Rethinking Rex Dexter of Mars
Another entry into the Whitechapel “Remake/Remodel” thread. This week: “Rex Dexter of Mars!”
Well…not exactly “of” Mars. From there, yes,but…
The son of a stranded astronaut, born on Mars, returned to an Earth he never knew. He becomes a great hero, a kind of reverse-Flash Gordon, until he brings a monster back to Earth.
That’s when things get a little wonky. See, he does what pulp heroes do: he kills the monster.
Sorry, I should’ve been more descriptive. “He digs his way through the monster’s eye to its vital brain!!” See, some monsters have non-vital brains, but Rex knows his monster-killing. In any event, uh, gross. But then:
Anyway. Let’s pick it up many months later. With an inside look at a woman deeply, DEEPLY regretting this whole, “Sure I’ll go into space-exile with you, new boyfriend I’ve known for like a month” decision:
Ugh. Even crash-landed on Mars, I can hear my mom saying ‘I told you so.’
And there’s Rex. Carving yet another knife out of monster-bones. At least he’s got a hobby to keep him from going mad – no WAIT, he’s gone totally mad. Man, can that guy mutter obscenities to himself. I mean, his one source of stress-relief is ‘Stabbing monsters in the eye.’ Of COURSE he can mutter to himself.
So when I saw the rocketship plowing its way into the atmosphere, I thought, ‘Oh good, rescue.’ You know what he said? ‘Finally, those bastards’ll get what’s coming to them.’
My dream man, ladies and gentlemen.
At least we agree on the reason for the visit: There must be monsters on Earth that need killing. But hey, didn’t the Earthlings have a monster-killer they’d kicked off their planet? Who might maybe find it in his heart to help them out one more time?
This is why it’s stupid to exile a guy who’s willing to jump into the air to attack a monster, armed with nothing but a knife and a bizarre sense of self-confidence. That type of guy comes in handy every now and then.
Rex has that weird glint in his eye. The one he gets when he finds fresh monster tracks and knows he’s got something to occupy his time for a little while. ‘Oooh-hoo-hoo hoo,’ he chuckles to himself. ‘Yeah, they’ll get their monster-killer. I’ll play nice.’
‘Thank you, dear,’ I tell him.
‘And then I’m going to conquer their asses good and proper,’ he adds casually. I dunno, maybe he sensed I was having a fleeting moment of relief or something.
Then he says something about how he’s going to start a new Martian Empire in Europe. I tell him Europe’s been a devastated husk for decades now.
He says, ‘I know. It’ll remind me of home.’
Never date a guy born on Mars.
Wish me luck,
Girlfriend of Mars”
I’m also going to link to last week’s ‘Remake/Remodel,’ The Black Angel. I didn’t contribute because a) I really suck at drawing planes and/or any other kind of machinery, and b) I didn’t have anything to add to the visual and narrative ideas being tossed up by far more capable people than me.
But there was just such fantastic stuff there I thought it needed more people to look at it.
Also: Heh. “Boner.”