Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles

ray bradburys the martian chronicles the authorized adaptation cover
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Good stories and visuals

Still would choose to read the original novel, might have been interesting to see different artists' interpretations

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles

Publisher:  Hill and Wang

Writer:  Dennis Calero

Artist:  Dennis Calero

Release Date:  2011


Interior art

Earth is reaching for the stars and visiting one if their closest neighbors.  Journeying to Mars, the Earthlings are discovering the indigenous population, and each mission brings a greater understanding to the Martians.  From the initial attempts at contact to the colonization, Mars’ modern history is explored.

Adapted by Dennis Calero, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is the authorized illustrated retelling of the classic 1950 collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury.  The graphic novel also is illustrated by Dennis Calero and contains an introduction written by Ray Bradbury in June 2011, just a year before his death.

The Martian Chronicles is an interesting novel and worthy of a graphic adaptation.  The collection of stories has a central frame work, but largely is independent, stand-alone stories.  Throughout the stories, there are some crossover characters and a general timeline for the events occurring in the short tales.

What does drive The Martian Chronicles are these stories.  It is true science-fiction in that it explores ideas and concepts in modern times while applying them to future times.  The stories of colonization almost mirror tales of the Europeans overtaking the native people of North and South America.  In stories such as the one of Spender who goes mad, this idea is heavily explored and the Earthlings lead to the death and destruction of a society which has been built over centuries just by the introduction of chicken pox.  Not all of the stories are adapted for the collection, but a majority of the stories do find the way to the page.


Calero’s original art

The story also explores the afterlife and what death means.  The Martians can mimic the dead and take their appearance.  Despite their deaths being caused by Earthling, most of the stories don’t present the Martians as malicious and seeking revenge.  Most of the time, the Martians seem to just try to be fitting in to new social structure being built by the Earthlings.

Dennis Calero is a skilled artist and has also done work on X-Factor and Legion of Super-Heroes.  I enjoy his art, but I also think it would have been interesting to bring in different artists for the different stories.  Bradbury is a popular writer, and I imagine a number of artists would have loved to give their interpretations of his work.  Fortunately, Calero is good, so though I think multiple interpretations would have been fun, the book still is stylish.

Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is worth checking out, but if you have a choice, you should probably read the original short collection first.  Bradbury is an early pioneer of the science fiction world and this is one of his best novels.  For a quick, solid read, check out this presentation of a classic work of sci-fi.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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