In this issue of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, we reach the end of the story of the Johnsons, Sparks and his family, and the onus of Croach (well, we never reach the end of the onus of Croach). Is it good?
Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars #4 (Image Comics)
We pick up the story with Sparks’ memory of the unwinnable simulation, and see that the sim was terminated before he could win the unwinnable. And we see that the folks he was so afraid to see in the present are his parents, on Mars to capture a horrific intergalactic fugitive.
Turns out that Mr. Johnson IS the fugitive, who was hiding inside the human body and had altered everyone’s memories, including those of Felton and Mrs. Johnson, who had confessed their love. And his returning could mean the destruction of all of Mars!
Through some science, Sparks wins this unwinnable situation, ensuring that Mars is safe, the onus is back on Croach, and earns the respect of his dad.
Is It Good?
You might be wondering why I’m picking up reviewing this book on issue 4. Good question. I’m a huge fan of the Thrilling Adventure Hour, the podcast these comics are based on. And though I love the stories themselves, part of what makes TAH so great are the performances, especially Marc Evan Jackson as Sparks and Mark Gagliardi as Croach. These guys ARE the characters, so when I got the first issue of Sparks to review, I couldn’t even finish reading it. It was too strange to see their words on paper and not hear their performances.
However, I missed these characters. I miss the world of G’loot Praktaw, and onus, and “I’m……from Earth.” So I wanted to give the book another shot. And I’m so glad I did.
It’s amazing how much of the show’s character Acker and Blacker are able to translate onto paper. Even the cadence of speech between Sparks and Croach comes across. And the story felt perfectly in line with what’s been on the podcast, with little easter eggs for those fans. The art is so fun, the slightly cartoony style fits perfectly with the kids TV show theme, making the soap opera elements feel even more over the top.
Okay, specifically this issue! Overall, it was an excellent ending to this chapter in the life of Sparks Nevada. The story wrapped up in a way totally appropriate to this world and was a great introduction into the kind of stories we’ll see going forward. I did get a bit confused with the reveal of Felton and Wendy, but that might have been because I was reading a digital copy, which separated out the spreads into individual pages.
So I’m in. I’m ready for this future of Sparks and his pals, and I’m under onus to Acker and Blacker for building a world that I love so much.