View Full Version : Comic Review : Mars Attacks The Transformers [uploaded]

Red Dave Prime
2013-08-04, 10:19 PM
Mars Attacks The Transformers

Published Date: January 2013
Written by: Shane McCarthy
Art by: Matt Frank
Colours by: Josh Perez
Edited by: Carlos Guzman
Cover price: $3.99


The Decepticons have finally been defeated. After a titanic battle in the centre of the City, Optimus Prime and his Autobots are victorious over Megatrons forces. However just as the ‘cons are being carried away by the US military, a new threat appears – Martians! And… they Attack! Despite being small they force the Autobots into cover, blowing Ironhide's arm off as a display of power.

Seeing a chance to re-join the battle, Megatron forges a truce with the Martians to help destroy the Autobots. The Decepticons re-engage the Autobots but just as both forces clash, a giant bubble encases them all. Realising he has been double crossed by the Martians, Megatron reluctantly agrees to join forces with Optimus Prime and the Autobots. They use a linked Soundwave and Blaster to destroy the giant bubble and attack the Martians as a combined force.

Despite a few setbacks (giant insects, miniaturise ray, Starscream's ambition), they rout the Martians. Just before the Aliens can counter, Cosmos appears to destroy their flying saucer fleet. Basking in their combined victory, Optimus extols the virtues of working together. Shaking hands with his nemesis / ally, he quickly realises that Megatron doesn’t share the same view. The battle goes on…

Characters featured [in rough order of appearance]:
Megatron, Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Ironhide, Ravage, Thundercracker, Bumblebee, Jazz, Starscream, Astrotrain, Soundwave, Blaster, Prowl, Ratchet, Cliffjumper, Bombshell, Kickback, Skywarp, Shrapnel, Cosmos


This is the first Transformers comic since Death of Optimus Prime to be edited by someone other than John Barber – Carlos Guzman looks things over this time. He had previously edited much of the Mike Costa era.

This story is not part of any of the IDW universe but looks to be set in the Sunbow Cartoon era. It is part of the 5 issue “Mars Attacks..” series that IDW ran but none of the stories are themselves interlinked beyond the appearance of the Martians.

All the characters are drawn in their cartoon stylings. Continuing the Sunbow theme, Megatron and Optimus both get to use their energon weapons here (a mace and an axe respectively).

Given the use of the cartoon cast, it’s a little odd that Wheeljack gets name-checked but doesn’t appear.


When Ironhide uses his hand to hit Cliffjumper it is clear that his right hand is holding his severed… right hand. It should be his left hand.

When the Army General gives out to Spike over his snazzy foot wear, the sentence reads “See any oil rigs around here Kid? No? ‘Cause there aren’t any yellow boots… Think it through next time”. There should be a full stop after the second “any”.

Given the use of the cartoon cast, it’s a little odd that Wheeljack gets named checked but doesn’t appear. Not so much a goof as just odd.

Quote Unquote:

“What... I… I’m an oil rig worker.” – Always thought it odd that Spike was both a teenage kid but dressed like an oil rig worker in the cartoon.

“Surrender now or we shall do unspeakable things to your faces and pets.” – The Martians sure know how to threaten.

“You realise..”
“If we’re to escape this..”
“Just Don’t”
“We need to work together as a team.” – Optimus Primes plan doesn’t appeal to a certain Peace-loving Tyrant.

“Kind of takes all the credit for himself doesn’t he?”
“It’s a thing.” – Cliffjumper and Thundercracker make note of Megatrons self-aggrandising.

“Die weak, yet stylishly dressed Human Scum.” – Well, somebody likes Spikes footwear.

“You’re just going to go back to trying to kill us aren’t you?” – Optimus realises that once a Decepticon, always a Decepticon.


Upon reading this stand-alone issue, the only thing I could think is that Shane McCarthy had been asked to condense his 12 issue maxi-series All Hail Megatron into 1 issue, add a touch of humour and some Martians. The result is fast, funny and fabulous. Maybe something with more of this pace and character could have made AHM a more beloved series. Who can tell? But it does make you wonder if AHM was the best that IDW could get out of McCarthy or if he should have been less shackled, as seems to be the case here.

Ok, this isn’t an essential comic, not by any stretch. But it is a fun read and it’s quite lovely to look at too. Matt Frank blends Sunbow designs with a more expressive style to create a vibrant and energetic look. It needs to be too as the story is light on detail and really exists only to link the gags together.

And make no mistake; this is very much a comedy. From poking fun at the original cartoons (Spike's yellow boots being the best joke) to simply humorous dialogue, Mars Attacks the Transformers is always firmly tongue in cheek. In most cases, it’s merely fun but I have to say – Megatron works really well like this!

Would this approach overall have worked over multiple issues? I’m not sure but as a one shot that I had no intention of picking up, this was a more than welcome surprise. And apart from showing that McCarthy could produce something worth shelling money out for, it also introduces Matt Frank to the artist fold of IDW. And that’s a good thing.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

2013-08-06, 03:08 PM
Proofed, with an added appeal that I had just watched Mars Attacks on DVD around two days ago. :)

inflatable dalek
2013-08-07, 05:22 PM
Though Guzman has been editing RID hasn't he? This would be the first comic since DOOP not written by Barber he has hasn't edited.

Red Dave Prime
2013-08-08, 07:52 PM
You are indeed correct good sir. Only realised this when I started on the review for RID #1. Guzman watches the watcher so to speak. Wonder is that why MTMTE is the better comic? (just kidding)