With a show as critically acclaimed, complex and well-acted as the reimagined "Battlestar Galactica," it would be a challenge for anyone to come up with stories that flesh out the mythology of the show and have the characters ring true. Yet Dynamite has met that challenge time and time again the past few years with various "BSG" titles.
However, with their "Battlestar Galactica Season Zero" series, Dynamite has accepted the daunting task of taking an exceptional ensemble of characters, placing them two years before the Cylon decimation of the colonies launched their adventures on the small screen and dealing with the events leading up to that devastating, watershed moment.
Fittingly, the series opened with a celebratory scene in which Commander Bill Adama and Colonel Saul Tigh share food, drink and laughter with their respective spouses, Carolanne and Ellen. All involved feel that being assigned to the Galactica is a polite road to retirement and it will be smooth sailing the rest of the way. That belief is reinforced in the TV miniseries that first brought these characters into our homes.
That they are all tragically wrong has even more impact when you realize subsequent events cost both men their spouses. Though writer Brandon Jerwa makes us quickly realize Ellen is indeed focused on money and power, she is more enjoyable and relatable in this series than on the TV show. It is also made clear here that Saul and she had a loving, fun-filled relationship, making her final fate in the TV series all the more tragic.
That Jerwa also portrays Carolanne as a loving and dutiful wife gives her decision to divorce Adama - in the wake of the death of their son, Zak - that much more oomph.
There also are, of course, plenty of Cylons. Adama and his crew find themselves surrounded by them at the beginning of the series and engage in a brutal shootout with them.
But the meat of the story, as it is on the show, is how the greatest enemies can be found within.
For example, after the battle with the Cylons, former Admiral Julian DiMarco confesses that while following orders, he destroyed an entire village of 550 people living in peace on free land. Rather than return home and face the Colonial justice system, DiMarco says he and his crew voted to never return home and instead carry on the ideal of freedom the villagers died for.
Adama lets them stay even though he doesn't agree with their decision. He also decides to bring a survivor of the village, Byron Dane, with him.
These two actions have unforeseen consequences and cause a chain-reaction of events to occur that further put Adama under the microscope. Even the most honorable of his superiors don't approve of his breach of protocol, and he subsequently has to deal with a trio of problems that make the establishment nervous. Oh, and he has to try and stop DiMarco from launching a nuclear attack on Picon Fleet Headquarters (similar to our Pentagon).
But that is nothing compared with the personal and professional challenges he faces with Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace under his command. Whether it's her drinking, her wild behavior or her landing a plane in a way that is definitely not by the book, she proves to be quite a handful for Adama.
Though a majority of the panels in this series focus on Adama and Starbuck, we also get to see others, such as Dane, come into their own. Toss in double and triple-crosses and ever-changing allegiances and it is a real treat to see how things progress.
Most importantly, like the TV show, virtually everyone in "Season Zero" is shaded in gray. There is a scarcity of black hats and white hats. When characters do wear a black hats, we understand their motivations even if we disagree with their actions.
Even though fans know how this particular journey is going to end, they should find the road getting there to be fantastic and fun. *