Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Mars Attacks #3
Layman, McCrea & Elder
The third issue of Mars Attacks solidifies this book as a must read comic book each and every month. Admittedly, I only picked up the first issue because John Layman (of Chew fame) was the writer. The fact that John McCrea was on pencil duty just made it a bonus. The first two issues were fun, gory and entertaining, which is just what I expect from a John Layman book. However, the premise just didn’t seem like it could last beyond an arc or two. The Martians invade and a lot of people die and the entire planet is basically on fire. However, Layman pulls off an innovative issue as the tide turns on the Martians in one very small, unlikely, pocket of resistance. The issue is brilliant in the setup, build up and reveal. This was a terrific read.
The issue opens with some trademark Layman humor as he gives us the ‘then’ and ‘now’ perspective as various characters are seen in their everyday lives just prior to the invasion and immediately after. I found myself laughing, in spite of the violence, at the situations and captions. Layman had my attention and had me intrigued to say the least, at this point.
Then the issue moves to the story of Sidney Rose. Rose runs the flea circus for a carnival and insists that his fleas are real and have been trained since the day they were born. This is important because it illustrates that he is attached to them. Sidney finds himself shunned and outcast when giant sized insects are recruited by the Martians to kill humans.
Sidney then hatches a scheme and Layman sticks the landing as the book ends in terrific fashion. While the ending doesn’t necessarily push us into a global view of the invasion, it certainly sets up some great subplots to follow as the series grows. Sidney is certainly a compelling character to follow.
McCrea does an excellent job on pencils. There are two moments that are hysterical, but brutal and I attribute a lot of that mixed emotion to McCrea. When Sidney meets the soldier that has no lower half I couldn’t help but laugh. The expressions on the character’s faces as they discuss the prospects of dying are simply priceless. The other image was the classroom at the very beginning of the book. Equal parts funny and grotesque. McCrea did a marvelous job on this issue.
Mars Attacks is a niche genre. Or is it? I believe, with this issue, that anyone can pick this up and find themselves laughing, cringing and wanting more, all while being highly entertained. Layman and McCrea have a winner here as I plan to stick with this one for the long haul. I urge you to check it out.
4.5 out of 5 geek goggles