Are you in the mood for a lot of death and destruction, with nukes flying and lots of shooting and violence? Then this is the comic for you.
Galactica 1980 is an almost cartoonishly intense series. If there ever was a comic that rumbles from one intense event to the next, it’s this one. On the very first page the comic starts with four intense scenes and just rumbles onward from there.
Panel one on page one shows the reaction in the White House to a missile strike on the Soviet Union. At the height of Cold War tensions, the residents of the Battlestar Galactica have somehow been mistaken for an attack by the Soviets by American generals, which caused the generals to attack in reprisal.
Panel two shows the reaction of one Viper pilot to the seeming death of his companion. The scene is somewhat related to the panel above but provides individual drama for the moment.
Panel three shows the North American Aerospace Defense Command watching the missile attack, like a game of the classic video game Missile Command.
And panel four shows Boxey after the death of Commander Adama and aboard the Galactica, watching all the events unfold in front of him on a series of monitors, literally hovering above the fray and watching it all.
The first page really sets the tone for the issue. This is a pretty much unrelenting action adventure story, in which the massive ramifications of horrific decisions play out in terrible ways. People die, the Earth seems to be on the edge of eternal destruction, and, as the last few pages play out, the worst may be yet to come.
Your enjoyment of this issue will be proportional to your ability to enjoy such a crazily intense story. A reader never knows what events will happen from page to page, but almost all of it seems grim. While the events in the final pages are exciting and logical given the story, much of the rest of the story in this issue is the result of fairly unrealistic hotheadedness. It’s difficult to imagine that a nuclear first strike would occur on such flimsy evidence, or that the reaction to a first alien contact would be so unrelentingly negative.
Throughout the book I was struck with the feeling that Guggenheim was trying to keep the intensity level of the story high to match the revived Galactica TV series, but was constrained by the expectations that fans would have. The plot seemed the result of a cascading series of tough decisions. Once you have the US government decide that the Galactica vipers are a first Soviet strike, the story has to flow along darker lines.
Cezar Razek delivers serviceable artwork in support of the story. His work isn’t flashy, but it is effective, and he has a good feel for the bigger and more dramatic moments in the story. The scene in which Galactica Vipers fly above the US Capital building is very dramatic, and the final page would excite any long-time fan of Galactica.
The new Dynamite Galactica 1980 is an exciting series. It’s a bit bold and dark and has its weak moments, but the drama is unrelenting, and the series is fun for any long-term Galactica fan.