Saturday, January 17, 2009

So say we all.

The time has finally come. Battlestar Galactica has returned, and my gods, it was amazing! This is going to be one crazy ride to the end. I think we all can agree on that. Also, I think I can say with confidence that fans will be clamoring for anything BSG related since there are only 9 episodes left. We need our fix and Dynamite Entertainment wants to be our pusher with all of their Battlestar Galactica miniseries. If you remember, my first actual post on this blog was of the first nine issues of the Battlestar Galactica comic series. Sadly, it was so bad that I never even tried to find the issue I was missing or finish reading the series. Logically, Dynamite's mediocre first attempt at BSG comics might be the reason why the other miniseries are also in the cheap boxes. If the core book is not great, why would I want to try the others? It is a very fair question and I can totally understand why anyone would skip the BSG line of comics after reading the first series.

BUT WAIT! Just because the other series were tossed in the cheap bins doesn't mean that they warrant it. Now that I have read Battlestar Galactica: Zarek, and Battlestar Galactica: Origins, I can tell you that the quality of BSG comics improved greatly after the first series. The first of these two that I read was Battlestar Galactica: Zarek. Zarek is a four issue miniseries that follows the life of revolutionary Tom Zarek and how he came to be a prisoner during the Cylon attack on the 12 Colonies. Fans of BSG have followed Tom Zarek's journey in the background as one of the show's second tier characters. The comic series shows how he lead a revolution on the colony of Sagittaron due to the death of his parents and the unfair treatment that his more agrarian colony received. All in all, the series served its purpose and did round out the character. Nothing seemed out of place and the story felt like it could be weaved into BSG continuity just fine.

As soon as I was done with Zarek, I moved right into Battlestar Galactica: Origins. Now I love a good anthology series and Origins does not disappoint. Over eleven issues, we get three completely separate stories. Issues 1-4 give us Gaius Baltar's story of how he rose from the son of farmers to the rock star of the science world. Written seamlessly, the story gives you just enough to make you believe that Baltar could have become no one but the arrogant narcissist that we know him to be. After Gaius's four issues, we change characters and time periods and find ourselves with a young William "Husker" Adama during the First Cylon War. "But Mike, we saw all that in the Razor webisodes or interspersed with the movie on the DVD?" You're right, but we only saw him fly a single mission (that they do mention in the comics) during Razor. You really think the great Husker Adama only flew one mission? If you love "the Old Man" as much as I do, then this story is a must read. The last three issues of the series give us a Starbuck and Helo story set during one of their early training missions. While the story was fairly basic, I did get the feel that both of them developed a strong trust with each other which is an important plot point of the second season when they meet up on Cylon-occupied Caprica. Considering the quality of all three arcs in the series, Battlestar Galactica fans should at least go out and pick up the trades. They'll be worth it.

Now have you noticed a common theme between these two series? Neither of them take place during the time period of the actual show, and that fact alone might be what makes or breaks a BSG comic series. Both of them are prequels that fill in gaps that we as the reader or viewer didn't even know that we were missing. That is the way they should operate. The first series's downfall was that it stepped on too many toes and made too many changes to established characters and plot lines. When you go and tell the stories that happen outside of the show, that problems is nowhere near as prevalent. You have a wider canvas and you can use interesting ideas that don't hamper anything that the characters on our televisions are doing. So Dynamite, thank you for making Battlestar Galacitca comics and keep them coming as long as the quality can stay consistent with Zarek and Origins.

1 comment:

Rick Hansen said...

Sweet reviews. I'm someone who enjoys a good space/cosmic story. While I quickly grew tired of BSG on TV, these comics might be worth trying out. I've always liked Silver Surfer, Nova, Warlock and, more recently, Dan Dare (God, I loved Dan Dare last year!). Hey, did anyone ever make an Andromeda comic?