Review: Buck Rogers #12

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Dynamite Entertainment has reached the end of the first year of Buck Rogers adventures. But as issue #12 ends, the doors open to something we may not have thought of before.

BUCK ROGERS #12
Writer: Scott Beatty
Artist: Carlos Rafael
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover: Carlos Rafael and Carlos Lopez (A) and John Watson and Carlos Lopez (B)

Previously in Buck Rogers: When his space ship malfunctions, Buck Rogers finds himself in the 25th Century surrounded by things that are familiar and not familiar at the same time. Forced into becoming the hero the future didn’t ask for, Buck has saved Earth from mad kings of floating cities, cyborg bears that want to eat humans, and giant rocks from the Moon.

ROBOT MEN ON THE MOON

Those giant rocks aren’t an attack by creatures that mean malice to the human race, but rather a last ditch attempt by robots on the moon colony who were forgotten long ago. While the human inhabitants have died through various means, the robots only want resupply so they can continue their prime directive. There’s something almost Isaac Asimov to the story as the events unfold. The robot populace is only doing their job the way they were programmed, but pop culture and sci-fi have taught us anything, it’s that robots are going to take things literally.

While Buck and Ardala’s encounter with the robots has a creepy zombie vibe to it, there’s no real feeling of danger once Buck discovers what is driving them to hurl rocks to Earth. What does become apparent is Ardala and Kane’s motives are to claim the Moon for their own colony, and with it the rail gun weapon. The issue ends in a somewhat predictable manner, with Kane getting his just reward for turning against Wilma, but the thing that will take everyone by surprise is when Buck’s past, present, and future collide in a very Back to the Future twist.

I really don’t think the main plot elements were all that important to the story, rather it was the path Buck (and our writer) had to take in order to get the hero to the final panel reveal that there may be a way for Buck to get home. The dialogue features a nice smattering of 20th century pop-culture, but it is the ending that still has me smiling.

HOT WOMEN ON THE MOON

Carlos Rafael has come a long way in his art style from issue one to now, and the art here is really nice. While I may not agree completely with the layout, it does have a cinematic feel, and there are plenty of moment when Rafael gives readers some shocking moments that would have audiences jumping in their seat if this were a feature film.

Rafael’s men finally get their moment to shine, looking better than they ever have, but it is his treatment of Wilma and Ardala that really show his skill as an artist. Rafael doesn’t resort to cheesecake for sex appeal sake, but his women do posses a certain sexiness even when they are fighting a horde of zombie robots.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT

The issue ends with a big cliff-hanger which is really a gamble for Dynamite. The closing tag promises Buck Rogers will return, but to date we haven’t seen an announcement from the company of future issues. If Buck Rogers doesn’t return, readers are going to be left hanging, which is something that will do a great disservice to this character and the series Dynamite has put out. The final issue is well worth a read, as it encompasses everything that made Buck Rogers a great movie serial, a comic strip, and a television series. Buck Rogers #12 earns 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆