RED MASK FROM MARS #2
Writer: Vincent Hunt
Art: Vincent Hunt & Shaun Dobie
Raw Edge Comics £3.50
Matt C: A welcome return for this infectiously buoyant Brit indie book that thankfully still holds its tongue resolutely in its cheek. Our ‘hero’, Doug Stewart, continues to bumble his way into the action, attempting to save the day and appearing to only succeed despite himself. He’s an annoying fool but also incredibly endearing in that very British way, never giving up despite the odds, a kind of Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards with an alien attached to his face (and a penchant for attempted heroism rather than downhill skiing, of course).
As giant ‘spacesharks’ terrorise Southern England, the “alien fella from the telly” tries to avert their rampage with decidedly mixed results. The real star of the show is turning out to be Sergeant Price, whose no nonsense approach to the various dangerous situations that present themselves proves to be far more successful than Stewart’s, her tolerance of his alien-enhanced hi-jinx wearing down further and further following every pratfall the titular character makes. She’s kind of staple character (the one who gets all the work done while the flashier partner takes all the credit) but has enough ballsy, eye-rolling sardonicism to make her an engaging foil.
Red Mask From Mars is not mentally taxing but nor is it designed to be. It’s a blast of brightly coloured hyperactive fun which, with its sprinklings of exclamations like “Crikey!” and “Bleedin Eck!”, is as steeped in the traditions of British comics as it is in their transatlantic superhero counterparts. Oh, and there’s even time for a near Pulp Fiction homage. What’s not to like? 8/10