Current Reviews


Battlestar Galactica #5

Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2007
By: Caryn A. Tate

Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Nigel Raynor

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Itís really too bad that I canít give this issue of Battlestar Galactica a higher rating, because there are some really great things about it. But the fairly small annoyances throughout the book began to overtake the positive aspects, to the point that I had to adjust my rating somewhat.

In issue #5, the storyline from the previous issue continues, involving the machine-like Cylons that are still following their years-prior orders of humans. But as it began to show at the end of issue #4, they also seem to be programmed to destroy the human Cylon models like Sharon Valerii. An engaging and surprising sequence of events stems from there, including an inspired twist about how Cylon ďdownloadingĒ could occur.

The most unfortunate aspect of this book was the art. While Mr. Raynor has talent, I just donít feel that his style is at all fitting for this title, and I mean that not only in regards to the comic, but also the TV series upon which the book is based. His style has a cartoonish quality to it that disconnects me from the realism of the world of Battlestar Galactica entirely. Rather than getting a clear picture of this world that Mr. Pak is writing about, I constantly found myself thinking about the art throughout the issue, or trying to discern the characters, rather than being able to become pulled in by the story.

Speaking of figuring out who the characters are visually, there is a lack of consistency here that is necessary in any book where itís important to recognize regular charactersí faces. In one part of the issue, I only deduced that a character was in fact Helo because he seemed to be involved with Sharon somehow; not because he looked like he did in prior issues, much less anything like the character on the show. Donít get me wrong, I donít expect the art to be photo realistic by any means. But I do expect some degree of clarity and identifying characteristics, rather than relying purely on the dialogue or the overall ďlookĒ of a character (like their hairstyle or hair color) to recognize them. And unfortunately Iím just not getting that clarity here.

Mr. Pakís writing is very imaginative and fluid overall. There were a few moments, involving Sharon, that I felt were a bit over the top or didnít quite coincide with how I perceive the character. But overall I found his creativity refreshing, and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the ideas and concepts that he brings to a title that is all about good storytelling, characterization, and solid if not brilliant ideas.

If the art situation could be improved on this title, it could be one of the best books on comics stands. I look forward to that because quite honestly Iím not sure how much longer I can go on buying each issue of this title. The comic book format requires that each aspect of the story (the writing/dialogue, and the artwork) carry equal weight and impact. If one is lacking, it blatantly affects the other. So as much as Iím enjoying the writing on this title, I donít know how much longer I can go on buying it because of my issues with the art that I mention above.

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