This version of Mars was once inhabitable, and, indeed, inhabited by a sapient octopoid species, the Wellsians. However, after the Wellsians purposefully (but thoughtlessly) drained their atmosphere's protective ozone layer to consume the ozone, cosmic rays caused the water in their canals to evaporate. With Wellsia devolving into a dry, barren red rock, the Wellsians set their sights on the still-watery Earth, sparking the 1897 Wellsian invasion of Earth. The invasion began with a mass exodus of the Wellsian population aboard the cannon-pods fired by the R.B.B.C.s, such that the only remaining Wellsian on the planet after 1897 was the old and cantankerous Emperor of Wellsia, whom the rest of Wellsiankind had “accidentally” left behind.
Behind the scenes
Wellsia first appeared in the 2019 story The Wellsians.