[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Spencer and the Major have found a military escort to a nearby base where they hope they can be safe. The Major is telling humiliating stories of his son to the soldiers, and it’s getting to Spencer. The group moves into a nearby town…where they run into a Martian ambush. The aliens send out a swarm of massive insects that make short work of much of the soldiers. Spencer and the Major try to make it out of town, but the Major continues to berate his son. Spencer is ready to be done with the abuse.
Mars Attacks #3 directly confronts the strained relationship between Spencer and his father, the Major. The Major is a cold and harsh father. He loves his son, and it’s apparent that he does in small ways. However, those small moments are overpowered by the abuse he often hurls at his unemployed child. Spencer hasn’t accomplished much and has quit from many of his exploits, but he still tries.
All of this is cast against some surprisingly brutal violence, as the Martians brutally kill the soldiers that accompanied our two lead characters. The two are fairly disparate, and it’s never implied that witnessing this intense violence has inspired this more direct confrontation from Spencer.
That said, it’s still a cathartic issue and pays off one of the main themes from the first two issues. We get to see Spencer and the Major confront their problems, and you want to see them work it out since they’re both likeable characters.
Chris Schweizer’s artwork continues to be charming and a fun kind of cartoonish. That said, he makes the gore and violence surprisingly detailed and gut-wrenching. The giant bugs are somewhat creepy, and the Martians themselves remain iconic and a little scary. It all gels surprisingly well, and the colors (with assistance from Liz Trice Schweizer) are a little more tame this issue. However, they’re still atmospheric and appealing.
Mars Attacks #3 is another fast-moving issue in the series, and it gets surprisingly emotional. It manages to hold it to a satisfying payoff instead of bringing in the punchline/gut-punch that such stories usually bring. This is a solid book and easily worth a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Mars Attacks #3 comes to us from writer Kyle Starks, artist Chris Schweizer, color assistant Liz Trice Schweizer, cover artist Francesco Francavilla, and variant cover artists Ruairi Coleman with Timothy C. Brown, Eoin Marron with Dee Cunniffe, Robert Hack, and Chris Schweizer.