The Sad, Sad Song of Widow Johnson, Part Two

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The Sad, Sad Song of Widow Johnson, Part Two is a comic book episode of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars.


Purchase at Simon and Schuster.



Sparks Nevada, Mercy Laredo and Cadet Fippen discuss a simulated scenario they are participating in. A starcraft of Troubleshooters is being attacked by a Reflekticon Terrorjacht. The cadets soon realize that they are in an unwinnable scenario, but Sparks objects and say that they can win. Before Sparks can execute his plan, however, Caiaphas Nevada interrupts and says that the scenario's purpose is to teach cadets to look at the big picture, and about acceptable losses. Sparks insists that acceptable losses don't exist, and asks to resume the simulation.

Back in present day, Sparks is shooting at the gang that had come to threaten him in the previous episode, but claims to be missing on purpose to hold them at bay. He causes the entrance of the cave he, Croach and the space-coach carrying Felton, Mr. Johnson and Wendy Johnson are inside of to collapse. The aggressors outside shoot the cave with a science gun, causing the rock to turn to glass.

The space-coach has already turned to glass, along with its occupants and much of the ground underneath them. Sparks dons his robot fists and punches the ground underneath them, causing it to crack. Croach asks if Sparks is planning to trespass through his people's undercity, and Sparks confirms that if the undercity is there, they are going through it.

Mercury is able to lead the coach in flying over the undercity, but it's not long before the gang follows them. Sparks apologizes to Croach for trespassing, just as the space-coach lands on top of a martian structure. They then hide behind a large stalactite while the gang looks for them, and Sparks asks for Croach's help instead of rejecting it has he had been earlier, though only in protecting the coach and not taking out the group coming after them. Sparks attempts to shake hands with Croach, who does not understand the gesture and attempts to lay both of his hands on Sparks'.

Sparks and Croach attempt to lead the space-coach through a tunnel, but before they can escape through the other end, the gravity is nearly gone on the other end of the tunnel. The space-coach becomes stuck in the exit.

The enemies consider shooting into the tunnel, but their leader reminds them that they are professionals and it would look bad if they killed any innocent martians in the way. They instead break into two groups, with one half going out to look for another way to the other side of the tunnel. One of the gang members mentions that Orna didn't split them up, but the leader reminds them that Orna left, and shoots the member who spoke up. The leader nearly turns on several other members of his bounty hunter's posse, but they are able to talk him down.

Meanwhile, Sparks and Croach are still attempting to move the space-coach, when they are soon discovered by the gang. They plan on entering the tunnel when Sparks shoots laser bullets into the glass coach, causing the light to splinter out amongst the gang outside. Sparks then jumps through the tunnel and crashes into the bounty hunter leader.

With the gravity out, they float around in the air, and Sparks takes the glass-ifying science gun from him. He tosses it to Croach, just before he and the bounty hunter fall into a martian building below. Croach briefly loses control of the gun to another bounty hunter, just as Sparks and he leader fall into what appears to be a martian restaurant. They begin to fight, while Croach retrieves the science gun and de-glasses Felton, the remaining deputybot, and the Johnsons, dispatching the rest of the bounty hunters who did not follow Sparks and the leader in the process.

Croach joins Sparks as they enter a room filled with many drum-shaped trampolines, and attempts to save him from the dangers within. However, several colorful tentacles sprout up from the ground and entwine Sparks, Croach, Felton, the Johnsons and the two remaining bounty hunters.

A small band of martians then arrive, and Croach speaks with them in their native language. Croach appears to argue with his people to no avail, and soon Sparks becomes drowsy. Sparks, possibly in a hallucination brought on by the cocoon he is wrapped up in, begins to grow antenna and turn blue. Sparks has possibly turned into a martian, and he recalls images of war, possibly from the War of Two Worlds.


  • The incident with Sparks attempting to win the unwinnable scenario at USSA Academy was referred to in Space-iversary (TAH #35)
  • In Companeros (TAH #43), Sparks and Croach again shake hands, and Sparks compliments Croach on his improved technique. Croach claims he has been practicing.
  • The bounty hunters mention that until recently, Orna was in charge of their gang. They are referring to Orna Peganu, who was seen in Mercy Killing (TAH #86)
  • Croach mentions Rebecca Rose Rushmore's writings briefly.
  • Croach also mentions that the martians generally live in the undercity, and the "decorative triangles" that they have on the surface are merely their doorways to and from the surface.



  • Writers: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
  • Illustrations & Cover: J. Bone
  • Color Art: Omi Remalante
  • Letter Art: Marshall Dillon
  • Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars Logo: Chris Eliopoulos
  • Packaging & Editing: Nate Cosby
  • Book Design: Nate Cosby & Vincent Kukua
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