to be alive, Tommy first meets Avery with his guns blazing. Layman then adds to their odd couple dynamic with such witty banter.

The illustrations by artist John McCrea are just amazing to look at. In the opening pages, McCrea depicts flying alien spaceships and man-eating plant monsters taking down cities. Then, McCrea illustrates the war-torn city as a frozen wasteland. The Martians are patrolling the empty streets with a giant spider following them. During Avery’s flashbacks, a giant robot is tearing down buildings with its long mechanical arms.

Avery, the gunfighter, looks like he could have been in a John Wayne movie. In his character design, Avery has long hair, unshaven cheeks, and always hides his eyes behind sunglasses. McCrea even plants Avery in the middle of a western shootout with the Martians. Avery doesn’t hold back from pulling the trigger as he holds a gun in each hand.

The “Mars Attacks” series has a lot of quirky humor and action that readers will enjoy.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis

Header art courtesy of Chris Mason.