It’s been over a decade since readers got a peek at William Shatner’s Tek War in comic book form, and now Bluewater Productions has resurrected the series into something that is both new and familiar.

TEKWAR1A.jpgWhen I first read about Tek War being reintroduced, it kept popping up from the back of my mind that I had read the series at some point in the past, and that this was either going to be an updated telling of that series, or a sequel to the original.  After reading the first issue, I can say it is more of a reboot than anything else.

The world of Tek War finds a new kind of highly addictive and illegal drug wrecking a lot of people, and former police detective Jake Cardigan is no exception.  Locked up in suspended animation for four years, Cardigan gets an early parole from the penal system.  It is hinted that his release has connections to a very Shatner-esque looking Mr. Bascom, who hires Cardigan to search for a missing robotics doctor.

The plot is similar to the 1992 TekWorld series, but it is so much better.  I happened to flip through the previous series, and the dialogue and character development smack of the problem with the comics being released during the time period.  Fortunately, the Tek War Chronicles doesn’t suffer from those stumbles, and reintroduces the character in a way that seems to be more fitting for the times.

I particularly like how Shatner and Scott Davis update the universe to reflect many of the current thoughts on the direction technology is moving toward.  Things like space elevators, touch screens, and even a different approach to flying cars sits much better with me today than the grossly off-target view of yesteryear.

Tek War Chronicles also features a very different Jake Cardigan who spends a lot of time reflecting on the events that landed him in prison, and what looks to be an ongoing addiction with Tek and tracking down the whereabouts of his wife.  The character seems more fully developed here, but never having read the TekWar novels, I can’t say if this series if reflective of the original source, but I like it nonetheless.  There are a few moments in the issue that seem to have slipped past the editor, and I had to flip through the issue a couple of times to see if I was mistaken, or if the first reference to Kittridge was actually missing from the issue.  It’s an odd moment when it happens, and brings the issue down slightly, but overall, the story moves along with few road bumps.

The art is nice as well, sometimes looking a lot like something one might find in a manga series, and other times looking like something lifted from an animated frame of a movie.  Erich Owen does a terrific job of making Los Angeles look like a dirty rotten sink hole, yet still dropping in recognized landmarks so readers know this is not some totally made up location.  The hook of this first issue is great, and it will certainly drive desire to read the next several issues.

Those looking for a noir future cyber story have a lot of options ranging from Philip K. Dick to Neal Stephenson and William Gibson, but if you are looking for that genre in comic book form, The Tek War Chronicles is a great option, earning 4 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. Shawn
    June 26, 2009 at 8:46 am — Reply

    I remember reading TekLab and TekVengeance in paperback years ago and then watching the TekWar TV movies and shows starring Greg Evigan. Shatner played Bascom in those movies and shows too so his appearance here continues that tradition. I thought it was pretty cool back when I was 13 or 14 years old.

  2. Shawn
    June 26, 2009 at 8:49 am — Reply

    Also, is that supposed to be a Sid Gomez floating head and torso in the upper right corner?

  3. June 26, 2009 at 9:13 am — Reply

    yes, although the cover I have has Shatner’s head floating in the corner – wasn’t he the big fat head in 3rd Rock? Looks like he’s keeping with it here too.

  4. Mike Keller
    June 26, 2009 at 10:07 am — Reply

    Wow that IS Shatner – sorry I was too busy looking at Race Bannon holding the gun, Al Pacino (er.. Gomez) laughing, and Laura Dern (well, sorta) running (in slow motion). You know what, it must be me. Im just all over the place here.

  5. June 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    Stephen, thank you for the review! I don’t really see the correlation between my artwork and manga or animation, but nice review.

    Shawn: yes, that’s Sid in the upper right corner

    Mike: not sure if that was meant to be a slam or just an observation, but the inspirations for the characters are as follows: Sid/Benicio Del Toro, Jake/Jason Statham (with more hair), Bascom/Mr. Shatner (just like the TV series), Beth(girl running)/January Jones. I just used them as inspiration, but didn’t look at pictures of those actors after I designed the characters.

  6. Mike Keller
    June 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm — Reply

    No Erich, not a slam. Its a great cover, as are the other two.

    Ever watch a TV show called “Dream On”? Half the show was flashbacks to Martin Tupper’s TV viewing childhood. I so relate. Im just an old guy and I watched Johnny Quest when it was new – and the image took me back. Course Jake also resembles John Constantine a little bit too.

    There used to be a Vietnamese pho place near my work, that was built in an old pizza place. They had images of Al Pacino, Marlan Brando, etc. still air brushed on the wall – it was a hoot. There is a little similarity. As to Ms Jones – I think she’s a great inspiration (*hides image from view*). Interestingly, when they did the movie Tek War, they cast Torri Higginson as Beth – an actor I loved when she was on Stargate: Atlantis (no connection to Dern or Jones though).
    Like i said, I’m just all over the place. I will have to get this now though. The inside art is as good as the cover(s), and I loved the old story.

  7. shamon
    June 27, 2009 at 3:04 am — Reply

    I never heard of this maybe because i was too young (born in 85 ) but i did pick up the first issue looks good will read it later on today .

  8. June 27, 2009 at 11:35 am — Reply

    thanks for clearing that up Mike. I was given those actors for inspiration in the script. I thought about looking at the actors that played each part in the TV series (I liked Torri in S:A also), but we wanted to set this series apart from the previous incarnations. I think you might enjoy this new version of the story, I do, and I’m having fun drawing it.

    Shamon: Thanks for giving it a try, hope you like it! Yeah, it’s probably a little before your time, you’d have been 10 when the TV series and the comic series from Marvel came out, so you might have been into other stuff then.

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