Journey back to 1996, when the President of the United States announces that Martian crafts are circling the Earth. Based on the hit trading card game, Tim Burton brought to life Mars Attacks in the cult classic film…which may or may not have anything to do with IDW’s release Mars Attacks! #1 as part of their Greatest Hits series.
We start out in the year 1962, when a pair of delightful country bumpkins approaching the site of a recently downed flying saucer. They find Zar, a member of the crew from the spacecraft. Rolly, the brawn of the pair, suggests he can get a ‘hunnert bucks’ for their find. With little convincing, Burt agrees to help his partner and we are led to a panel showing a county fair.
Mars Attacks was a 1962 series of trading cards based on the artwork of noted artists Wallace Wood and Norman Saunders. The cards play out a story arc of Earth being attacked by aliens from Mars. Over the years the Mars Attacks treatment was expanded to mini comic books, various merchandise and the ’96 Burton film treatment. IDW’s Greatest Hit Mars Attacks! gives us a motive for the events of Mars Attacks! and in issue #1 we learn of Zar, who would later go onto becoming General Zar, leader of Martian forces bent on the destruction of Earth and enslavement of its people. After Rolly and Burt sell Zar to a carnival side show, he crew comes looking for him, only to be met by gun-toting rednecks. Zar escapes back to the crash site and signals to the Martian fleet.
This book is a must pick for any lover of the classic card game or movie lover alike. The art of John McCrea sets a great visual tone and the storytelling of John Layman builds at the perfect pace to suck readers in and waiting patiently at the counter of their local comic book store to snag issue #2. My recommendation, get as much Mars Attacks! into your pull list as possible!