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Farscape: Strange Detractors #2

Posted: Monday, May 4, 2009
By: Christopher Power

Keith Decandido
Wil Sliney, Zack Atkinson (c)
BOOM! Studios
Editor's Note: Farscape: Strange Detractors #2 arrives in stores Wednesday, May 6.

With the second issue of this four issue mini-series, I was expecting that the story would begin moving faster, and it certainly has with the mysterious rage plague taking over Moya and beyond. Once again, I credit the team for managing to capture the energy and the overall feel of the show Farscape, but there are a number of things that keep this comic from pushing beyond the average rating.

First, I will address the issue I brought up in my review of the first issue of this series, that of awareness of the reader of the overall universe. This book still has references that are nods to the original series and will please hardcore fans. Unlike the first issue, these do not detract from the story for those who are unfamiliar. The only thing I felt I was missing was the Diagnosans were a race of well diagnosticians. Needless to say, I figured that one out on my own.* There is enough exposition for less well versed readers to catch on to what is going on, but not so much that it becomes tedious.

The story about the plague that was contracted by the crew begins to take off quite quickly, which is good in one way. We get to the meat of the story without much retelling of history of the crew. However, the story actually moves a little too quickly, and things end up being disjointed. John Crichton detects something is wrong with very little evidence that anything is actually wrong, seemingly predicting future unrest among the crew. The scenes where Deke is threatened, in several different ways, all move too quickly to have much emotional resonance. In those cases where there is enough time for the reader to start to digest what is happening, the scene shifts radically to a new locale that seems unconnected to the previous scene, such as a distress call from a character we met in the first issue.

The art in this particular book is much more solid than the previous issue, with no notable errors. A few of the objects in the scene seem a bit static (such as a laser beam that appears to be completely solid), and some movements are a bit stilted, such as an empty handed Jothee suddenly having a broadsword in the next panel on the next page. These jumps give a feeling of the scenes being posed, instead of being fluid movements.
I think this book just needed more time. I think that there is good stuff, and potential in this, but that the whole thing feels a bit rushed. The series could maybe benefit from being 6 issues long so that the writer could develop the tension a little better. I think that the issue itself could have used another few days of dialogue between the editor and writer, because ultimately the editor should have caught a couple of the items I mentioned above.

I will be interested to see if the next two issues wrap up this story satisfactorily. As of right now, this series feels a bit hit and miss.

*Although, apparently the Diagnosans do in fact show up in the television series.



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