Some titles instantly tell you what the titles about, but some can be a little misleading. I’m still not sure what to make of Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars #1 as… well, there seems to be a few things going on here…
The official description from Image:
BASED ON THE HIT NERDIST PODCAST! Shine your astro spurs and don your robot fists! Justice rides a rocket steed across the crimson plains of the fourth planet, where one man brings fear to robots and aliens…and hope to humans who make this frontier planet their home. He is…SPARKS NEVADA: MARSHAL ON MARS!
The thing that strikes me the most with this issue is the target audience. The whole title suggests a younger audience, yet some of the humor suggests an adult audience. The mix suggests a bit of both but, ultimately, not enough to sustain either. Perhaps I’m not getting it. The overall themes and tropes – space cowboys, for crying out loud – has been done to depth and while this title looks to be having some fun with it, I feel Sparks Nevada: Marshal of Mars #1 could do more.
In terms of writing, I found this issue to be quite slow. In fact, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker have a real slow start, showcasing a different reality and then.. suggesting the rest of the issue is a dream or simulation. Is this relevant? I ask because the title forgets this opening and doesn’t draw any importance from it throughout the rest of the title. What we have is a general play on obvious Western tropes, only with lasers and robots. And… honestly? it’s not as impressive as that sounds.
Visually, as I said, this looks like it’s for younger audiences. The bright colors by Omi Remelante look great, but they also make it look cartoonish. This is good for a light-hearted romp but, combined with the cutesy pencils of J Bone, it feels too superficial and simple.
Overall, however, I’m sure there’s an audience for this, even if it’s not me. There are a few good tidbits of writing and the style is vibrant, to say the least.