Sci-fi Fantasy VS Sci-fi Comedy – Warlord Of Mars Attacks #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The Moonhead has unleashed an army (the Martians of Mars Attacks) have unleashed hell on Barsoom. John Carter has attempted to stop the production of soldiers, but his mission was unsuccessful. Now, he returns to the palace capital of Helium as these new Martians lay waste to Barsoom’s atmosphere factory. Dejah Thoris has a desperate ploy to stop the Moonhead’s forces, but it may cost her and John Carter everything. On Earth, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrate their lander reaching Mars.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 cover by Dave Johnson
Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 cover by Dave Johnson

Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 brings together the universe of John Carter, Warlord of Mars with Mars Attacks for a crossover that doesn’t turn out quite like one might expect.

Anyone expecting a brutal and even-handed battle between John Carter with his allies and the Martians of Mars Attacks would be surprised (and maybe even a little disappointed) by the apparent trouncing that the Moonhead Martians are delivering to Barsoom.

I wasn’t even expecting the story to go to Earth whatsoever, personally. The comic doesn’t quite signal it, but the Earth section takes place after an indeterminate time skip.

The comic does draw upon the comedic roots of Mars Attacks too. John Carter’s dialogue is often cartoonishly over-the-top, the Moonhead Martians have some good slapstick moments, and the scenes on Earth have a lot of awkward humor of their own.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 art by Dean Kotz, Omi Remalante, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 art by Dean Kotz, Omi Remalante, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Dean Kotz’s artwork brings an appealingly classic style to the crossover. John Carter looks like an old-fashioned hero (drawing on his Edgar Rice Burroughs roots), and the Moonhead Martians look like the same ugly monsters they’ve always been. Omi Remalante’s color art brings the rustic color palette that Barsoom needs.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 is a decent first step for this oddball crossover. It seems to deliberately sidestep the plot one would expect in this crossover, and it presents more of a comedic story than one might expect. It’s a solid read, and it’s worth a recommendation. Feel free to pick it up.

Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 comes to us from writer Jeff Parker, artist Dean Kotz, color artist Omi Remalante, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, cover artist Dave Johnson, and variant cover artists Marco D’Alfonso, Ramon Villalobos, and Ben Caldwell.

Final Score: 6.5/10

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