Reboot a good start, with bears!


Dynamite Entertainment’s latest foray into the futuristic sci-fi genre dishes up a slice of the past, mixed with an ample side today, covered in a bunch of “well you got me there”.    With the title character’s final adventure done and over (see Buck Rogers #0), readers finally get a chance to see where it all began in this reboot of the Buck Rogers franchise.

Buck01_cov_Cassaday.jpgThe first issue starts off normal enough; Buck Rogers is a test pilot and scientist working on a new gravity drive that should propel man beyond the stars and faster than light.  When the military gets a whiff of what’s going on, they try to co-opt the project, causing Buck to turn on the after burners and get the heck out of Dodge.  Strangely, when he falls back to Earth in a stunning crash, readers get to meet Colonel Deering for the first time all over again.  It’s an interesting meet up as Deering needs to get Buck and his gear out of what appears to be a game preserve.

But this isn’t a game preserve that I’ve ever seen, as just when it looks like the duo are about to get to safety, they come face to face with a bear.  Not just any bear, a grizzly bear…with a gun… and an electronic eye… and it can talk.  I kid you not; Scott Beatty has written a story that features a giant bear zapping Wilma and Buck into some game zone, presumably to become the hunted, in this bizzarre world.

Up until that part, Beatty had me, but the bear pushed it a tad far over the top.  The character development of Buck is appropriate for the hot shot jock pilot, and each line uttered by the title character sounds like it belongs.  I also enjoy the flashback sequences that give readers a chance to find out what may have lead Buck to his current predicament, and presumably we’ll discover more about Buck’s past as he continues to have adventures in the future.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the direction of the future suits Deering and others will sport throughout the series, but I guess it makes a lot more sense to have a totally black suit with glowing stripes than a red and green bullet suit first introduced so many years ago.  Because of the near solid black design, it makes art duties for Carlos Rafael that much easier, which should give him time to devote to faces and the rest of the 25th century.  Black future suits aside, I really thought Rafael did a great job on the art side of things, as he’s able to pack a lot of information into each panel.

Still, there’s that bear.

I guess it isn’t as bad as it could be, we’ve all seen worse in the form of the alien-of-the-week, and keeping things Earth-based for now, should give Beatty a chance to explore the future in a direction few have peeked at before.

By issue’s end, I didn’t feel as excited as I did when I first began reading the issue, or when I had the chance to read the preview issue, featuring the death of Buck Rogers.  It isn’t all bad, and I’m willing to give this title a few more issues before I decide if it goes on my permanent pull pile or if it is off to the quarter bin.  Buck Rogers #1 offers some surprising moments, really nice art, a brisk story, and a bear with a zap gun, earning it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.


The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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1 Comment

  1. CF
    June 15, 2009 at 3:54 pm — Reply

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!! I agree with Graeme “Crackah” McMillan. This issue kind of feels like a rip-off of Green Loontern. It’s a little too decompressed for my tastes. They haven’t really given us enough of the background world to discern whether or not this series will be good.

    I’d give it 4 or 5 issues to find out how good the series is.

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