Comic Review – Martian Comics #1

  • Writers: Julian Darius and Kevin Thurman
  • Artist: Sergio Tarquini
  • Colorist: R.L. Campos
  • Letterer: Colin Bell
  • Publisher: Martian Lit
  • Release Date: July, 2014

Martian Comics #1 features the first three chapters of “The Girl From Mars” about college student Izzy Montoya who thinks she may be an alien from Mars. It is written by Julian Darius, Kevin Thurman with art by Sergio Tarquini and R.L. Campos.  This is the first issue of the mature reader science-fiction series which made its debut July 2014 after being successfully funded through Kickstarter.  

Martian Comics #1
Martian Comics #1 Cover by Darick Robertson

Brief Synopsis of Martian Comics #1

Is there life on Mars? 

College student Izzy Montoya cannot help daydreaming about Mars. These visions start increasing in frequency and intensity as the days pass by. Izzy dreams about the life of a blue skinned Martian woman. To Izzy the buildings of Mars in her visions are as individual as the planet’s citizens. Martians are allowed freedom to be as strange and unique as they wish. Their limbs can be modified or brains implanted with filters to alter their perception of the sky’s color.  Despite the marvels about her, the Martian woman in Izzy’s dreams is bored. She tries everything from frequenting orgies and experimenting with drugs, but neither are effective at ameliorating her pervasive feeling of apathy.  

Chronically bored, the Martian in Izzy’s dreams wants to leave Mars and possess an Earthling’s body to spice up her life. In the past, the Martians made several trips to Earth using host bodies in an attempt to enlighten humans but ultimately failed each time. The Martians eventually declared these trips illegal and now live an existence hidden from Earth.

The Martian woman found someone who would assist her in making a mind trip to Earth. Initially she would suffer from amnesia resulting from the process, temporarily forgetting her arrival on Earth. It would take a few weeks to overwrite the host human’s personality during which the Martian and Earth woman would relive each other’s memories. Once both of their memories reached the present, the Martian would have full possession and awareness of being the Earth woman.  When that point is reached at the conclusion of the story’s first chapter, Izzy does not remember anything about her life on Earth prior to having the dreams about Mars.  She realizes she is not Izzy dreaming about the Martian woman, she is the Martian woman dreaming about Izzy.  

In the chapters that follow, we find out how friends and family react to the new Izzy. We also learn how she manages to assimilate with our world possessing only her host’s memories but none of her emotional attachments.  The final chapter in the book is a separate tale about a certain historically important Galilean and his impact on human history.

The Creative Team

Writer Julian Darius holds a Ph.D. in English and founded of Sequart Organization in 1996.  Sequart’s mission is the study of popular culture and the promotion of comics as a legitimate art form. In 2011 Darius founded Martian Lit to publish comics, fiction, poetry and movies. Martian Comics #1 is his first published comic work. Kevin Thurman is the book’s co-writer who has a degree in philosophy and is a full-time writer based out of Chicago. 

Sergio Tarquini is a Brazilian artist who began drawing at the age of sixteen. His work was introduced through the Italian magazine market, which he continues to contribute regularly. 

The Verdict

Martian Comics #1 lays the foundation for a much larger mythology being built by creator Julian Darius. The first few pages of story contain many images of Martian buildings, people, and technology from the imagination of Sergio Tarquini colorfully enhance by R.L. Campos. Once the story turns to Izzy’s realization that she is the Martian in her dreams, co-writer Kevin Thurman’s influence can be felt in the dialogue between Izzy and her sister Rita as they address the philosophical issues surrounding one’s identity.

There is a laugh out load moment when Izzy, unable to understand the proper application of human language, makes an attempt to fit in using humor at a party. Just when I think this is turning into a fish out of water story, impending danger appears in the guise of a nefarious looking character who has plans of his own for Izzy at the end of chapter three.  The final chapter of the comic is an example of the larger story the Darius and Thurman are building. It is a clever fantasy story about how Jesus would have fit into one the Martians’ attempts to enlighten mankind throughout history.

This is a quirky science-fiction story with detours that will keep the reader thinking, entertained and slightly off-balance.  The artists Tarquini and Campos are able to create an otherworldly Martian environment while smoothly transitioning to the Earth bound story.  

It is worthwhile for science-fiction lovers to check out Martian Comics #1 and see how the series all began. This comic and the next two issues are available digitally through Comixology. Martian Comics is currently raising funds for its Kickstarter project Canals of Earth. It is a 23-page full-color self-contained comic book that stands on its own but is also Martian Comics #5 set in the same universe as the rest of the series.

Kickstarter Project: Canals of Earth
Kickstarter Project: Canals of Earth

If the Canals of Earth Kickstarter project is successfully funded by April 27th, backers at the $20 or higher will receive an exclusive Kickstarter print copy of Canals of Earth and the entire Martian Comics series issues 1 through 5 in digital format. 

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About the author

Christopher Calloway

Christopher Calloway is the small press and idependent comic creator editor for Word of the Nerd. He is long-time comic book reader and collector who is passionate about comics and their creators.