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A Red Mass For Mars Paperback – September 15, 2011
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The man is a fantastic storyteller, and I hope he continues to write indie stuff at IMAGE. His current RED WING comic has been great so far! I won't go too deep into the plot with my review. I enjoyed walking into the comic with only knowing who the writer is. And since Hickman was that writer, I knew it'd be a good series, if only there was more of it...
Sure, the world-building is a little fun. Hickman sets his story on a future earth that has survived horrible cataclysms but rebuilt into a space-faring, advanced planet of heroes and magic. One of earth's heroes realizes that an evil alien race will arrive soon, and that humanity has no chance of defeating it. The only hope is Mars, a sort of Superman (he even crash-landed on earth to be raised by humans) who's been living in an imposed exile.
None of this is particularly original. The superhero-in-hiding trope was better used in "Watchmen." The one-last-mission trope? Pick up "All Star Superman." Even the somewhat intriguing "shaman" character, a hero gone wrong who's killing millions of people, is reminiscent of a villain who was genuinely terrifying in Mark Millar's run on "The Authority." Hickman simply doesn't do enough new things with these premises. Hard to recommend unless you've read few comics. Even then, you're likely to be confused by an ending that feels like an author hitting his deadline and running out of paper.