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Melissa Flores hits the road with 'Biker Mice from Mars'

Comic Books

Melissa Flores hits the road with ‘Biker Mice from Mars’

The galaxy’s dopest rodents debut a new comics series on July 17.

The NacelleVerse is essentially a bid by Oni Press and the Nacelle Company to stoke maximum nostalgia…and its working hard. The new comics universe has already launched several titles in its opening salvo, including RoboForce. Now, the line grows to include perhaps the NacelleVerse’s shining standout (at least in this writer’s eyes) with Biker Mice from Mars #1.

Created by Melissa Flores, artist Francis Portela, and letter Taylor Esposito, Biker Mice from Mars continues directly out of NacelleVerse #0. The story line officially kicks off the “Mars War” and seems to focus on a “never-before-told chapter of Biker Mice history” leading into forthcoming animated series. If you’re somehow not an old-school Biker Mice from Mars fan (for shame!), all you need to know is there’s three mice from Mars (Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie), and they battle the Plutarkians, who basically steal resources from civilizations across the galaxy. If you can’t tell by the tone of this piece, your boy is jacked all the way to the Red Planet and back.

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Biker Mice from Mars #1 is due out July 17 via Oni Press. We recently got the chance to talk to Flores about the book, including how faithful it is to the show at-large, the appeal of motorcycle-riding rodents, and how it compares to some of her other work/projects.

Oni Press announces 'Biker Mice From Mars' #1 for July 2024

Main cover by Dustin Weaver. Courtesy of Oni Press.

AIPT: What was your “relationship” with Biker Mice from Mars heading into the book? Do you have to like a property like this to write it well?

Melissa Flores: I was a big 90210 fan, so I remember the Biker Mice series well (thank you, Ian Ziering)! I was just a little too old for the animated series myself, but it was definitely a guilty pleasure that I really enjoyed whenever I caught it on broadcast.

Thankfully, I now have the opportunity to rediscover it all over again! And I fell in love. I think you have to love a properly like this to write it well, and I think that’s the case with any kind of cult show with a following. But the great thing about being a writer is that you get to discover little moments that will make you fall in love with the property, even if you’re not initially familiar with it. And that’s all you need to get invested — a moment where you can fall in love and then everything else is easy!

AIPT: I always loved the show because it was a really ridiculous idea that owned how silly it was every time. Would you agree, and does that idea make its way into the comics?

MF: Absolutely — that was the charm of Biker Mice from Mars. Though we are dealing with some very dark themes, war veterans who have literally given limbs to try and save their planet and losing it anyway, their sense of humor and the pure ridiculousness of these plots gave it so much levity that it was still just a really fun show to watch.

So much of that is imparted in the chemistry between Vinnie, Throttle and Modo, and we’re definitely keeping that in the comics. There’s no reason to go uber dark when one of the reasons why Biker Mice from Mars is so beloved is because people loved the zaniness of it.

Biker Mice from Mars

Variant cover by Ramon Villalobos. Courtesy of Oni Press.

AIPT: Of the three main Mice — Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie — do you have a favorite or one that stands out?

MF: Honestly, it’s hard to choose, and I have a different favorite every single day. Some days I just love Vinnie’s lady’s man charm, and the way he just doesn’t seem to have that self preservation inside of him. I love Modo’s big deep heart – he’s the best kind of gentle giant. And Throttle’s romance with Carbine always just made me love him as a romantic hero. They’re all so fun and charming in their own way.

AIPT: How much did you tweak or change what happened in the show and/or even the lesser known Marvel comics? (So long as they still live in the scoreboard hideout, which was my most beloved childhood toy.)

MF: We’re staying fairly true to the animated series — that’s the series that most of the fandom knows and loves, and we want to respect that. But the miniseries itself is a prequel — it takes place on Mars, which means you’re gonna see the boys in their element on their home planet. I’m excited to share something new with the fans while also respecting the lore that already exists!

AIPT: What was it like working with Francis Portela? I feel like he has such a truly bold, vivid style that’s just perfect for the Mice.

MF: I’m so excited to be teamed with Francis! This kind of series and the story we’re telling, which is at heart a war story, requires an artist like him, to really bring the world of these Biker Mice to life. We want Mars to feel beautiful – to give the reader a sense of why the Mice are fighting so hard to save it, and pair it with amazing action scenes. Who better to do that than Francis?

Biker Mice from Mars

Variant cover by Francis Portela. Courtesy of Oni Press.

AIPT: In the past, you’ve written both Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Spider-Gwen: Smash. How much did those bright, super fun stories influence your work here?

MF: I’m trying very hard to let my inspiration be guided by the BIker Mice’s own unique flavor of fun. So while I definitely have my own consistent voice, I really want to the Biker Mice to inspire itself. I’m constantly watching/re-watching the series to have the characters fresh in my head. It helps so much to actually divorce myself from the other series while I focus, so they don’t feel homogeneous, but special on their own.

AIPT: What big moments or other events can you tease from the series?

MF: We’re going to do a deeper dive of what life was like on Mars before the Plutarkians completely destroyed it, so we see some really amazing origins and secrets of our trio that haven’t come up before. How did they become Freedom Fighters? What happens to their families? A lot of fun character stuff that I can’t wait for the readers to discover.

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