Arriving in stores this week (April 22, 2009)Â is Dynamite Entertainmentâ€™s latest series – Buck Rogers.Â For most of us, the Gil Gerard series from 1979 is probably the only exposure weâ€™ve had to the futuristic hero.Â And while there have been more recent video and role playing games based on the universe created by Philip Francis Nowlan, it takes a brand new comic book series to bring the excitement back to reading comics set in the far future.
The good thing about Buck Rogers, is you already know everything you need to know about Buck Rogers – he was rocketed 500 years in the future and brings his 21st century sensibility to the Futurians, where he has all sorts of adventures.Â So when this issue start with Buck in the clutches of paramecium like beings from Ganymede, no explanation is needed; the Earth is in trouble and he is the only one who can save it.
Scott Beatty does an excellent job of explaining certain elements of the story in a way that makes sense in the context of the short tale being told.Â For example, instead of putting the reader into the mind of Rogers, the monologue presented are the recorded thoughts being captured by his suitâ€™s Thought-Journal.
However, readers shouldnâ€™t come into this series thinking they know everything.Â NamesÂ and characters have been changed, as has the technology.Â Donâ€™t expect to see Twiki running around with Dr. Theopolis on his chest, or expect to see the shapely form of WIlma Deering luring Buck into fantastical adventures.Â Readers who pay special attention to the climactic scene in the issue will come to understand that this Buck Rogers has been hanging around in the future for quite some time, and the relationships between the characters turns out to be very interesting.Â Beatty does an excellent job of leading the reader down the path, getting them comfortable in thinking they know what is going on, and then presenting a swerve that makes one sit up and pay attention.Â And without getting too spoilery in this advanced review, let’s just say the “explosive” conclusion serves as the catalyst for future Buck Rogers tales.
Carlos Rafael steps up to provide the art duties on this issue, and does a heck of a job at it.Â Iâ€™m usually not a big fan of the semi-realistic type art, but Rafael pulls it off to bring the grand scope of this future world to the reader.Â Aiding the art is the coloring done by Carlos Lopez, who is able to bring that special glow to everything, including the suits worn by the heroes.Â It adds that extra special something to the issue and makes it pop.
A quick tale, good art, and a well known character seems like a perfect trifecta, but Dynamite has gone that extra step by lowering the price to a mere quarter.Â While this is a one time only price, itâ€™s a price that anyone can afford compared to the $3.99 being spent on other titles.Â I say pick up five and give them out to your friends, it will still be less than paying full price.
Digging up old properties and dusting them off can be tricky.Â Too often the property is mired in past continuity thanks to estates and creators, causing the property to fade away, never to be heard from again.Â Dynamite has had a good record as of late with properties like Zorro, The Lone Ranger, and The Man With No Name, and after reading this first issue, it looks like the company is going to do the same thing with Buck Rogers. If you hadnâ€™t planned on picking up this issue, I say grab it now.Â At the very least, if you donâ€™t like it, youâ€™ve only wasted a quarter, but my guess is youâ€™ll enjoy the issue for what it is, and youâ€™ll feel Buck Rogers #0 is deserving of a 4 Star Rating.