Dynamite Comics New Release: Mars Attacks Red Sonja - Reviewed

photo courtesy Dynamite Entertainment

What do Mars Attacks and Red Sonja in common? Nothing. But that has never stopped Dynamite from mashing up two beloved intellectual properties before! Thus, we have the new comic book mini-series, Mars Attacks Red Sonja: Angry Red Planet.

As a fan of both Mars Attacks and Red Sonja, when I heard of this mash-up I immediately became curious as to how these two could flow together. To me, the sword and sorcery tone of Red Sonja is slightly more serious that the campy vibe of the little green men of Mars Attacks. Truth be told, I was doubtful this could be done well. Thankfully, the book is penned by John Layman, who has previously worked on IDW's Mars Attacks run, and headed up the Red Sonja/Claw crossover. His prior experience and self-proclaimed love of both universes (in fact, this crossover was something that he has pushed to get made) makes for a good mix of over-the-top sci-fi violence and over-the-top sword and sorcery violence, with the tone more on the Red Sonja side.

Make no mistake about the title, this is a Red Sonja book and if you come into this for her, you won't be disappointed. The story, like the title suggests, centers around a Martian attack during the Hyborian Age. The She-Devil with a Sword moseys into a town that's under attack, as she is wont to do, only this time the attacks are Martian-led. Of course, by the end of the issue, Red Sonja joins in on the fight for her own reasons. All in all, fans of both the red-headed and the green-skinned will be amused by this book, even if it's just to see it happen.

Fran Strukan, previously known for his work on Dynamite's The Shape of Elvira, delivers the art for this book with a stylized, almost minimalist look. For those who enjoy this type of art, you'll love this. Others who like the classic fantasy style art associated with both Red Sonja and Mars Attacks, might miss the shock of gratuitously detailed gore, gazing into the intense folds behind glass domes on the Martian's heads, or getting lost in engrossing backgrounds. 

Issue #1 comes out August 26th, with a cover by Red Sonja cover veteran, Lucio Parillo, and variants by Dustin Nguyen, Arthur Suydam, Luca Strati, and Barry Kitson.

-Mara Powell