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  1. #1
    The Comixeur Mel Dyer's Avatar
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    Default Mars, Dune'ish Darkseid of the Golden Age--Is It Time To Bring Him Back?

    I want Mars, back. Love George Perez, as an artist and a Latino, ..but, his post-Crisis, Diet Vader Ares just isn't doing it, for me.

    Mars's use of his cosmic agents, his 'Court' of War - Duke of Deception, Earl of Greed, Conquest, Crimson Centipede, Silver Swan (original) - is what distinguishes him, from Ares, as I see it. Little more, than armored buffoons and never particularly awesome or terrifying, the Duke, Earl and Conquest of the Marston days peaked in the Golden Age and have never been, in better, than those first, sci-fi heavy stories. Their sisters, Azzarello's gaunt Strife (Eris) ..and the original Silver Swan, a magically powered emissary of Ares, who battled Wonder Woman to a stand-still, would come decades, later, ..but has yet to be developed into the enigmatic, iconic antagonist, she potentially could be.

    Don't think they've been used, particularly well, either, ..since Dr. Marston's passing in '47!

    I like also that, in Marston's hands, Mars and his court could walk right into David Lynch's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's ..and fit, marvelously well. You could almost smell Marston's court of Mars! They existed in a dirty, sweaty place, blackened by the smoke of burning metals ..and of burning human souls, enslaved to Mars! His garish, savage loyalists - the Duke, Earl, etc - were demonic beings, with their grotesquely grinning faces and bloated physiques, ..but, they travelled to Earth and back to their world, as phastasms ..or in futuristic rocket ships, like what we've seen, in Flash Gordon movie serials.

    There was metal, everywhere - it was an industrial horror, without question - but, just as much a shadowy, hellish stage, upon which to unfold Marston's vision. I like that Mars and his court were cosmic beings, who stalked the Astral Plane and the unseen realms of our nightmares, acting out the war god's insidious plots, through the unconscious minds of select, strategically valuable mortals.

    Dr. Marston's Mars, the war god's fire-belching, armed camp, was a twisted, cosmic purgatory, without compare, anywhere in the DCU. I miss this! I miss the imagination! I miss ..Mars, ..but, I can do, without him looking, like a human being, as H. G. Peter rendered him. I would prefer he was made a little more abstract, than that. A solid being or a horrific apparition, as either, he should be scarier or more disquieting to look at, than Mr. Perez's Diet Vader.

    I like Marston's use of the Planet Mars, as his Areopagus. I would be thrilled to think that Mars's famed, mythical hill was, through sorcery, actually the Red Planet, all along...and even in classical times? Wow!

    It's a mess, but, that's all of it. And yes...I will go so far, as to compare the Golden Age Mars to an embryonic Darkseid! The unwrought potential, the gritty, industrial ore was there, in the Forties, to fully spawn Darkseid, presiding over his own Dune'ish Apokolips!
    Last edited by Mel Dyer; 05-15-2021 at 06:17 PM. Reason: clarity
    THINKING 'BOUT OUR BILLS, A HEX, SOME HEADLINES, AND WHEN'S THE CHEETAH GONNA' DIE...on WONDABUNGA!!! Look alive, Kangaliers!

  2. #2
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    Maybe we should be looking at how to move this book forward instead of rehashing stuff from the past.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Im guessing you didn’t read the solicitations the for the upcoming Wonder Woman issues.

  4. #4
    The Comixeur Mel Dyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm a Fish View Post
    Im guessing you didn’t read the solicitations the for the upcoming Wonder Woman issues.
    No, I didn't. Don't tell me we're getting Mars, back. Are you serious?
    THINKING 'BOUT OUR BILLS, A HEX, SOME HEADLINES, AND WHEN'S THE CHEETAH GONNA' DIE...on WONDABUNGA!!! Look alive, Kangaliers!

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Dyer View Post
    No, I didn't. Don't tell me we're getting Mars, back. Are you serious?
    According the the solicitations a Roman god is coming back. I’m betting it’s Mars (since like, what other Roman god has she interacted with really?)

  6. #6
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    from War of the Gods #3 (November 1991)

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Maybe we should be looking at how to move this book forward instead of rehashing stuff from the past.
    I kind of have had the idea to do it in spirit, though not in practice of how it was in the GA. I'd bring back the minions but do Rucka's thing where took over control of the Underworld from Hades to give him his own domain.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member WonderScott's Avatar
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    I’d definitely like to see Ares branch out and have his lieutenants again, in addition to his kids and step kids and consorts playing a greater role in the shenanigans. Talk about family drama.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Maybe we should be looking at how to move this book forward instead of rehashing stuff from the past.
    There is always stuff from the past that's worth revisiting and refurbishing for the future.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Maybe we should be looking at how to move this book forward instead of rehashing stuff from the past.
    It's not like the Golden Age take on Mars and his crew, along with other Golden Age villains beyond the big names like Cheetah, Psycho and Giganta, get rehashed all that much though. It's very easy to bring them back in a revamped, fresh way because they haven't been used to death.

  11. #11
    Incredible Member Fuzzy Mittens's Avatar
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    Id love to see it honestly. As villains go, Wonder Womans never really had a baddy since who was on the same scale of menace and threat as that golden age Mars. Closest would be Circe, and even then that was a one event type thing.

  12. #12
    The Comixeur Mel Dyer's Avatar
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    My memories of Marston's Mars smolder in flashes of fire and bronze ..and the sweat of the gladiatrix...

    wonderw_marsmartianbase.jpg

    Mars was a bronze-armored grotesque, as ugly and weird as the Joker, and every bit as power-hungry, as Luthor ..or Darkseid. I just don't see how Diet Vader...worked? I think the only thing that stunted Mars's growth, into something more interesting, ..was a lack of imagination. The infrastructure was there, all along, but lacking the imaginative fusion to create something as memorable, ..as Kirby's Apokolips.

    Something else...

    Chiang's Strife, Apollo, Artemis, Smith...any of them could walk into an H. G. Peter Mars scene and fit in, seamlessly.
    Last edited by Mel Dyer; 05-15-2021 at 05:53 PM. Reason: graphic
    THINKING 'BOUT OUR BILLS, A HEX, SOME HEADLINES, AND WHEN'S THE CHEETAH GONNA' DIE...on WONDABUNGA!!! Look alive, Kangaliers!

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Fuzzy Mittens's Avatar
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    What stuck out for me with that depiction was it establishing Mars having an astral army who would scavange battlefields and shackle the souls of those who died in the conflict be they participant or otherwise. Hauling them off in slave ships and traveling across the Astral Plane to Mars. Arriving to be broken and turned into agents of war, aiding in efforts to further conflict and death. Doomed by war to spend the afterlife forever in his service.

    And at the same time also establishing that he was doing this across multiple worlds across the universe. Establishing him as this really large scale threat who grew in power for every war and battle.

    Meteor Girls world was destroyed in war and its people practically worshippers of Ares will. Its been my headcannon that her world was just another one of Mars victims.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    There is always stuff from the past that's worth revisiting and refurbishing for the future.
    Doesn't mean Mars is one of them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    It's not like the Golden Age take on Mars and his crew, along with other Golden Age villains beyond the big names like Cheetah, Psycho and Giganta, get rehashed all that much though. It's very easy to bring them back in a revamped, fresh way because they haven't been used to death.
    That the Golden Age take on Mars isn't used all that often is arguably a sign that there isn't anything interesting about him in the first place. Given that Rucka and even Azzarello had pretty fresh takes on Ares that made him a more neutral/heroic character, I think DC would be better off building off that characterization instead of another rehash of something from their past.

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