Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters #1
Writer: Karl Kesel
Artists: Alec Morgan & Dan Schkade
Colorist: Chris O’ Halloran
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Anelise Farris
In Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters #1, the stakes are high. Ever since the human-created Cylons evolved, became sentient, and rebelled against their creators, the human race has been struggling to recover. Not only is humanity dealing with physical survival, but also with ethical questions about what deems one human and whether or not a Cylon can be trusted. Dr. Gaius Baltar decides that one of the best ways to protect humanity (and, of course, secure his own fame and glory) is to undertake the creation of a Cylon Centurion: a Cylon military model that is specifically programmed for violence. Gaius believes that he can control the Cylon and that it can be used as a personal weapon. In short, Gaius decides to play god, and it does not go according to plan.
In terms of the writing and overall storyline, Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters #1 makes some really smart moves: it feels (obviously) indebted to the television series it is adapting, but, at the same time, it stands on its own and does not require familiarity with the show to appreciate it. Like all quality sci-fi, BSG is a show that deals with all sorts of really weighty ideas and questions like what it means to be human, and, one of the overarching concerns of Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters #1 is the dangers of playing god.
Likewise, concerning the art of Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters #1, the pulpy sci-fi style is definitely appropriate. And, the use of colors—a lot of blues, blacks, yellows, reds—offers a similar vibe. My only concern is that, like with any comic adaptation of a television series with real-live actors and actresses, is that the comic book representations of the characters never feel quite right. Again, this is more an issue with adapting a beloved series rather than any fault to the artists. However, I am hoping that as the series progresses, more attention will be given to the characters’ physical details, as that will really tie together what feels like a promising start to a new BSG comic series.
Buy it! We are just in the first issue of Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters, and I’m already convinced that what made the television show such a success will be carried on in the series. Issue #1 provides interesting characters and a compelling storyline—all under the umbrella of the larger philosophical questions the show addresses. Even if you aren’t familiar with BSG, but do enjoy sci-fi, check it out!