Red Mass For Mars #1

June 11th, 2008 by

Red Mass for Mars #1It’s been a long time since I’ve been really interested in a good sci-fi comic book. Sure, I’ve been reading the Annihilation stories in Marvel and while I enjoy them, they’re pretty much run-of-the-mill comic stories in a science fiction medium. To me, good sci-fi should be thought provoking. It should make us look to the future while teaching something about our society in the present. It should be intellectual, educational, and challenging. A Red Mass for Mars by Image comics does all this very well.

Written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn beautifully by Ryan Bodenheim, the story takes place in the year 2115 on an earth that has been decimated by numerous disasters and atrocities. Marcus Farber Astorga (also known as ‘the Benefactor) has the ability to see the future, which has naturally made him incredibly wealthy and has used that wealth to create a new paradise on earth, and the population loves him for it. But this ability also sets him apart – even the most brilliant of people on earth are a bore to him. What could they give him that he hasn’t already forseen? How would you live a life in which you knew what would happen and yet had to go through the motions, acting a part in order to fulfill these preordained acts? It’s an intriguing question and in him we have a fascinating character that I can’t wait to see develop. Equally as interesting is what is shaping up to be a potential villain – Lightbender. As the head of the English Language Reclamation Project, he is a soft spoken dictator that nonchalantly describes why he had to defile the corpse of the queen of England (three times) while worrying about what the implications of conquering his native country will have on his family reunions.

Of course, there’s also the standard sci-fi plot of an alien invasion, but it’s the characters and concepts that are presented that are the most interesting. It covers the nature of life and death, what a utopian society really means, religion, politics, man and gods, and the future. It brings up topics that I can’t wait to discuss and debate with others that read this, and to me that’s what science fiction should be.

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2 Responses to “Red Mass For Mars #1”

  1. Martin Says:

    When I saw you’d already reviewed this, I ran to read my copy. I think it’s interesting that this is supposed to be only a four-part miniseries, but the universe seems so vast, so intricate that it could easily be more. I’m reminded a bit of dune for some reason, and also of that old TV miniseries called V. (I guess because the alien invaders are reptilian.)

    I think it’s interesting that this is more or less a superhero book, or anyway, that there are superheros in it, yet it’s set in an interesting and otherwise science-fiction laden future. Ryan Bodenheim’s art is great. I totally agree that this is a fantastic comic so far. Totally interesting, and I’m excited to see where he takes it.

  2. florence Says:

    I’m convinced- this is going to the top of my pile!