Let's talk about Martians, shall we?
John took me to see War of the Worlds this week. It was pretty scary. I climbed into my popcorn bucket and didn't come out until the end. Every now and then I poked my head out of the popcorn to see if horrible things were happening up on the screen and they still were every time I looked! I highly recommend that if you go to see War of the Worlds you should face backwards in the theater. Except it sounds scary too! Here is my impersonation of what War of the Worlds sounds like: CLANK CLANK CLANK BUZZZZZZZZZ BOOM! AIIEEEEE! OH NO!!!! HELP! BLAM! BLAM! BOOM! SMASH! CLANK CLANK! ROAR! SNARL BUZZ ROAR! HELP! AIEEEEEE! RACHEL! RACHEL! RACHEL! RACHEL!!!!
I liked that guy who starred in it a lot better when he was dancing around in his underwear in that film. I think War of the Worlds would have been a lot better if everyone had been in their underwear. Including the Martians. Anyway, don't go or see it. Don't buy the DVD when it comes out. And if you see Katie Holmes in the street, slap her in the face and say "Snap out of it, Joey! Dawson's the guy for you! Not this jumping-on-couches running-away-from-Martians guy!!!!"
Anyway, the film was too scary for me and I kept wishing Batman or the Hulk would come in and outsmart/smash the Martians. So that's why I thought the best comic in the world would be....
SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE WORLDS: This comic is not fun. Golden Age Superman versus the Martians? How can this comic go wrong? Well, by making it so depressing that it just isn't fun to read, that's how! There's some neat ideas in this "Elseworlds" story: Superman's identity as Clark Kent is exposed almost immediately to Lois and the world; Superman's superhuman blood actually helps the Martians avoid their fate from the original novel and book, and the idea that humans are mistrustful of Superman because he, too, is an "alien invader." But it doesn't help that it's just so relentlessly grim and sad: horrible, horrible things happen, and even Superman can't stop them. I guess it's hard to do a War of the Worlds story without death and destruction, but it just made me sad to think that even with a Superman we'd be overwhelmed by evil alien invaders. The ending is kinda triumphant but very grim and definitely not fun. And, hey, I thought of an Elseworlds twist that Mister Roy Thomas didn't: why wasn't J'onn J'onnz one of the Martians? It might have been interesting seeing him as a villain for once. Anyway, while it wasn't as scary as the movie version, it was twice as depressing to see Superman defeated. Not fun! Not fun! Oh, why oh why can't The War of the Worlds, a story in which Martians kill millions of people and invade the earth, be fun in the least???
Well, that's what I was contemplating as I cowered under the bed with my popgun, when John came around and coaxed me out with a cookie and a hug, and reminded me that Martians are just stories, and if I wanted to a version of War of the Worlds that was kinda fun, that he would let me listen to his CDs of...
JEFF WAYNE'S MUSICAL VERSION OF THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Boy howdy! Now this is what The War of the Worlds should be all along! I never knew progressive rock could be so science-fictiony! There's Phil Lynott and Justin Hayward and David Essex and Sir Richard Burton (!!!!!!!!) in this rock-opera version of the story. Same Martian invasion, same death and destruction, same rout of humanity, but with songs you can whistle! I 'specially liked the song "Forever Autumn": it's just so beautiful it brought a tear to my little button eye. The movie version should have been like this! I would have gone to see it again and again!
So, the moral of the story is: Progressive rock makes things less depressing. Hooray for progressive rock!