In the 9-6, day to day life that we live in today, there are rarely any surprises. We have micro-managed the element of chance from our existence. We walk pre-set paths from responsibility to responsibility and if you’re in deep enough, even your free time feels as though you’re punching a time clock. Thus is the life of an adult, I guess. Work some, play some, and as a comic book enthusiast, read some. Who did Kirkman kill this week? How long until Marvel cancels Thunderbolts? When exactly will Image overtake DC? These are all interesting questions, but ultimately expected and they fit well as pacifiers while we wait for something truly exciting to “wow” us.
Occasionally, something comes along and breaks into our drone-like routines. This may not be something exciting, but it may be odd and that might be just enough. You might have to suspend your desire for “wow” and replace it with a celebration of “what?” This is the position that Mars Attacks The Transformers holds in my cultural zeitgeist.
It’s just kind of awkward. I liked Mars Attacks as a film and it still makes me laugh. They did a great job and utilized the myriad cameos to great effect. I’m not a super fan by any means, but I read a couple of the Mars Attacks novels as a young man and genuinely enjoyed them. I appreciate the absurdity and creativity involved in the Mars Attacks franchise.
It’s a little strange. As a young boy, I rarely watched Transformers, but I wanted all of the toys. There was something alluring about them. Maybe it was that my childhood friend, Steven, had more than me and I was chasing status. Maybe it was the fact that no matter how good you are at “transforming” them, the toys rarely looked like the box. I don’t know what it was, but I do know for a fact that something still tickles inside my heart when I see Soundwave. I’m a casual Transformers fan.
So, IDW took these two things and mashed them up? Well, I am obviously going to like that…and I did. Shane McCarthy does a wonderful job highlighting what makes both of these franchises great, while simultaneously lampooning the silly things. The whole thing is easy to take seriously with the art of Matt Frank who is able to meld both styles into a well-drawn, well-colored book. The jokes about Spike’s yellow boots or Cosmos or Megatron’s miniature lethal abilities are all spot on and feel true to character.
As a one-shot goes, Mars Attacks The Transformers did an admirable job. If you are not familiar with either of these franchises, you will probably be underwhelmed. If you are a fan of both of these series, this will be your bread and butter. You can buy it from Lonestar Comics for only $3.99. This one-shot is a love letter to fans of the two cult-favorites and if you fall into this category, I would suggest that you check it out.
~ Scott Deaux ~