From the pen of legendary science fiction author and futurist, H.G. Wells, Dark Horse Comics is proud to present their adaptation of the most famous science fiction novel of all time: The War of the Worlds! In the closing years of the 19th century, the genteel tranquility of Victorian England is shattered by the arrival of an invasion force from the red planet - Mars! Methodical and merciless, the Martians are intent on nothing less than the conquest and subjugation of the human race. Told from the point of view of an ordinary man caught up in the carnage and chaos, witness firsthand how the then greatest empire in the world is brought to its knees by the Martians' cool alien intellect and the implacable heat ray!
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Yet another comics adaptation of the classic tale, this one is set in the original's 19th-century and intended as the prequel to an all-new steampunk series by the same creators imagining what the Victorians would have done with Martian technology. In its time, the novel was a caution against the hubris of empire, a timely lesson for today but one not evident here. Instead, it's a demonstration that the lucky will survive, if they can just wait out danger without getting involved. The art is impressive, mostly due to the good design work and atmospheric coloring, which enlivens the frequent closeups. The dialogue features the complex sentence structure and vocabulary of the original. However, the story's impact is sometimes muted due to the compressed nature of the adaptation (the main story is only 64 pages long), which demands more and smaller panels per page. It's a nice, although somewhat distant, reconstruction of the original, which mainly proves that Edginton and D'Israeli have done their homework for their new series. (May)
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Gr. 9-12. From the horror of their arrival, which shatters the peace of a tranquil English countryside, to the gut-wrenching sight of their disease-ridden death, the Martians of H. G. Wells' classic novel, inscrutable and merciless, typified our fear of the unknown. This exciting adaptation delivers a roller coaster of emotions in an efficiently and astutely compacted narrative, which also serves as a prequel to Scarlet Traces (2003), and the upcoming The Great Game (a preview of which is included), by the same team. The creators successfully preserve the drama's sense of terror in addition to conveying Wells' misgivings about conformity and the dangers of extreme solutions. D'Israeli's masterful, evocative artwork makes the story live and breathe. His subtle lighting and rich colors darken as the Martians skulk in, then deepen to blood red as the invaders experience their death throes. A well-done version that stands well on its own, or as a lead-in to the original. Jesse Karp
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