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The Comic You Should Be Reading This Week: ‘Mars Attacks Popeye’

By / 01.03.13

Apparently, IDW is launching a series where they cross over Mars Attacks!, one of their licensed books, with just about every property that will let them get away with it. Mars will attack the Transformers, the Ghostbusters, and their utterly bizarre Kiss comic.

But first, he’s attacking the spinach-munching sailor and the results are… well… actually kind of cuddly and adorable.

First of all, don’t get any ideas: Mars Attacks Popeye is very much a kid friendly book. Martin Powell’s script doesn’t feature Wimpy burning away under Martian death rays or a Goon’s head being transplanted onto a Jeep’s body. Martin Powell, the writer, sticks close to the gentle and oddly melancholy tone of the original E.C. Segar strips, complete with Popeye’s family problems and the general ridiculousness that characterized the strip.

Terry Beatty, meanwhile, does a pretty stunning Segar impersonation as he handles all the art chores. In fact, one panel pretty much shows off Beatty’s abilities while clearly communicating the tone of the book:

That said, this is still a book where Popeye’s seaside town is invaded by Martians with death rays, and it’s just so bizarre to flip through that you keep reading. That really is Popeye, in his underpants, beating up a robot with a Topps trading card character in it. It’s like a DeviantArt account managed to get a publishing deal.

Crossovers probably don’t get much stranger than this, and frankly it’s the kind of thing worth reading simply because you need to prove to yourself it exists. It’s like Superman fighting Muhammad Ali, or Archie and the gang having a run-in with the Punisher: It’s just too ridiculous to not read.

At least until Mars Attacks Ghostbusters comes out.


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