You’ve read H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, seen the film and TV versions, got Jeff Wayne’s album, seen his musical, yet still want more? Then here for your delight is a comic book adaption of the novel, plus three stories set a decade after the Martian invasion.
The adaption neatly provides a view of Victorian gents coping with the arrival of strange objects from Mars, literally in their neighbourhood. At the breakfast table George mentions that Martian gas has hit the newspaper headlines, making his wife exclaim “George, please don’t be vulgar. You’re putting me off my kedgeree.”
When confronted by the alien critters that stumble out of their enormous cylindrical craft, their appearance is enough to put anyone off their kedgeree. The aliens are obviously intelligent enough to get to Earth, but they have a homicidal streak to them. Although physically weak they have the technology to wipe out the whole of humanity, and they don’t care about who tries to stop them.
The glare of their merciless destruction pitches humanity into darkness and gloom, we can’t stop them with guns or prayers but just as England seems to be doomed, microscopic germs indigenous to our planet kill off the Martian predators.
Fast forward ten years, and we see England transformed by reverse-engineering the abandoned Martian technology. This has made manufacturing much more efficient at the cost of thousands of jobs and poverty on an unprecedented scale. This leads on to a Sherlock Holmes-type story of the investigation into missing people in the capital. Yes, you guessed it, its all part of a government conspiracy to hide what really went on behind the scenes when the Martian invasion came to a dead stop.
This is a vivid and exciting version of the original story combined with a wonderful sequel that shows the implications of technological innovation on political aspirations to create a British Empire that will dominate the Solar System.
THE COMPLETE SCARLET TRACES VOLUME ONE / SCRIPT: IAN EDGINTON / ART: D’ISRAELI / LETTERS: D’ISRAELI / PUBLISHER: 2000AD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW