04 June 2006

REVIEW: Battlestar Galactica #0

It's pretty hard to bring a story from one medium to another. I love the new Galactica so hard. There's been virtually no secondary products to go along with it. This lack of capitalism makes the inner child cry. No joke. I want more than one novelization, more than a soundtrack, more than an okay video game... I want my world to be enveloped by Galactica. I want "Property of Battlestar Galactica Athletics" t-shirts. I want helmets. I want commemorative statuettes of Starbuck. I want replicas of Roslin's declarations.

So you can imagine how gleeful I was about the comic. OMG! They're making a comic! OMG! Greg Pak is writing it? OMG! Finally something to hold me over until season three starts... in... in... OMG! It's too far away. After the child inside chilled out, the fanboy took over. OMG! THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST PIECE OF CRAP EVAAR!!! One wonders how I can contain so many conversations in my pretty little head.

An aside for you, the reader, to know where I'm coming from: You've got your purists, you've got your fanboys, you've got the guys who'll measure a sleeve to decide whether the decorative cuff is an inch off. I'm of the belief that, 1. You need to stay true to the original material; 2. You need to make your adaptation better than the original or there's no point to what you are doing; 3. There's probably something else I'm forgetting right now.
Greg Pak wrote, directed, and starred in the critically acclaimed Robot Stories. Having made a movie that is such a refreshing departure from what you'd think a movie about robots would be, he's the natural choice to handle an adaptation of a reimagining of a fairly standard-issue science fiction television show.

An aside for you people who think the original Galactica is better than the new one: The new show is better. It took the idea of the first one and improved on it. It's revolutionizing how we tell science fiction stories. It has raised the bar on what we expect a sci-fi show to be. No longer just the playground of people whose emotional development was stunted when they first saw their own pubic hairs, sci-fi programming can be aimed towards those whose sophistication reaches into social commentary that is not camp nor ridiculous.
Spoilers might be in this paragraph... I don't know... I get confused because other people read stories to be surprised. I read stories to see how someone tells a story.

Once he grounds you on when in the overall story his is taking place, Pak captures the relationship between Commander William Adama and President Laura Roslin. He shows the conflict between Starbuck and William Adama as the former seeks forgiveness from the latter. What's brilliant is how he is able to capture the silence that Wm. Adama uses to communicate. He further develops Wm. Adama's question, "Why does humanity deserve to survive?" Plus, he creates a story hook that made me want issue one even more.

Somehow all that happens and Pak still manages to hint that he'll be better able to explore the moments in between episodes. For example, in the series a lot happens between William Adama and his son Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama. However, we only get enough to understand where they are. Can you imagine if Ronald D. Moore and company had, say, an extra 20 - 30 pages to flesh out the one or two lines of dialogue between father and son?

What does the Inner Fanboy have to say about all this?

Inner Fanboy
Why's he got to pander? Don't you feel like he made it soooo accessible to people who haven't watched the show?

It is an issue zero... Pak has to make it so that new and old readers can jump in at any point. It's an industry-wide, constant battle to not alienate potential new readers. Nothing is as dissatisfying than to read something and not know what's going on.

Inner Fanboy
But aren't you reading all those Year One Laters without knowing what the hell is going on?

That's different. The Year One Later titles... they.... ok, you have a good point. But Dynamite isn't DC, and I'm sure they're accountable to the Galactica people in some way so there's a lot of compromise going on.

Inner Fanboy
But the Galactica show doesn't make it easy for new viewers to jump in. They're all in medias res, all the time.

While that is true, the comic is a different situation with different hurdles. Ultimately, I don't think it's a bad thing that Pak is trying to make this very detailed story accessible. He's remaining true to the show. Considering this is the first story, I think it shows great promise. I think they're going to be able to delve deep into the Galactica mythos in a way they cannot in the show. I hope they explore the first Cylon war through Wm. Adama and Tigh's memories. I hope they detail the history of the colonies. I hope they develop Asian male characters that don't get killed so fast.

An aside for you people not watching the new Galactica: What in the hell are you people smoking? Get on your couch and watch that shidd!
Inner Fanboy
You just want them to create a character that becomes so popular that they write him into the show and you get cast as him, don't you?

I'm just saying, I'm willing to move to Vancouver for my art...

Battlestar Galactica #0 is available from Dynamite Entertainment at the bargain price of 25 cents.

No comments: