Kicking off this series with “The Sad, Sad Song of Widow Johnson, Part One,” writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker introduce readers to Sparks Nevada. J. Bone draws the action in “The Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents: Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars” #1, which follows the #0 issue from last year and serves as a continuation of investigations into the origin of one of the more popular stars of “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” podcast.
In addition to twenty pages of new story in the continuing adventures of Sparks Nevada, Croach the Tracker and a handful of supporting characters, the issue also gives readers a reprint of “The Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents: Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars” #0, making this comic a one-stop shop for readers to leap into action alongside Mars’ most entertaining marshal.
Acker and Blacker continue to plum the early days of Nevada’s training as this comic opens on Earth in the thirty-first century. Sparks Nevada is at the United Solar System Alliance Academy, running a training simulation and gaining the ire of his father, who has bigger plans for his son. The co-creators of Sparks Nevada (and “The Thrilling Adventure Hour”) pack this story with plenty of humor, action and development as the Martians assign Croach to fulfill their onus to Nevada. Reading this as a comic book is a change-up from listening to Nevada’s adventures, but Acker and Blacker bring the voice and intonations of the voice actors nicely to the page.
Marshall Dillon’s letters capture the sarcastic wit of Marc Evan Jackson’s understated delivery as Sparks fires shots off under his breath. Some of those one-line biters are familiar to the adventures of Sparks Nevada, and some are fresh for this version of the marshal. Regardless of the frequency of their use, Dillon does a great job of interpreting and translating the wit present in the story and the impatient bravado of the series’ lead.
J. Bone’s playful drawings (including a visual nod to a super friendly cartoon series from yesteryear) fill the issue with youthful exuberance. Omi Remalante matches that enthusiasm in his color work, filling this comic book with bright colors that would be as appropriate for a Little Golden Book or an all-ages superhero read. Those vibrant colors work for the adventures of the marshal on Mars as he encounters the natives of G’Loot Praktaw (which we call Mars) and faces off against a gang of outlaw robots.
As an allegory of a Western, seasoned with science fiction and served up as a light-hearted adventure, this comic is sure to hold wide appeal beyond the regular listeners of “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” podcast. “The Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents: Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars” #1 gives readers a whole new world to explore and rolls out a magnificent welcome spacecoach for readers to hop into.