Dynamite’s Battlestar Galactica #1 is one of those first issues which expects the reader to come in to the property with a certain amount of previous knowledge. This might work well if it was an adaptation based on the more recent SyFy series, but this comic is s spin-off of the older series from the late 70s. Granted, it was a sci-fi television classic, but this may be a bit off-putting for younger readers who will wonder why the Cylons are so boxy-looking and why Starbuck is a dude.
These expectations are evident in a number of ways. Some scenes feature narration which refer to specific episodes of the television program. There is very little in the way of character development. The reader is expected to know who the characters are and what their relationships are with one another. In many cases, the relationships can be cleared up in context. Even those who have seen neither of the television shows will quickly figure out that Adama is Apollo’s father, that their is a close friendship between Apollo, Starbuck, and Boomer, etc. More confusing would be the seemingly random panels featuring characters without an arc in this issue like Boxey and his robotic dog.
Granted, this reviewer has an extensive knowledge of the source material (enough to shudder when Boxey makes his appearance). The characters are easily recognizable, the artists doing a good job of representing the actors from the ’78 television show. The plot is interesting, mimicking the feel of the show quite well. The writers weave three plots together nicely, one featuring the subconscious roaming of a comatose Adama, another featuring the Cylons, and a third the main Viper jockeys as they explore the area of space which the fleet has been thrown into via black hole. This last was especially reminiscent of something which a viewer could have watched on the tele. These separate plots each have their own cliffhanger to draw the reader into the next issue.
My only real complaint was the coloring. For a series set in the blackness of uncharted space, there is a lot of eye-popping color. With the exception of a few panels featuring star-field backgrounds, the backgrounds ranged from soft blues to bright oranges. Even the images of the Vipers flying away from the Galactica is set against a swirling, baby blue background.
All in all, Battlestar Galactica issue 1 is done well enough to make one want to pick up the next issue, but not enough to place it immediately on ones pick list.