Mars Attacks #3
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Chris Schweizer
I couldn’t have been older than five or six when I first saw Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks. It was absolutely terrifying to me. After some internet research about it, I need to see that movie again. It’s got some big names in the cast, and as an adult, I can safely say the CGI aliens are no longer scary. But we’re not talking about the movie, we’re talking about Mars Attacks the comic book.
Major Carbutt and his son Spencer are on the run from the invading Martians. In this third issue, they’re being escorted along by a small military convoy to a safe zone. All is going well until Martians start attacking and killing the soldiers, leaving the Carbutts to fend for themselves.
I think Kyle Starks is a great writer. He’s killing it on the Rick and Morty comic, and I think he’s killing it here with Mars Attacks. There are some funny moments in this issue. But I think what I like most about this is the father/son relationship of the Carbutts. Major Carbutt is that stereotypical “hard ass” old man military veteran, while his son Spencer never served, and can’t hold a job. It all comes to a head in this issue, with Spencer giving his dad a whole speech about being a disappointment to him. And the Major responding with kindness, saying he’s proud of his son. It’s all very touching, and it happens with a bunch of death and destruction happening, literally, all around them.
I like Chris Schweizer’s art, it feels appropriate. The movie isn’t serious in tone, and I think the art here reflects that tone in this comic. It’s more on the cartoonish side of things, but it softens the blow for some of the stuff depicted. People are being disintegrated into bones, and being cut in half with organs hanging out. You can tell what’s happening, but it’s not realistic or grotesque. On top of that, there’s some giant alien flies and spiders in this issue, and I dig the design on them. The Martians have a bit of that distinct look, but they don’t carry the same menace in this comic. They were small, and gangly, with weird brain-shaped heads. They were terrifying to child-me, but not so much in this comic.
I mainly started this comic because of my memories of the movie, but the heartwarming father/son story really steals the show. The way the Martians look is really my biggest gripe with this comic. But they’re not the main focus of the story, so it’s not a big deal. It’s really carried by the father/son main characters. There’s no connection to the movie besides, you know, the Martian invasion, but I like what this comic is doing, and where it’s going. If you like the movie, or any part of this comic appeals to you, you should be reading it.
Mars Attacks #3
Mars Attacks #3 continues the tale of a father and son trying to survive an alien invasion. The relationship between the two steals the show, along with great art.