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The Martian Phantasms are the ghosts of three Martians who were stationed near the Moon as scouts.
On October 30, 1938, the Martians intercepted the transmission of Anson Bell's broadcast of "War of the Worlds" and translated it immediately. They were currently cataloging the habits of Earth's protector, Heracles Halloway and his Adventure Science Team for months under the assumption they were real people. The Martians were in a heightened state after learning Halloway conquered the Venusians. The Martian commander is angered he was not informed of the invasion and made the order for his crew to attack. They landed at Elmo's Hill, New Jersey but found nothing. The signal of the transmission was traced to a farm. The commander became alarmed when he heard the battle turned and believed the transmission was a trap to capture them and learn their secrets. The commander ordered his crew to return to their ship, go back to their home world and rally their forces for a long-planned invasion. The Martians neglected to properly account for any meteors in the vicinity and were hit. The commander thought it was an attack and ordered the self-destruct mechanism to be activated. It failed and the ship crashed at Elmo's Hill where the Martians perished.
Jenkins saw the ship crash but it dug way into the ground and disappeared from sight. He tried to tell his father about the aliens but was spanked for telling a lie. Many decades later, a cable company started digging near the farm lands and unearthed the ship. Ghosts of the Martian crew manifested. Jenkins hired the Ghostbusters to deal with them. After trapping one of the ghosts, the guys split up to chase after the other two. The commander soon figured out how to levitate objects and thus defend himself but he was soon trapped by Winston Zeddemore. The last of the phantasms returned to ship and managed to reactivate it. While trying to set a course for home, the ghost was aghast when the self-destruct finally kicked in. After the Ghostbusters returned to the Firehouse, Slimer saw the last ghost outside the kitchen window.
As ghosts, the Martian Phantasms can levitate organic and inorganic beings. With some concentration, they can also operate their scout ship.
- The Martians are from the Mars Attacks franchise.
- Ray was dejected that the Martian craft was destroyed, and with it, any chance to study it's advanced technology.
- This is the first IDW story to fully feature the cartoon universe.