"Life is But a Dream"
Total Recall #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Written by Vince Moore
Art by Cezar Razek
Having killed Cohaagen and given Mars an
atmosphere, Douglas Quaid (the man who was Hauser) simply wants
to live happily-ever-after with the woman of his dreams, Melina.
But how can he with Mars in chaos?
Picking up immediately after the end of the movie
Total Recall, Quaid
kisses Melina and is still left wondering if this is all a
dream. Then Cohaagen's men begin firing their weapons at the
seeing Cohaagen's dead body on the Martian slope next to them. The two
manage to race back to Venusville and find the resistance and
citizens fighting against the Federal forces. Although
mistrustful of Hauser-turned-Quaid, Tony agrees to help provide
covering fire while Quaid runs to meet with Everett, chief of
the Mars security forces to broker a truce between the factions.
Everett reveals that the Northern Bloc has already named
Cohaagen's children, Milos and Vila, as the new administrators
and the two are on their way to Mars even as they speak.
In Venusville, Quaid and Melina bump into the same mutant
psychic and her young daughter, Eva, they met previously and
both are suffering from terrible headaches. Eva senses that
someone important is coming soon.
Milos and Vila arrive and their press conference hints that they
will be resuming their late father's policies on Mars.
Meanwhile, little Eva collapses and dies, but not before gasping
out, "The Martians are coming." And in a shadowy corner of
Venusville, a shadowy figure of a man echoes her phrase, adding,
"I must prepare the way."
CONTINUED IN TOTAL RECALL #2
This mini-series did not have individual issue titles. I've made
up my own title for each issue based on the theme of "dreams",
from the dream/reality dichotomy of the
Total Recall film. This
issue's title, "Life is But a Dream", I borrowed from the final
line of the children's nursery song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".
The complete 4-issue mini-series is collected in a trade
paperback called Total Recall: Life on Mars.
Page 1, panel 1 shows the globe of Mars from space, with its
two moons visible. The closer moon appears to be Phobos from
the large crater visible on it, the farther one Deimos.
A newscast from Earth on page 1 reveals that the Southern
Block has regained control of the Panama Canal in battle
against the North.
The Earth newscast also reveals that Earth's population is
generally still unaware of the recent events on Mars as
depicted in Total Recall.
The newscaster is able to report only rumors of the deaths
of Mars Administrator Vilos Cohaagen and resistance leader
Kuato and that it appears some kind of accident has occurred
at the Pyramid Mines, causing venting of gases into the
The dialog at the bottom of page 1 is the same as that
spoken by Quaid and Melina at the end of
Total Recall. Then
the two-page spread on pages 2 and 3 shows the kiss the two
shared at the end of the film, where viewers were left
wondering if it was all real or was Quaid about to wake up
from a memory implant at Rekall on Earth.
Page 2 reveals that the year is 2084.
On page 3, Quaid's inner monologue refers to Melina as his
princess of Mars. This is a reference to the character of
Dejah Thoris, a princess of Mars in the John Carter of Mars
books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
As his and Melina's kiss finishes on page 4, Quaid is still
left feeling uneasy about his reality. He explains to her
that everything he was promised for his Ego Trip at Rekall
has been delivered. He even mentions that the image of Melina was
at Rekall, waiting to be programmed in as the woman of his
dreams. And he goes on to remark, even if all that has
happened is real, how does he proceed with life now? He is
not really Douglas Quaid, an identity programmed into his
mind six weeks ago; and he is certainly not the thuggish
Hauser anymore either.
On page 4, Quaid remarks that he wasn't real until six weeks
ago, a reference to his "wife" Lori's comment in
Hauser underwent the memory implant of Quaid six weeks ago.
But that was when he was still on Earth; after that, he took
a ship to Mars which both the script and the comic book
adaptation of the film indicate takes several weeks. So
Quaid has been in existence for more than six weeks (unless
he's still in the chair at Rekall, that is!).
Who is the man hidden in shadow on panel 5 of page 6?
Presumably it is the same man seen at the end of the issue
who echoes Eva's prediction that "the Martians are coming."
The comic does a pretty good job on attention to the details
of the movie. For example, notice that the floor of the Last
Resort bar is a checkerboard pattern in both.
Page 11 reintroduces Everett, the chief of the Mars security
force, a character played by actor
Marc Alaimo in
On page 13, Everett reveals that word of Kuato's death has
spread to resistance cells all over Mars and many of them
have gone on offensive. Mars remains under martial law.
The art of panel 1 of page 14 is the same as panel 5 of page
13, just shrunk down.
Page 15 reveals that with the death of Vilos Cohaagen, the
new administrators of Mars assigned by the Northern Bloc
are Milos and Vila Cohaagen, the son and daughter of Vilos.
Page 16 reintroduces Eva, the psychic mutant played by child
actress (at the time) Sasha Rionda in
Page 19 reveals that Mars is administered by the Cohaagen
Martian Mining Corporation.
Milos' comments on page 19 indicate it took he and his
sister only days to arrive on Mars after being named
co-administrators. This would seem to suggest that there are
faster modes of travel than the standard transport taken by
Total Recall. If
this is the case, why would Richter and Helm have taken the
same slow transport as Quaid? Possibly they knew that it was
the most likely means of transportation for Quaid and they
hoped to find him on it and stop him before he even
On the last page of the issue, we see the shadowy figure
revealed, but he is left unnamed. He seems to be the same
character revealed in later issues to be an agent of the
returning Martians, named Q'd. But he has a mutant deformity
on his forehead in the later issues; here he looks like a
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