Review: Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated
Behold three classic tales of literary genius filtered through the cracked lens of the Mars Attacks universe! Herman Melville comes face-to-face with a Martian in a twisted take on Moby Dick! Mars High Command has in its sights a serum that brings out the worst in humanity in a transformative version of Jekyll & Hyde! A shipwrecked Martian finds himself marooned on a lonely island on planet Earth in a send-up of Robinson Crusoe!
Mars sets their sites on three classic works of literature this week in Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated. Three works of literature get the Mars Attacks treatment by three different creative teams. Phil Hester and artist John McCrea with colorist Andrew Elder take on Moby Dick, Beau Smith with artist Kelley Jones and colorist Jay Fotos handle Jekyll & Hyde, and Neil Kleid with artist Carlos Valenzuela and colorist ScarletGothica tackle Robinson Crusoe. Tom B. Long letters all three stories. So does Classics Obliterate offer up a good Mars Attacks story, or is it a bigger mess than the cities the Martians attack?
Briefly sketching out all three stories, you have Herman Melville writing about his journeys aboard a whaling ship. He is looking for inspiration for his writings, and things are looking very similar to that one big book he wrote. Things are going along as smoothly as they can on an old whaling ship, then Mars Attacks! Melville’s encounter with aliens may just give him the inspiration he was searching for. The second story is a sci-fi/futuristic take on Jekyll & Hyde. Dr. Jekyll has created a DNA enhancement formula, and the Martians want to take it and use it as a weapon. The fight rages on when Jekyll uses a little of his own medicine to transform into the hulking Mr. Snide. The big monster is more than the invaders bargain for, but if getting what they want may just be the biggest disaster of all. Finally, Robin Crusoe explores what happens when a Martian is the only survivor on an island. Martians seem to be just as susceptible to loneliness and madness as humans are. What happens when a human washes ashore?
The stories read rather fast and the book feels more like an anthology than a one-shot of Mars Attacks paying homage to classic literature. The stories feel a little rushed plot wise and you’re given just a brief little glimpse of three things that could probably be fleshed out into larger comics on their own. The art in all three are fantastic. You have three different styles with each one offering up some amazing visuals as the little green men attack.
Bottom Line: Classics Obliterated is a great idea that ends up turning into more of a light snack than a full meal. If you’re a fan of the three classics chosen or Mars Attacks, you’ll probably find a lot to love. Otherwise, it’s a fun set of shorts but the $7.99 price tag might give you second thoughts. 3/5
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