Mars attacked. We lost. This is what happens next. Let me start off by saying that the image of these aliens from the Tim Burton movies scared me pretty good as a kid. There’s something about the giant brains and skeleton faces. These vicious bastards have returned in this new arc of the Mars Attacks comic book series, Mars Attacks: Occupation. This story follows Ruby Johnson, a member of the enslaved human race. Ruby has dreams of leading a resistance against the martian overloads but it seems pretty apparent that they are here to stay. In one particular scene we see a potential rebel silenced by an alien laser. There’s little hope in this new world. Ruby has accepted this and works as a grunt worker.
The current story is mixed with flashbacks of Ruby’s father attempting to lead an escape from during the beginning of the alien invasion. He has all the traits of the normal movie hero that overthrows the aliens. Safe to say he fails but Ruby takes on his best qualities after his demise. It’s the fight in her that the Martians eventually see and plan to use for their advantage.
I enjoyed the artwork and thought the coloring set the mood for the dreary new earth. There are some really beautiful pages of golden sunsets and bleak shadowy nights of the invasion. The character designs are simple here. That’s a good thing. So often with science fiction books there’s a tendency to go over the top to establish that this world isn’t like our own. I do think that the aliens lose a lot of the terror in appearance from page to page. Some of their facial features aren’t consistent throughout the book. Mars Attacks does a great job of showing a low-tech occupation of earth. There are a few space ships lingering here and there, but making the setting a more realistic earth makes the alien overlord appearances among the humans stand out.
Overall this is pretty interesting for a new reader. Ruby is the type of strong heroine I see leading a new resistance against the Martians. I’m not sure if that’s the direction that the story is going to go to but even if it doesn’t I think there are some interesting stories that can be told within this occupied world.
Mars Attacks: Occupation #1 Writer: John Layman Artist: Andy Kuhn Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/9/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital