|New Comic Series by Dynamite|
|Written by Marcel Damen|
|Thursday, 12 October 2006|
In September 2006 Dynamite Entertainment launched the "Classic Battlestar Galactica" comic series next to their already existing "Battlestar Galactica" series. Yet another brave attempt to bring this comic series back to life?
In 1979 Marvel Comic launched their Battlestar Galactica comic series which lasted 23 issues. It was widely seen as a big disappointment by most fans. The first 5 issues covered the "Saga of a Star World" and "Lost Planet of the Gods" TV episodes, and from issue 6 on it explored new storylines. Marvel's contract with Universal however, forbid them to use any story aspects and characters that were introduced after "Lost Planet of the Gods", so the comics missed out on the exploits of Commander Cain, Count Iblis, the Eastern Alliance and the Ship of Lights. Titan Press found it necessary to reprint this series in two books in 2005 (to complete the agony they included some incorrect blueprints as bonusmaterial).
Maximum Press decides to pick up on an old story in 1995 and brought out a Battlestar Galactica series of three to four-issue limited comics instead of a monthly series. Not bound by so many rules as Marvel (though like Marvel they were legally not able to use the actors' likenesses), they completely revamped the series which takes place 20 years after the timeframe of the television series. Their biggest mistake was that they also touched the fans much loved designs of all ships, including the Galactica and Pegasus (which is kind of strange considering the size of a battlestar and the scarce resources of material available in space).
Matt Busch' Battlestar Galactica artwork
In June 1999 Realm Press, probably triggered by the Galacticon reunion and new projects like Richard Hatch The Second Coming, must have thought to find a new audience for yet another Battlestar Galactica comic series. For the first time they hired some incredibly talented and professional artists to do the job: Matt Busch (Star Wars) and Greg LaRocque (The Flash). Though the artwork looks amazing and the stories are also better than before, no more than one year later they decided to cease publication, citing poor sales and lack of a sufficiently broad consumer base to support an ongoing monthly title.
Dynamite Entertainment has recently started a "Classic Battlestar Galactica" series (based upon the original 1978 series) next to their already existing "Battlestar Galactica" series (based upon the re-imagined 2003 series). While all other publications had to start from scratch and rely on an old fan base, Dynamite tries to sell this as a spin-off and partly relies on the fans of the new series as well. Stepping over the fact that these fans don't mix too well, they at least stepped on some (original series fans) toes by using the logo of "Battlestar Galactica" series on the "Classic Battlestar Galactica" series comics, thus pointing out that this is a spin-off of their "Battlestar Galactica", re-imagined 2003 series (I'm a fan of both TV series, but seen as an original series fan: "Ouch, that hurt!").
Dynamite's "Classic Battlestar Galactica" with cover art by Dave Dorman
The artwork of Carlos Rafael looks good enough to do the job, though I'm more impressed by the gorgeous Dave Dorman artwork for the covers. I really don't see why they need guest artists to make alternate covers for 50% of the issues. You can debate Rafael's artwork on the likenesses to the original actors, but in comic art everybody seems to be a critic, so I won't go there. I've always been a fan of Rick Remender's work as a writer, so I expected a lot from him for this series. I liked the way he went all the way back to the beginning of the story, even introducing Serina again, but what irritated me was the dialogue. Knowing the characters of my beloved 28 year old Battlestar Galactica TV series so well, I immediately noticed that characterizations are completely off. Starbuck saying: "Come on, Adama..." to his highly respected Commander simply made my toes curl!
In conclusion I'd like to state that I'm happy with the fact that yet another publisher was brave enough to start a comic series based upon this 28 year old television series. I can only hope they'll for once listen to the original series fans that have more knowledge of the series than the suits that only saw another success they had to milk out by launching a spin-off series.
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