Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Buck Rogers # 0 – A Review

Buck Rogers #0

Publisher Dynamite Entertainment

Writer Scott Beatty

Art Carlos Rafael

Colors Carlos Lopez

This book is a textbook in how not to get me interested in your comic. If it was not for my enduring love for the newspaper strip, I think I would not even be trying out issue #1, but issue #0 was only a quarter, but it almost cost Dynamite one reader for the series.

I know this review is late, but remember I was out of town. So in catching up I thought I would take a quick perusal at Dynamite’s great marketing idea of giving us a quick peek at their new series for a quarter.

The story was well written, the art was fine, but it was the end of Buck Rogers’ adventures in the future and not the beginning. Why in the heck would you start off a book telling us the hero’s last adventure?

The cover is a picture of perhaps one of the worst designed costumes ever. It is a straight black jump suit, with the old time pants that bulge out at the thighs and some white stripping. Comparatively speaking the old newspaper strip’s costume is better, the TV show (a very lame but endearing show) had a better space suit and Adam Strange’s space suit beats it by a country mile. It is unimaginative and boring.

Then you open the comic and see a half shaven Buck fighting an incredibly stupid idea for an alien menace, a single cell creature that never evolved past that. So we have giant amoebas who have apparently learned how to build interstellar space crafts. Buck saves the day, but remarks that if it was not for the stimulants his suit is pumping in him he could never keep up the pace. Great, our hero is using drugs to save the day - next you will tell me baseball players use steroids. Buck saves the day but sacrifices himself and he is sent off into some wormhole, rift in space whatever. He leaves behind his daughter who appears almost unmoved (or to be kind disbelieving) over Buck’s possible death.

It is not hard science fiction, it is not endearing as the TV show and it does not have the force of the newspaper strip, whose grand adventures were a space pulp fiction type comic. I have almost convinced myself not to bother with the series at all again, after typing this, but I will still check out issue #1. Maybe I can just ignore this as a bad dream, but I do not want to know how the story ends before it begins. That works in some stories, but it takes all the edge off the series knowing Buck can never be in any real danger in this comic for many years to come after he jumps 500 years ahead.

Overall Grade C – A decently done book, a great introductory price, a horrible way to start a new series.

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