cover image Dogs of Mars

Dogs of Mars

Johnny Zito, Tony Trov, Christian Wieser, and Paul Maybury. Image (Diamond, dist.), $15.99 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-1-60706-550-0

Originally published as a digital comic, this science fiction tale mixes hope and paranoia into something dire. On a mission to transform the red planet into a livable habitat, the crew of Mars Base Bowie prepares to drop an atom bomb into the core of the planet in order to create a magnetic field. One power failure later, followed by an ill-considered command by the gung-ho Captain Zoe, things fall apart. The attacking monsters don’t help much. Though it sometimes threatens to be more than a bit reminiscent of Alien, the story manages to avoid being too derivative. This is partially thanks to First Officer Turk, a counterpoint to Zoe whose constant questioning of her decisions incites a battle of the alpha females on top of the struggle against Martian monsters. The source of their enmity turns out to be more than a little trite—that revelation could be skipped—but the personalities and interaction of the characters elevate the sometimes by-the-numbers plot. Slick artwork typical of the genre might have doomed the book, but Mayberry’s illustrations add mystery and atmosphere to the plot, giving just the visual panache it needs to stand out. (May)