I love Battlestar; every series. Well, with the exception of Galactica ’80 (notice there is no Battlestar in that title). As part of the charm, I liked the way my Nana couldn’t say Galactica. Hence the title of this book would no doubt send her false teeth spinning across the room faster than a viper leaving a launch tube.
Over here in the UK, we were lucky enough to have two cinematic releases; the Saga of the Star World and Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack. The latter, introduces Commander Cain and the Pegasus as a sort of non-ethical foil to Commander Adama. This idea was further built upon in the remake, with Michelle Forbes taking the place of Lloyd Bridges as the “gung-ho take the battle to the Cylons” officer. Between the pair, they both managed to cause all sorts of problems for their respective Adama’s. But what should happen when the original Cain comes across the last Cylon and how does this discovery lead to a Battlestar confrontation, never mind Basestar against Basestar and is the universe ready for two Baltars?
Peter David is no stranger to sci-fi universes, having made his literary name playing in the ever fertile field of various Star Trek’s as well as Babylon 5. Here he is taking possibly one of the most enigmatic villains of the show and looks to further compound the complexity of the character. Truth be told, Cain is not that far removed from the rebooted Adama; both wanted to take the fight to the Cylon’s, before the latter had his world view changed. The Lorne Greene Adama never had such a problem. In fact, it was had to imagine the almost pacifist Adama even fought in the war. David loves a great contradiction in which to deliver his stories that are strong on humanity. David is probably aware that the thing that makes either Cain such a great character is that nether of them feel that they are in the wrong!
Dynamite have been producing licensed comics for quite some time now. By now there is a level of expectation. Take their fantastic James Bond books for example. With that in mind, it comes as bit of a surprise that artist Johnny Desjardins provides an example of art that whilst does possess a level of action, it bears very little resemblance to the characters that we have come to love, to hate. Whilst I am a fan of Peter David, in the comic medium, he needs the help of an artist that carry help carry the story. Desjardins manages that element in a workman like fashion: but a licenced book needs a certain frisson. At times, I wouldn’t know this was a Battlestar book; thank god there is an actual Cylon or two and the ships from which the name of the book is taken. Colors are provided by Mohan in a heavy-handed, dark coloured manner. Is this used to show how dark Cain’s universe is? With the introduction of the reboot crew, I am pretty sure it can get darker still.
The book isn’t without a sense of fun, the “looks like i picked the wrong time…” joke will only appeal to fans of a certain age (thank you Mr David, I got it!) and the idea of two Battlestars going head to head, with the variants on the theme providing all sorts of conceptual contrasts. You never know, the latter-day Tigh may get his wish for Starbuck to go frak herself, kind of. It’s a shame, that very much like the Armistice between humans and Cylons, the art promises much, but fails to deliver the desired result.
Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars
Written by: Peter David
Art by; Johnny Desjardins
Colors by: Mohan
Published by; Dynamite Entertainment