Image Comics Review & Spoilers: Sparks Nevada – Marshal on Mars #1! By Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, J. Bone & Omi Remalante

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The Thrilling Adventures of Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars! #1

Written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker

Illustrations and cover by Omi Remalante

Letter art by Marshall Dillion

Cowboys and Science-Fiction. It’s an odd combo that works, kind of like pineapple on pizza. Not something everybody enjoys, but I’m a fan.

In this comic, we started off with a brief flashback of Sparks Nevada attending a military space academy back on Earth (seems like the kind of place you’d find that goof Wesley Crusher from Star Trek happy to be). While Spark’s father and mother, both officers at the academy, encourage him to maintain a more respectable path, Sparks dreams of the cowboy life.

The scene then transitions us back to the story’s present on Mars. It’s a setting with the standard western backgrounds, only with the a bit of the red planet’s characteristic hues. Clothing and mannerisms are decidedly old west, which is occasionally funny, and also kind of cliché.

As for Sparks, he and his four deputy robots escort a hovering stage coach of upper-class sorts through Martian territory. Mars’ natives are a stand-in for the familiar Indians / Native Americans found in old cowboy movies. Here, a friendly tribe of Martians meet up with Sparks to warn him of oncoming danger, and provide him a tracker / side-kick, Croach

Once on the road again, Sparks and Croach, are ambushed by an amusing band of clunky robot cowboys. With plans of robbing the stagecoach, the robot bandits fight Sparks and Croach to a standstill. Before the fight can continue, a biker gang of rough looking aliens take out the robots cowboys, and announce their intentions to kill Sparks as well. Croat mentions, this is the danger he and the other Martians warned him off earlier.

Story ends with a cliffhanger, when the alien bikers use a “science gun” to freeze the stagecoach and its occupants, while preparing to do the same to Sparks.

My thoughts . . .

Not a bad comic. The story told was a bit short, but engaging enough. Also, I enjoy the book’s familiar cowboy movie sights mashed up with sci-fi elements. There’s a fun group of characters here, with the robots, both good and bad, providing quality comic-relief. Croach as described in the extra material found in the comic is a sort of combination Tonto and Spock, which seems accurate to me. The one character that didn’t do much for me was the comic’s star, Sparks Nevada. I suppose he’s the straight man to all the bizarre events around him, and I’m expecting he’ll grow on me as the story unfolds.

Verdict:  Decent comic, and I’m willing to give Issue 2 a chance.

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