Battlestar Galactica: Death of Apollo #2 (Comics Review)

Battlestar Galactica: Death of Apollo #1 debuted last month, and proved to be quite a fun issue that took the reader back to the classic television series, focusing on the ace pilots Apollo and Starbuck. The core concept of Battlestar Galactica is that the robotic antagonists Cylons wipe out the Twelve Colonies of the Human empire, and so the remnants flee with a ragtag fleet in search of the fabled Thirteenth Colony, Earth. The adventure that Dan Abnett and Dietrich Smith began in the first issue dealt with this on a core level, and also proved to be a rather interesting hook for the story subtitle, Death of Apollo.

Battlestar Galactica: Death of Apollo #2 from last week takes the story further and involves a really big twist towards the end that can totally wrong-foot you. In this issue, we meet a psionic who has apparently “heard” the Thirteenth Colony and knows the precise location of Earth as well. This leads to some pretty obvious moves by the Colonials, and of course, the titular hero gets his moment to shine. It would all have been better had the dialogue been better, and if the art had picked up some of the slack as well.

The big thing about this issue is the concept of psionics. From what I remember of the first three seasons of the rebooted show, there were no psionics involved at any point. But it seems that in the original series, psionics were actually an accepted thing, even if psionics were generally held at arm’s length. And that reticence plays well to the characters in this issue when Countess Sephoni arrives aboard the Battlestar Galactica to meet with the refugee fleet leaders and present her information to them all. I liked the new twist since it added to the overall meta-story, but sadly the particular execution was lacking.

To start off with, a lot of the dialogue in this issue was stiff and formal. The previous issue didn’t really have much of that, but it seems that Dan Abnett doubled down for this issue. The way the characters talk, there is enough grandstanding and court formality and oddly-worded statements to frustrate the hell out of you. It is most noticeable in Sephoni’s dialogue, but Adama and the bromancers Apollo and Starbuck aren’t without fault either.

Given that the title is about Apollo’s death, we do get to see the actual event itself by the end of this issue, and the twist that this involved was definitely something I liked. It was indeed one of the many things that could have happened but it was still surprising because, once again, Dan Abnett doubled down on the twist. It was emotional, it was well-executed, and you could really feel the effect of it.

The reactions of those close to Apollo however, those didn’t quite match up to what I was expecting, given that he is such a central character to the show’s mythology and overall story. But no worries, there’s still a few issues to go so we will likely get something soon, something other than the as-expected boisterous and senseless behaviour from Starbuck. His dialogue was the worst in the issue and his general characterization left me cold as well, destroying any desire I had of wanting to see more of the character.

Dietrich Smith is the artist, with colours by Fran Gamboa, letters by Simon Bowland and the cover by Mike Mayhew. The art was quite disappointing this time around and in lots of ways. For one, there was this really uncomfortable panel where the Countess effects a pose that made Sharon Stone infamous after it happened on Basic Instinct. Of course, the scene isn’t that… revealing, but the suggestion is certainly there and it seems like the oddest of scenes. A change of camera angles would have made it much better.

And in general, the whole visual design for the characters wasn’t so good, with all the pilots and officers of the fleet looking like the same, which is really disappointing. And the… proportions on the Countess’ body were totally off as well. There were some occasional good moments such as Apollo’s supposed moment of death, but in general, the art really didn’t work for me.

I expected a lot of this issue and it sadly failed to deliver.

Rating: 6/10

More Battlestar Galactica: Death of Apollo: #1.

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Posted on January 19, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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