REVIEW: Battlestar Galactica – Starbuck #1

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For you young’ns, there once was a series called Battlestar Galactica, created to cash in on a boom in science fiction stories, taking bits and pieces of many different stories to tell the tale of a ragtag fleet of alien refugees running after the destruction of their homeworld by robotic monsters.  That part probably sounds familiar, but when I mention that this was all the way back in 1978, you’ll probably groan and start to mock the special effects.  Wanna see why that’s a mistake?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

SUMMARY

Pros
Admitting the original has fans.
Starbuck’s origins.


Cons

Not a lot of new information here.
I forgot how distracting all the Colonial jargon is.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)


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Starbuck1CoverBATTLESTAR GALACTICA-STARBUCK #1
Writer: Tony Lee
Artist: Eman Casallos
Colorist: Davis Correai
Letterer: Joshua Cozine
Editor: Joe Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Battlestar Galactica: “There are those who believe that life here… began out there. Far across the universe. With tribes of humans, who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians… or the Toltecs… or the Mayans…  That they may have been the architects of the Great Pyramids… or the lost civilizations of Lemuria… or Atlantis… Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man, who even now fight to survive, somewhere beyond the heavens.”

AN ORIGIN LONG UNTOLD…

So, if you’re expecting the story of a lithe, tattooed female pilot, you’re going to be a bit disappointed, as this is the original old-school Starbuck, as brought to life by Dirk Benedict in the 1970s.  This issue starts 26 yahrens (which are pretty much just years) in the past, as a young Captain Adama and his compatriot Boomer fight Cylons in orbit around a planet known as Umbra.  Tony Lee knows his backstory here (not a surprise, having read his work on Doctor Who), as young Adama crash-lands his Viper, and is at the mercy of a Cylon warrior.  Moments before the future Commander is executed, a young boy leaps down, from the trees, smashing a branch over the Cylon’s head and saving Captain Adama.  As someone who loved the old series, it’s interesting to see this story played out on-screen, as I remember most of this from Starbuck’s back story, though not the part where he saves Adama.  Jump-forward in time, as a 14-yahren old Starbuck tries to join the Colonial forces, asking Adama to sponsor him in his bid to be a Viper pilot.  When Adama says no, Starbuck storms off on his whatever-space-name-they’ve-given-motorcycles, leaving a cloud of dust and shaming Adama…

THIS ART REMINDS ME OF DARICK ROBERTSON.

The art is very strong throughout the issue, with many similarities in structure and facial features to Darick Robertson, with some overtones of Barry Kitson here and there.  It’s especially noticeable as Adama’s son Apollo takes after Starbuck, calling him to task for disrespecting his father, leading the two teenagers to prove who is right with a race:  If Apollo loses, he’ll convince his dad to sponsor Starbuck to the academy.  It’s kind of a foregone conclusion, given that we know that adult Apollo and Starbuck are the best pilots in the galaxy, but the build-up of their bet is worth the ride for a fan.  Their friendship is established, and additional time-jumps show us how Starbuck became such a lovable rogue (he had a good role-model) as well as how he became such a skilled Viper pilot.  The one problem that I have with the dialogue comes in the repeated use of Colonial terms (“Frack”, “Felgercarb”, “Centon”, “Daggit” and more) so close together, giving me a case of sci-fi overload.

THE BOTTOM LINE: NICELY DONE, BUT PROBABLY ONLY FOR HARDCORE FANS…

I’m a fan of the old Battlestar Galactica, and fondly remember many Saturday afternoon airings of the show on Channel 41, and with such a short run, it’s easy to remember all the details of the 24 episodes.  (But not Galactica: 1980.  Because #@*&$ that show.)  As such, I enjoyed this issue, even as it mostly dramatized events that had already been referenced or described in the television show, but that familiarity is simultaneously the biggest weakness.  All in all, Battlestar Galactica – Starbuck #1 is a good book, with some very expressive art, but one that could be problematic, especially if you only know Katee Sackhoff, but still does well enough to earn 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★★½☆