The Comic Queen

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Teenagers From Mars Review

Teenagers From Mars from From Mars
Gigantic Graphic Novels; $19.95; 256 pgs.
Writer: Rick Spears; Artist: Rob G

I was recently stuck in a waiting room at which the doctor was running quite behind. Boy, was I glad to have this book with me. I read nearly the entire book while waiting, and I’ve definitely never had a better time in a doctor’s office. This comic was a total kick in the pants.

Originally published in 2002 and 2003 as eight individual comics, this collection of Teenagers From Mars reads seamlessly as a graphic novel.

The credits include main characters Macon, a Mall Mart employee and comic creator; Max, a neighborhood kid who sneaks comics by his disapproving mom; and Madison, Macon’s wild love interest.

The story begins with each character’s separate story, but soon their paths meet up to form the meat of the story. Max and his two best friends rob graves and sell their treasures to the local pawn shop to save up for a valuable comic. Macon and Madison, part in frustration and part to impress each other, do some damage to the Mall Mart, and thus the Comic Book Liberation Army is inadvertently born.

My favorite quote is said when Max decides he wants to join the cause. So Macon swears him in saying, “Do you, Maximilian, swear to buy comic books monthly, let them corrupt you fully and defend them fearlessly? Do you promise to never let anyone tell you that you’re too young, too old, or that you can’t?” This may just be my new mission statement.

The town of Mars (yep that’s the town’s name) completely overreacts to the teens’ vandalism and sets out to burn all the comics they can find and shut down the local comic shop. One of my very favorite parts was the honest-to-God pitch-fork-wielding mob … complete with signs that read “God Doesn’t Read Comics.” That absurdity gave me the giggles.

Rob G’s art did more than justice to the story. He had some great splash pages, his cars, of course, were amazing, and his attention to details make the book one you want to read again and again.

I enjoyed The Couriers (also illustrated by Rob G), and while this straddles the same line of credulous characters and incredulous action, I thought Teenagers From Mars was both a bit better told story and, personally, more enjoyable. Not to take anything away from Couriers -- I offer this as more of an example that if you liked that GN, you’ll probably like this one; and if you thought Couriers was a little over the top or extreme, you may enjoy this GN even more.

I sure did, anyway.

Bottom Line: A-


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