Monday, September 21, 2009

Galactica 1980 #1

First off, kudos to Dynamite Comics for having the cajones to actually risk putting out a Galactica 1980 comic.

Secondly... it's good. REAL good.

I bought it because I just had to see what they were going to do with it. Would it be farcical? Serious? The promotional blurb said only this:

One of the most controversial series in Sci Fi's history is back! Some fans love it, some fans hate it, but one thing's for certain, writer Marc Guggenheim is going to do Galactica 1980 the right way! Lives will be lost as the re-imagining of 1980 begins here and unlike anything you've seen before in a Galactica comic book! Featuring artist Cezar (Zorro) Razek along with a fully painted cover from Lucio Parillo.

(Now, I have a lot things I want to say about this blurb itself, but I'll save that later.)

The word "re-imagining" had me willing to try it and the "lives will be lost" had me thinking it was probably going to be much grittier. Marc Guggenheim also writes the post-alien-invasion comic Resurrection, which I enjoy, and it can be very dark at times. However Steve & Rich have told me that Guggenheim's great when he writes his own material, but lousy when he writes super heroes. So how would he handle this already established property?

"Well," I told Steve, "It's Galactica 1980. It would be pretty hard to make it worse."

I have to say, based on this first issue, he's handling it great. The cast is the same as the TV series-- there's no Starbuck, Apollo, or Tigh, Adama has his beard, Boomer is the new Colonel, and the main characters are Troy and Dillon. And yes, even Dr. Zee is here. There are plenty of scenes that run parallel the original first episode, but with much more depth to them. Guggenheim has taken this show from an ABC 7 PM Sunday night kids show to a serious, 10 PM adult drama.

I also found this comment by him at Total Sci-Fi Online while I was searching for the cover to post here:

"It's the finest example I can think of how wide the chasm can be between concept and execution," Guggenheim told Comic Book Resources.

"The concept is amazing. The Galactica discovers Earth! What's not cool about that? But the execution… There are a million stories to tell there and you decide to do the one about super-powered kids who play baseball? Wow."

I mean, really, can the Galactica 1980 TV show be summed up any better than that? Luckily, the story Guggenheim has picked for the comic has me itching to see what's going to happen next.

Now, on to those things I wanted to say about the promotional blurb...

One of the most controversial series in Sci Fi's history is back!
Just wondering about the capital letters here... the anal-retentive smart-ass in me wants to ask, do they mean the channel that's become SyFy? 'Cause they did run it too...

Some fans love it, some fans hate it, ...
REALLY? There's a fan out there who loves it?!? PLEASE point them out to me, and I mean this in 100% seriousness! See, I've always had this belief that everything, no matter how terrible the world at large may think it is, is someone's favorite. And I went searching for a fan who loves Galactica 1980 to prove my point.

I couldn't find one. Not one. The best I could find was people who said "Well yeah, it's a terrible show, but it's not the show's fault, it's because of this and that and the other thing that was going on that ruined it." They often point to the last episode ("The Return of Starbuck," universally hailed as the only good episode of Galactica 1980) as a sign that Glen Larson was trying to fix the show and get it back on track. But even they admit they don't like it.

So in all seriousness, if there is ANYONE out there who loves Galactica 1980, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT HERE SAYING SO!!! I still believe in my "everything is someone's favorite" theory and I want to prove it as true.

...but one thing's for certain, writer Marc Guggenheim is going to do Galactica 1980 the right way!
Sorry, but the expression "done the right way!" sends fear through me. I've seen too many "done the right way!" stories backfire. Every fan has their own idea of how a story should be done, so "the right way" is completely subjective.

Look at the Star Wars prequels. Does anyone honestly think George Lucas set out to do them "wrong"? Does anyone really believe that he sat up at night plotting to himself, "I could do this the right way, but I think I'll destroy some fanboys' childhoods instead!" No, of course not. He felt he was telling Darth Vader's backstory the right way. But lots of fans already had in their heads how it should have been, and when it didn't match up they got upset.

(And for the record, I like the prequels. And even if I hadn't, I always said it was impossible for them to "destroy my childhood" because I was no longer a child. Galactica 1980, I always countered, destroyed my childhood, because I really was a child at the time. See? It all comes full circle.)

However, having read the issue... I have to say that yes, for me this is definitely Galactica 1980 done right. I hope it holds up in later issues.


Scott said...

Man, they can NEVER do Galactica right! It's just a buncha worthless crap and if you say you like it, you're either stupid, insane or ignorant. FWOOSH! That's right, buddy; you've just been Fuh-LAMED! Hahahahaha! Neb-JubJub-noww, HUH!!

Anonymous said...

I loved Galactica 1980! I remember watching it as a small boy at my grandparent's house. Whenever it was on, my grandmother used to tell me, "Stevie, take your hand out of your pants."