Review: Mars Attacks: First Born #1
It’s Mars Attacks like you’ve never seen it, from the co-creator of The Maxx and the team behind The Hollows! When Mars attacked Earth, the battle left no side unscarred, least of all a lonely old man and his blind niece…along with the first Martian child born on Earth! Will the child’s warlike ways take over, or is there more going on here than it seems?
IDW kicks off a new and very different Mars Attack story this month with the launch of Mars Attacks: First Born #1. The story reunites The Hollows team of Chris Ryall and Sam Kieth. The two men worked on the story together with Ryall taking on script duties and Kieth handling the art. Shawn Lee rounds things out with lettering. The Hollows was a surprise hit, but can Ryall and Kieth recapture that magic with the help of some violent little Martians?
The Martians attacked, killed most everything, destroyed most everything, and then they left. When they packed up and moved on, they left something behind. A Martian baby, the first Martian child ever born on Earth, was left and found by a lonely little girl and her protective uncle. Uncle “Woody” Allan and his niece Claire are trying to put the pieces of their lives back together after the Martian invasion. Claire was struck blind, but she managed to hold onto her wide-eyed optimism and sense of hope. She cares for ‘baby,’ the Martian child she thinks is an odd little human baby. As the aliens start to make their presence known again, Woody and Claire may find out that the world they’ve created for themselves is about to go up in flames thanks to the barrel of a disintegration gun. Are the Martians really returning? What is Uncle Woody working on in his basement? What will a Martian raised on Earth grow up to be?
Ryall writes a really well-rounded and grownup story. The Hollows really brought the emotional gut-punches, and it seems like First Born will hit even harder. This is a story about family wrapped in the shiny paper of Mars Attack. It’s probably the most adult and complex Mars Attack story to date. It breaks the mold and proves it’s something different and special from page one. Kieth’s art is fantastic. He makes some beautifully disgusting Martians but manages to make the little one rather cute. This is just pure Kieth art, but there are some Wally Wood influences that make for some truly striking images of a giant spaceship and domed aliens. It’s something you’ll flip back through four or five times to see again.
Bottom Line: Ryall and Kieth trick you into thinking this is a Mars Attack story. It is a Mars Attack story in the strictest sense, but it’s so much more. Those two men don’t do simple. You’re going to want to pay attention to this series. 4.5/5
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