Battlestar Galactica (comics)
Battlestar Galactica has been adapted to the comic book format since its inception, with no less than six publishers to date taking on the project of relating the story of the Colonial Fleet and their adversaries, the Cylons, at different points.
- 1 Original continuity adaptations
- 2 Reimagined continuity adaptations
- 3 Notes
- 4 External links
Original continuity adaptations
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Although there were other attempts to adapt Battlestar Galactica into a comic book format, the Marvel series is considered by many to have been the most successful in terms of run, sales, and content.
This was accomplished against some notable odds. Although Roger McKenzie was most often the writer, and Walt Simonson the most regular artist, the book also had a heavy rotation of guest writers and artists.
Marvel Comics’ began its adaptation of Battlestar Galactica with Marvel Super Special #8, a magazine format comic written by Roger McKenzie and drawn by Ernie Colón which was released as a tie-in to the start of the series. Based on an early script of the three hour series premiere "Saga of a Star World", this adaptation, which gave a relatively short treatment to the third hour, was also released in a tabloid format and then later as a paperback as well. The tabloid version was also printed by Whitman Comics. Its success led Marvel to print a regular monthly comic depicting the adventures of the ragtag fleet.
When the regular run of Marvel's Battlestar Galactica comic book began some months later, the Super Special adaptation was expanded by several pages, and provided the material for the first three issues of the comic.
The direct adaptation of the series continued in issues #4 and #5 which chronicled the adventures depicted in the two part television episode "Lost Planet of the Gods". Roger McKenzie continued as scripter, with Walter Simonson now providing the art.
With issue #6, the TV adaptations ceased, and Marvel's team began to create new stories about the characters of the Battlestar Galactica universe, picking up from where issue #5 left off. From this point, both in terms of story content and the narrative arc, Marvel's Battlestar Galactica does deviate somewhat from the televised adventures. Marvel's contract with Universal Studios specifically did not allow them to use anything from the television series that followed "Lost Planet of the Gods". Despite this, Marvel made a conscious decision to continue the story with their own vision of how the series would progress, and so presents an interesting interpretation of Galactica – through a Marvel paradigm. This adaption more closely followed the novelization of the two-hour movie, Saga of a Star World, than what was seen on ABC television. Also, some panels depicted a likeness of Lt. Starbuck for scenes presenting Captain Apollo. These were corrected in the re-print version, seen in the original comic series.
Although the run of the Battlestar Galactica comic coincided with the broadcast of the short-lived Galactica sequel series, Galactica 1980 on ABC, the newer program was never referred to in the pages of the comic, apart from the letters page, and no attempts were made to construct the comic with the events of Galactica 1980 as a foreseen plot outcome.
In addition, much of the comic's run took place in the magnetic void which the rag tag fleet encountered in the TV episode "Lost Planet of the Gods". In the end of the TV episode, the fleet moves back into normal space, leaving the void behind, but in the comics the ragtag fleet remains in the void beginning in issue #4, with the fleet finally returning to regular space in issue #14. This makes placing the episodes within the span of the TV series difficult, since much of the action could be surmised to have taken place between "Lost Planet of the Gods" and "Lost Warrior".
In terms of tone, many of the Galactica comics had classic horror elements, which was a theme visited in only a couple episodes of the TV series, as exemplified by the evil Ovions of "Saga of a Star World". An incomplete list of monsters from the comic series would include a space vampire (issue #9), a carnivorous planet (issue #10), alien vermin (issue #15), a crewmember who transforms into a red ape (issues #17 and #18) and a monstrous shapeshifter (issue #21). Even the menacing and relentless Cylon Mark III in issue #16 owes as much of his origin to horror elements as he does to science fiction. Taken as a whole, Marvel's Galactica is somewhat darker in tone than the series, but this not-so-subtle paranoia is arguable truer to the initial premise of the series than were some of the latter episodes of the television program.
Notably, the writers of the Galactica comic were quite willing to remove key characters from the dramatic mix for periods of time. From issues #6 to #12, Commander Adama is placed within a machine to help him remember the ancient writings he briefly saw on Kobol and, although we do spend some time in his dreams, he is effectively removed from commanding the Galactica for several issues, which of course sets up its own dramatic tension.
Another character who leaves the series for a while is Starbuck, as part of perhaps the most effective story arc in the series. In this plotline, the fleet stumbles upon Scavenger World, the dominion of the female space pirate Eurayle, who makes a deal to spare the Colonials if she can keep Starbuck at her side. The interactions between Starbuck and Eurayle are memorable, with a satisfying conclusion in a tremendous battle (issue #13). At the end of the tale, Starbuck remains with Eurayle, and the fleet moves on without him, setting up his triumphant return in issues #19 and #20.
Unlike both television series, the Galactica comic actually had a planned ending, with a series of plot devices being wound up in the final two part story of issues #22 and #23. In the course of solving a mystery, Lieutenant Jolly finds adventure and romance and helps in figuring out the long sought coordinates for Earth. A tongue in cheek adventure ably drawn and scripted by Walt Simonson this plotline provided a strong end for a memorable series. Presumedly, the final events of the Marvel Comic series presents the Battlestar Galactica along with rag tag fleet leaping toward the Milky Way Galaxy, where it will resume events in the TV series, in search of the lost 13th Colony known as Earth. This is the first time anywhere that the Galactica - until the new Re-Imagined Series on the Sci-Fi Channel - and the Colonial Fleet is shown leaping into hyperspace.
|#1||Battlestar Galactica||adapts episode 1|
|#2||Exodus||adapts episode 2|
|#3||Death Trap||adapts episode 3|
|#4||The Lost Gods of Kobol||adapts episode 4|
|#5||The Lost Gods of Kobol: Part Two - A Death in the Family||adapts episode 5|
|#6||The Memory Machine|
|#7||All Things Past and Present|
|#10||This Planet Hungers|
|#14||Trial and Error|
|#17||Ape and Essence|
|#19||The Daring Escape of the Space Cowboy|
|#20||Hell Hath No Fury|
|#21||A World For the Killing|
|#22||Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair|
|#23||The Last Hiding Place|
Reprints / Compilations
- Marvel Super Special #8: Battlestar Galactica
- Marvel Illustrated Book: BSG, Volume I
- Marvel Illustrated Book: BSG, Volume II
- Star Heroes Pocket Books #1-11
- Star Heroes Winter Special
- Saga of a Star World (Titan Press)
- The Memory Machine (Titan Press)
This children's magazine published a serialized BSG strip from October 20, 1979, to October 11, 1980. The four untitled storylines spanned 52 issues, 13 two-page chapters per storyline, from 1979 #43 to 1980 #42 (the numbering started over again at #1 in January 1980, though the storyline continued to fold as normal). Surprisingly well-rendered and well written, this ongoing Galactica comic has been all but forgotten.
Look-In Magazine—Weekly Serial
- Storyline 1 (issues 1979 #43 to 1979 #52 ; reset numbering in 1980: 1980 #1 to 1980 #3)
- Storyline 2 (issues 1980 #4 to 1980 #16)
- Storyline 3 (issues 1980 #17 to 1980 #29)
- Storyline 4 (issues 1980 #30 to 1980 #42)
A French-made comic-book series of about 20 episodes, based on Battlestar Galactica, was published around 1981-1982 in Télé-Junior, a French TV-themed comic magazine similar to Look-In, with art by Gerald Forton. The comic was simultaneously published in Super J, a companion magazine to Télé-Junior.
In addition, Grandreams came out with two Battlestar Galactica hardcover annuals, which contained short text and comic book stories. Far inferior to the Look-In strips, these comics were aimed primarily at children.
Battlestar Galactica—Hardcover Annual
- Battlestar Galactica (adapts episode 1 - 3)
- Chess-Players of Space
- Bane of Baal Farr
- Amazons of Space
- Plus 3 prose stories: Doomsday Rock, Swamp World, Hijack in Space
Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack—Hardcover Annual
- Part One: Switch in Space
- Part Two: Planet of the Cyclops
- Part Three: Skirmish Beyond Skafrax
- Part Four: Final Showdown
- Plus 2 prose stories: Dice with Death/The Enemy Within
For a long time after this, Battlestar Galactica did not appear in comics, then in July 1995, Maximum Press published a well received mini-series that explained what it was that had happened to our heroes in the intervening years. Ignoring the storyline of the much derided ABC sequel series Galactica 1980, this tale followed the crew as they finally approached Earth, led by Commander Apollo, who had succeeded his father.
This miniseries was popular enough that it spawned a group of sequels including "Apollo's Journey", "The Enemy Within", and "Starbuck" all published as three or four issue series in 1995 through early 1996. "Journey's End", the final four issue series, broke many Galactica conventions, and contains the memorable sequence of the Galactica travelling through time back to the Cylon attack on Caprica. After the publishing of the Battlestar Galactica Compendium in early 1997 however, the steam ran out of this endeavor and Maximum announced it would no longer be publishing Galactica based comics.
- The War of Eden #1-4 (also collected in trade paperback format ISBN 1-888610-01-8 in December 1995)
- The Enemy Within #1-3
- Starbuck #1-3
- Apollo's Journey 1-3 (issue #3 was published with 2 alternative covers)
- Journey's End #1-4
Asylum (monthly anthology series)
- Issue 1: Baptism of Fire, Part 1
- Issue 2: Baptism of Fire, Part 2
- Issue 3: Baptism of Fire, Part 3
- Issue 4: Athena's Quest, Part 1 (originally titled Apollo's Quest)
- Issue 5: Athena's Quest, Part 2 (originally titled Apollo's Quest)
- (No BSG story in issue 6)
- Issue 7: Athena's Quest, Part 3 (originally titled Apollo's Quest)
- Issue 8: First Date
- (No BSG story in issue 9)
- Issue 10: The Rebirth of Cy, Part 1 (unfinished)
- (No BSG story in issue 11)
- Battlestar Galactica: The Compendium
(Collects Baptism of Fire and The Rebirth of Cy)
- Battlestar Galactica: Special Edition
(Collects Athena's Quest)
In 1998, Realm Press brought Battlestar Galactica back to comics again beginning with their "Battlestar Galactica Search for Sanctuary" single issue special. Other one shots were subsequently published. Later, Realm introduced a monthly comic titled "Battlestar Galactica Season 3". Unfortunately, this series only ran for three issues before it was canceled, and shortly thereafter Realm abandoned the project altogether.
Battlestar Galactica, Season II
Issue 1: The Law of Volahd, Part 1 (2 alternative covers)
Issue 2: The Law of Volahd, Part 2
Issue 3: Prison of Souls, Part 1 (2 alternative covers)
Issue 4: Prison of Souls, Part 2
Issue 5: Prison of Souls, Part 3
Battlestar Galactica, Season III
Issue 1: No Place Like Home (3 alternative covers)
Issue 2: Hades Hath No Fury (4 alternative covers)
Issue 3: Fire in the Sky (3 alternative covers)
Galactica: The New Millennium
- Fear of Flying / Favorite Son / Tales of the Pegasus: Chapter One, Daddy's Girl (3 alternative covers)
Eve of Destruction
- Prelude I: Nostalgie De La Boue / Prelude II: Daughter of Elysium
Search For Sanctuary
- Search For Sanctuary, Part I
- Search For Sanctuary Special Edition
- Dark Genesis (3 alternative covers)
- Centurion Prime (2 alternative covers)
- The Care and Feeding of Your Daggit / Masquerade
- Colonial Technical Journal, Volume 1
- Dire Prophecy (2 alternative covers)
- Darkest Night (2 alternative covers)
- Battlestar Black and White (2 alternative covers)
- Cylon Dawn (2 alternative covers)
- No-Man's Land (2 alternative covers)
- Minor Difficulties (anthology of short tales)
Dynamite Entertainment, as well as publishing a series based on the new Battlestar Galactica, began publishing Classic Battlestar Galactica based on the original series and set during the early part of the series.
Dynamite has also started another series, Battlestar Galactica: Cylon Apocalypse, that takes place at an undetermined time after the series ended.
In 2012, Dynamite Entertainment announced that a volume two of the Classic Battlestar Galactica would be released.  This series started in 2013 and has released four issues as of August. In July 2013, Dynamite also announced a mini-series focusing on the character, Starbuck. 
Reimagined continuity adaptations
In addition to the aforementioned ongoing title, other "new" Battlestar Galactica comics have been announced, including a 4-issue series spotlighting Tom Zarek's life, a prequel mini set during the First Cylon War, and a one-shot featuring the Battlestar Pegasus.
In May 2007, Dynamite Entertainment published Battlestar Galactica Season Zero issue Zero as part of FreeComicBook Day. The new series occurs two years before the events in the SciFi TV movie.
David Reed and Seamus Kevin Fahey (writer of televised episode "Faith" and co-writer of webisode series "The Face of the Enemy") have written an official series about the backstory of the Final Five. The first issue of Battlestar Galactica: The Final Five was released on April 22, 2009. The second issue was released on May 13, 2009. The third issue was released on June 3, 2009. The fourth issue was released on July 1, 2009.
Dynamite Entertainment then continued its publishing of Galactica titles with the release of the Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War and the Battlestar Galactica: The Final Five trade paperbacks in December 2009. In 2013, they resumed publishing of Galactica titles with the Classic Battlestar Galactica Vol. 2 titles and others.
- Marvel Super Special #8 at the Grand Comics Database
- A page from the French Battlestar Galactica comic published in Télé-Junior
- French Battlestar Galactica comic published in "Super J"
- Jerwa: The Ghosts of Battlestar Galactica, Newsarama, July 15, 2008
- Fahey and Reed: The Final Five, Newsarama, January 12, 2009
- Profile for The Final Five #1
- Profile for The Final Five #2
- Profile for The Final Five #3
- Profile for The Final Five #4