In Review: Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck #1
The cover: Illustrated by Sean Chen and colored by Adriano Lucas, this is the pose I’d expect to see the original Starbuck in–surrounded by fawning women. The expression on is face is perfection. I also really like the inclusion of one of the four-eyed two-mouthed singers from the pilot episode. I wanted to background to be a solid color (moss green or aqua) to make it stand out on the shelves more so than this white. Overall grade: A-
The story: I couldn’t get into Ron Moore’s Galactica reboot (I know, sue me), but I do have rather fond memories of watching the original series when it was first on. Starbuck wasn’t my favorite character, I’m more of an Apollo fan, but writer Tony Lee has done a really nice job writing the first thirteen years of Starbuck’s known past. This opening issue begins with a cylon attack on Caprica with Captain Adama and Tigh fighting back the horde. An exciting dogfight ends with Adama crashing into the Forest of Thorns and about to meet his maker until the timely intervention of a tiny fighter. Even though I knew what Starbuck’s relationships would be, it was really entertaining to see how they were forged. The confrontation at the bottom of Page 8 was predictable, as was the older person’s response, but the exit line at the top of 9 was great! Faster than you can say Chris Pine, you’ll know what’s going to happen as a result of that final panel on that page. The sequence that starts on 11 if full of all the expected give and take, but I’ll admit to being surprised by the third panel on Page 12. The conclusion of this was nice, revealing a lot about Starbuck. The banter on 15 had me beaming. The issue could have stopped there and I would have been happy, but the book has six more pages to go and we see who the young cadet’s role model was. This was so fun, as was the entire story. Overall grade: A
The art: Any comic from this franchise has got to have characters resembling their actors and have tech that looks like it came out of the series. Eman Casallos is wildly successful in all fronts on this book. I’m not a big fan of sci-fi dogfights, but evidently Dark Horse Comics’ recent Star Wars offerings have painted them in a poor light, because the first four pages of this book look amazing. This is how a dogfight should be drawn! I like how Casallos inserts tiny panels into larger ones to give the reader a face for the pilot of the ship. I was also impressed with how Casallos drew the children and teens, which are often the bane of comic book artists, but not here. Casallos is equally impressive with the way he moves his point of view around, which is made evident on Pages 11 – 14. This is my first encounter with Casallos’ work and I’m hoping it’s not my last. Overall grade: A+
The colors: Making the art look truly spectacular was the coloring of Davi Correia. The first page’s colors really made me believe in the artwork and it made the ensuing dogfight so cool. I also loved the coloring in the interior shots on the Battlestar–it took me back to watching the shows, especially on Pages 19 and 20. This is top work. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Joshua Cozine provides a plethora of styles to this book with dialogue, cyclon speak, scene setting, and sound effects, all of which are tops. The only sound I was missing was the viper launch in the end. Overall grade: A
The final line: I was very reticent in reviewing this book because of my indifference to Starbuck and Galactica in general. Boy, was I wrong! This is a great entry point for the uninitiated or those with vague memories of the show. I fell in love with the story and the art and eagerly await the next installment. If you’re a fan of the series this can only be the best love letter you’ll ever get. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give this up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he’s taught 9th grade and currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.