Monday, June 12

Battlestar Galactica #0 review

Source: Now Playing Pagazine

Since returning from Kobol, Adama has not spoken to either Apollo or Kara, despite the latter discovering a diary of letters he’s been writing to his dead son, Zak. But personal concerns must be pushed aside when the fleet discovers itself in a Sargasso sea of space, amidst dead ships from the Third Colonial Conflict. But one ship still has survivors — all of whom have been dead or reported missing for years.

Battlestar Galactica may be one of the most highly anticipated comic book adaptations since… well, since Marvel did the last adaptation of the old series in print form, and Dynamite Entertainment knows it. Hence this first issue comes in no less than four different covers, all with a cover price of one American quarter. If that doesn’t get the faithful reading, nothing will. One big problem, though, is that it’s only the faithful — i.e. those who follow the television series already — who will be able to follow the first major expository scene in this issue between Adama and President Roslin. The assumption that the publishers and writer Greg Pak have made is that, if you’re reading this book, you’re watching the series — and while that’s not a bad assumption, it risks causing brand new readers to do the comic-book equivalent, as rare as it is, of “switching off.” There’s even a note on the inner cover saying this story takes place between this episode and that episode, a good move for continuity freaks, but a bad one for someone who wants to start here. (I could say something about the oddity of having a little girl at a Presidential press conference, but hey — desperate times lead to desperately weird social situations.)

Once we’re past all that, though, Pak’s script truly soars, turning into the beginnings of an unseen episode we wish they’d hurry up and film already. The in medias res approach that Pak takes, while potentially alienating to new readers, also allows for some of the book’s best emotional punches, such as Kara’s discovery of the diary in Adama’s quarters. It also means we don’t have endless reintroductions to all of the characters, allowing major players such as Baltar and Number Six to safely remain “off-screen” (even if one or both of them does appear on three of the four alternative covers). But the best payoff to this approach is that final page, which even a new reader can have a shock of surprise over, since Pak has set it up so well within this issue. It’s an amazing moment, and one which should get this series started with a bang.

I wish I could say the same thing about Nigel Raynor’s art, but it really is the biggest flaw this book has going for it. Raynor’s fine when it comes to drawing Cylons and spaceships, but when it comes to drawing characters consistently, there’s a problem. I’m not even talking about making sure that Adama looks recognizably like Edward James Olmos — that’s a minor concern when talking about comic adaptations of shows, in my opinion. Instead, I’m talking about Adama looking the same from page to page, or Roslin looking anything like a normal woman would. In some panels, she looks very disturbingly like Lisa Hayes from the old Robotech series. The busy layouts don’t help, either, at one point making Galactica‘s bridge look more like a high-tech mall. Thank goodness for the scripts, then. B+

Newshound: SciFi

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