Mars Attacks is published by Dynamite Entertainment, written by Kyle Starks, drawn by Chris Schweizer, with colors from Liz Trice Schweizer. The series follows the adventure of Spencer and his Pop as they try to survive the Martian UFO attacks that are quickly ending the world. Previously, we saw the pair narrowly escape with a new friend added to their group.
In issue three, Spencer, Pop, and their new dog have been traveling with a military group when the Martians that Tim Burton made famous in his cult classic of the same name, descend with their flying insect kaiju in toe.
With dialogue that sets the tone of the world, the ability of the comic to really focus on a father-son relationship against the backdrop of an alien invasion is great. The balance between the larger concern of the world and the private concern of their relationship is well done with the art adding humor and accenting the “This isn’t the right time…” to be talking about this feeling.
While I enjoy the story, specifically seeing Spencer and his dad grow closer and begin to understand each other, the art and colors are my favorite of any title out right now and a reason why I will keep picking up the book. The art itself is dynamic with three of my favorite being the onomatopoeia shown in someone’s blood, the use of a word bubble appearing distorted, making the words illegible and highlighting the fact that it’s coming in over radio static, and the design of the creatures attacking.
The colors are vibrant and set the story. The way that Trice Schweizer using monochromatic palettes to show the darkness of night and adjusts it to when they enter areas with varying degrees of light is beautifully done. The pops of fire in the darkness are also perfect.
But beyond the fantastic art, the sentiment shared at the end of the comic was actually perfect for an issue released so soon after Christmas. Family is hard, and it might not be great all the time, but you have to have each other’s backs. “Family is like the Alamo,” is a simile that I haven’t heard used before and Pop’s explanation for it is heartwarming.
Truth be told, Spence and Pop have some real depth to them, and I didn’t think that they would. Starks writes the characters as tropes, the loser son, the domineering father, and expands them into characters with motives and reasons for being how they are. I wasn’t hooked after issue 2, but now I am.
Mars Attacks issue three gives you explosions, monsters, UFOs, and a heartwarming father-son story. This is a series that is a must read.
Rating: 5/5 salt and pepper shakers
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.