Review: “Mars Attacks: First Born” #1

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Review by: Your Friendly Neighborhood Brady

Martians just love attacking our planet, don’t they? They just keep on invading Earth over and over and over. “Mars Attacks: First Born” #1 shows us how survivors cope and how their children are forced to adapt. When the world is devastated, children are often not considered for a story focus. I think we’re finding out why. It’s not pretty and it’s not too great to read about, either.
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WRITTEN BY: Chris Ryall
ART BY: Sam Kieth
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: 14 May 2014

This Martian invasion story starts off very different than most: a softer, gentler approach if you will. It feels almost like a diary being read aloud and drawn for us to see. Blind girl Clare, Uncle Woody, and a baby Martian are our cast of characters. They live in a bunker hiding from more Martian attacks. Uncle tinkers on some kind of giant machine while Clare unknowingly plays with a baby invader. Writer Chris Ryall has certainly given us an interesting premise to start off our story.

The artwork by veteran Sam Kieth is an interesting choice. Most of his panels feel like they’ve been drawn by the children in the story itself. It’s an unusual choice for a Mars Attacks story but this IS an unusual story. It’s a really odd mix of super-simplified art when you look at the people. Kieth’s art gets denser as the story goes into the darker corners of this world. The Martians seem to warrant more menacing detail than humans in this issue.

Ryall is no stranger to writing about aliens or destruction. His resume speaks for itself. For me, his work has been really hit-or-miss. I really enjoyed his work during the Infestation cross-over. His other book, The Colonized, didn’t do much for me. To me, it feels like he’s trying to craft a fairy-tale story where baby Martians and blind little girls get into mischief. Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much mischief to be had in this first chapter. It seems to teeter in the middle and doesn’t know what it is yet. I hope that this story gets more comical or dark next month.

Official Score