Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
I became a fan of Farscape pretty late in the game, after it had been on Sci Fi for a few seasons. And the reason why I decided to check the show out was because a friend of mine from an amateur press association I was in at the time had so many wonderful things to say about it (and she was right). So I asked that friend, Betty Ragan, if she’d be willing to read and review BOOM! Studios’ new Farscape comic for Robot 6, as I thought it might be interesting to hear what a hardcore Farscape fan who isn’t a hardcore comics fan (although she isn’t a complete comics newbie, as she’s read stuff like Watchmen, Persepolis and Bone) thought about the book.
My thanks to Betty for taking the time to write up her thoughts … and, again, for recommending the television show in the first place.
by Betty Ragan
Fans of Farscape have been waiting since 2004’s Peacekeeper Wars miniseries for an official continuation of the series in any medium, and many ended up having to wait even longer than expected after bad weather kept many U.S. comic stores from receiving the first issue of BOOM! Studios’ new Farscape comic on time. But now the wait is over, the comic is here, and I am pleased to report that, for this Scaper, at least, the result does not disappoint!
Visually, it’s attractive in a way that captures the design and feel of the show pretty well; the shipboard “sets,” in particular, were familiar enough to make me feel instantly nostalgic. I will say that to my admittedly un-artistic eye some of the characters match the look of their TV counterparts better than others, but all of them were obviously rendered by someone paying genuine attention to the source material.
The same is also most certainly true of the characters. The dialog is so absolutely spot-on that I could effortlessly “hear” everyone’s voices in my mind, and more than once I found myself thinking “Oh, that is so them!” about one person or another. And precisely because the characters all feel so right, the comic manages to capture the show’s unique sensibilities perfectly, especially its wacky, pop-culture-savvy, largely character-based sense of humor. I was actually glad to be reading this in private, because I laughed out loud several times in the course of the story.
The overall effect is very much that of watching a new episode after a long, Scape-less drought, not least because it is very firmly placed in the show’s continuity, taking up essentially where the miniseries left off. It also works in a fun reference or two to earlier episodes, in ways that should not, I think, be confusing for more casual fans. In fact, there’s enough back story provided here that I suspect the story should be reasonably accessible even to those who’ve never watched the show, although that exposition is presented in ways that, as a huge fan, myself, I found pleasing rather than dull.
Really, the only way in which it’s not satisfyingly like watching a new episode of Farscape is that it is in fact much more like watching the beginning of an episode. As soon as the story really gets going, unsurprisingly, the installment is over. But, oh, well. We Scapers have become very, very good at waiting for the “to be continued.”