Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review - Battlestar Galactica Starbuck #1

"What in the name of the lords of Kobol happened here!"

Starbuck didn't always used to be the singular version of a series of coffee shops. It was the call sign of one of the best Viper pilots in the universe, or at least in the universe set against the backdrop of Battlestar Galactica. The character gets the origin treatment in Battlestar Galactica Starbuck #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. The issue is written by Tony Lee, illustrated by Eman Cassalos, colored by David Correia and lettered by Joshua Cozine.

Lt. Starbuck is one of the most heralded Viper pilots in the entire fleet. He wasn't always an ace pilot, even though his origins may be somewhat muddled. What is known is that Adama played a role in his earlier days, teaching him very valuable lessons and tapping into his innate ability. Add it all up and you've got the makings of an ace pilot with a penchant for successfully handling dangerous situations.

Lee does a great job with Starbuck's origin story, offering up a chronology of events that effectively depicts a tale that relied heavily on tragedy. Starbuck becomes one of the best Viper pilots ever, so it's refreshing to see the history behind his growth as a person and pilot. Lee breaks the story up into a few key eras of Starbuck's life, all of which help set the tone for his future role in the fleet. The dialogue also works very well in recounting the origins, with a message of responsibility and perseverance prevalent throughout. It is interesting that Lee pursued the male incarnation of Starbuck, hearkening back to the original series, instead of using the female Starbuck made famous by Katee Sackhoff.

Illustrations by Cassalos are very subtly well done. There's a lot of focus on character's facial expressions, something that really helps carry the emotion of most of the events in Starbuck's life. He utilizes a lot of varied panel layouts that keep the pages from feeling monotonous, offering a great mix of perspectives and looks at the action. Those action sequences keep with the pacing of the dialogue, offering up some of the awesome Battlestar Galactica dogfights that fans are used to. Cassalos maintains the look of the property made popular in the TV shows, keeping the reader right in the thick of it all.

It's been a while since the reboot show of Battlestar Galactica finished its run, but for some people that's just too long. Fans of the show will definitely want to check out Battlestar Galactica Starbuck #1 for insights into the origins of one of the show's lead characters. If you're not as familiar with the property, you probably won't get as much out of it as you would otherwise, but that's not to say that's it not enjoyable nonetheless. It's got a solid mix of action and story that really moves along at a great pace.

Battlestar Galactica Starbuck #1 is in stores November 20 with interiors below.


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