The Artwork on this book deserves a Five out of Five rating; the writing, however, deserves a One out of Five. First, the good: the artwork. This book has the feel of the 1962 Mars Attacks trading card set. The colors seem over-saturated, the details like the motorist melted in a temporal rift stand out, and the monsters look monstrous. Remember that this is an over-the-top approach, so don’t bemoan the dinosaurs being scientifically inaccurate. Check out the afterwards with the great picture of the triceratops attacking a man.
The bad: the writing. There’s an overabundance of dialogue and exposition that the time the dinosaurs show up to attack, the comic book ends. The overall plot involves a McGuffin of a device that allows humans to see back in the past. A splinter group sabotages the contraption, and the mayhem stats. Fun little elements that work but are lost in the deluge of dialogue include a scientist haunted by evil eyes.
Mars Attacks, IDW’s other book of the same style, works so well because it adopts smart elements that gel into a compelling story. This book relies so much on concept that it forgets to deliver on the basic storytelling elements that make its sister book so enjoyable month after month.
Don’t get me wrong—dinosaurs are awesome. They just need a better handling of writing to make them the menacing sauropods that we all know and love.
Score: 3 (for the artwork) out of 5
Writer: Gary Gerani
Artist: Herb Trimpe
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: 7/17/13