Although Popeye had faced Martians before in the comics, this story involves a different kind of Martian invasion force: the large-brained, skull-faced and space-suited Mars Attacks aliens. Mars Attacks was originally a series of collectible trading cards from 1962, which has evolved into a franchise that would include a Tim Burton-directed film in 1996 and several comic book series, most recently from IDW. This later series was complemented in 2013 with the Mars Attacks IDW crossover books, which include: Mars Attacks Popeye, Mars Attacks KISS, Mars Attacks the Real Ghostbusters, Mars Attacks the Transformers, Mars Attacks Zombies vs Robots and (some time later) Mars Attacks Judge Dredd.
The books also include faux covers for further (non-existent) crossovers, such as Mars Attacks Star Slammers or Mars Attacks Spike (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame).
Publisher's Summary: "The weekly event of the year starts on the second day of the year! Mars Attacks Martians invade five different IDW timelines and universes this month, starting with their assault on Sweethaven. How can Popeye, Alice the Goon, the Sea Hag the rest of the one-eyed sailor’s friends and foes possibly contend with this threat from beyond the stars?"
- Cover: Berkeley Breathed, Ray Dillon
- Editor: Craig Yoe, Clizia Gussoni
- Writer: Martin Powell
- Artist: Terry Beatty