mars slice

Exclusive: First peek inside Dynamite's wild new Mars Attacks comic series

Contributed by
Jan 28, 2020, 3:50 PM EST (Updated)

Watch the skies! SYFY WIRE has scored an exclusive look inside one of the most anticipated sci-fi comic series of the year, reviving one heck of a fun sci-fi story.

The gleefully demented invaders from the Red Planet are set to launch an all out assault on comic shops of Earth when Dynamite Comics' Mars Attacks #1 lands on October 24. And with Halloween just around the corner, this terrifying issue makes for a perfect trick-or-treat handout for the mature costumed crowd.

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This nostalgic new sci-fi title takes its cues from the original 55-card Topps collector set of the same name debuting back in 1962, with a barrage of frightening bubble-helmeted spacemen blasting pesky humans and national monuments with their electrifying disintegrator guns and blazing death rays. It also considers some of the more outrageous elements of Tim Burton's 1996 sci-fi parody, Mars Attacks!

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Written by Kyle Starks (Rick and Morty, Rock Candy Mountain) and hitched with art by award-winning cartoonist Chris Schweizer (The Creeps, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), Dynamite's version of this vintage classic finds the slacker character of Spencer paying a visit to his father to try and borrow some cash. But the Martian air force and infantry have arrived and are plotting world destruction and domination of the human species. Now Spencer and his dad are fleeing the saucer-led advance, trying to dodge space rays and power-hungry Martians, who are happily hellbent on zapping them like annoying insects.

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SYFY WIRE has an exclusive 5-page peek inside the pages of Mars Attacks #1 in the full gallery below, plus an intriguing chat with writer Kyle Starks on the genesis of this retro project, his associations with the crazy licensed property, and the incredible discovery of Chris Schweizer's art.

How did you get attached to this new Mars Attacks project?

KYLE STARKS: I've done several licensed books but I immediately had an idea for it when Dynamite asked me if I wanted to do it. My friend Chris Schweizer, who I think is America's best secret cartoonist, said he'd probably do the book when I told him about the project. I was pretty excited to have a good idea, but was even more excited when my for-real best friend was coming on to do full art duties.

mars attack slice

Can you take us for a quick spin around this wacky new alien invasion series?

I kinda wanted to do something similar to what Spielberg did with War of the Worlds, this quiet journey that ran adjacent to the big happenings from the actual book. We were dealing with the old Len Brown and Wally Wood card series, which are amazing, and tell this great story about the Martian attack, and that was the inspiration, a story running parallel to these cards. It's about a retired ex-military dad and his lazy, roustabout son who are complete opposites and they go on this adventure. It's going to be funny and it's going to be charming and super violent, as one would expect from a Mars Attacks book, and chock full of Martian goodies and easter eggs. I'm super proud of the story I tell with this father and son.

Are you a fan of the Mars Attacks Topps cards or the Tim Burton movie?

I never saw the cards until recently. In 1996 I was 19 and I was all about Tim Burton. I love that movie. How do you top Jim Brown bare-knuckle brawling the Martians?! That's the best! You can't! The movie is fun and those cards are really entertaining. In a way they're sequential story-telling, it's comics-adjacent. Seeing those cards I got really excited and knew this is what I want to do. This is the Mars Attacks universe I want to play in.


How does Chris Schweizer's art capture the tone and style of your story?

Chris' art is very clean and very kinetic and I think for this story, where it's balls-to-the- wall action, it's great. He's one of the best cartoonists in America and his art is so good it could capture and relay anything. He's done historical fiction and he's done kids' series and to do something so big and so violent and so explosive, I think it was a really exciting challenge for him. Mars Attacks is fun! It's all going to be fun! This book comes out the week before Halloween so why not get yourself a little Martian fun-fun.

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