THE MARTIAN CONFEDERACY
Written by Jason McNamara and Drawn by Paige Braddock
Published by Girl Twirl Comics
THE MARTIAN CONFEDERACY is a fantastically twisted futuristic story involving a corrupt cop, a couple thieves, and a several creatures somewhat to the left of human, just to name a few. Taking place in the year 3535 on Mars, which is now an abandoned tourist spot with less air than Planet Spaceball, this rag tag group of individuals come together (whether they want to or not) to save their world. With a dark humor that has you both laughing out loud and staring open-mouthed in morbid fascination, MARTIAN is a book which will not only be read, but remembered.
From the very first page it becomes clear this book is going to be something different. The black and white sketchbook-like artwork gives the story a rougher feel and at the same time hints there lies more beneath the surface, and whatever it is will surprise you. For as MARTIAN progresses it becomes more and more clear that minute details would be superfluous in this book, and would just get in the way of experiencing the full story.
The opening scene raises eyebrows, questions, hopes and shock levels all in the span of a few pages. A lawman, the Alcalde, and his assistant Sally (who initially appears to have hands for feet, but is actually the top halves of two women spliced together) pay a call to an overly eager professor who claims to have found a way to bring breathable air to Mars through genetically altered moss. This would eliminate the need for Phonet, a fascist company who distributes oxygen breathers only to those who can afford them. Unfortunately for the Professor, the Alcalde seems to lack any sort of compassion for his fellow Martian inhabitants. What he does have is stock in Phonet, therefore in order to protect his financial interests he destroys all of the moss and rather cruelly hooks the helpless professor up to one his own inventions, an anti-gravity balloon, and lets him float upwards to his death. But when Sally discovers moss samples missing from the lab, the Alcalde’s hunt begins.
Next we meet Spinner, a walking, talking bear who’s a fence for stolen goods, most of which are provided by his friend Boone, a thief who looks like (and has the libido of) Elvis and James Dean’s love child. Their relationship is that of strong male camaraderie and the extremely witty banter flows freely between them. Also introduced is Boone’s roommate Lou, a foxy female android who recaps the hilarious history of Earth and Mars (which explains why ‘shatners’ are a form of currency) for the children she’s babysitting. She is also a personal shopper for the rich folk on Mars and moonlights as Boone’s stealing sidekick. Turns out the Professor was Boone’s father-like figure, and when he learns of his death Boone seeks out the religious, belly-dancing fiancé of the Professor for answers. Everyone gets caught up in the Alcade’s whirlwind and some serious wackiness ensues.
Chock full of hilarious scenarios, creative characters and references to science fiction classics which probably had influence on some of the ideas in this book, THE MARTIAN CONFEDERACY is one piece of off-the-wall entertainment which will burn in your brain as one of the best bits of random available for your reading pleasure. One can only hope we’ll see more of McNamara and Braddock, because with a closing scene like the one found here the sky’s the limit for the amount of craziness they can come up with, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next.