The blogs are abuzz: A new comic based on television's Battlestar Galactica is about to be published. TV Guide, having been offered an exclusive first look at the project, talked to veteran comic-book writer Greg Pak ("The Incredible Hulk") about his creation based on the Sci Fi Channel hit.
TVGuide.com: When is the Battlestar comic coming out?
Greg Pak: The first issue, the specially priced 25-cent #0, hits comic-book stores on May 31, and issue #1 should hit stores in July. After that we'll be on a monthly schedule. For new readers who might not know where their local store is, the Diamond Book Shop Locator Service [at http://csls.diamondcomics.com/] is a great resource.
TVGuide.com: How many issues will cover this story arc?
Pak: My run on the book will be three smaller story arcs that form a larger epic story line over 13 issues. There will be huge payoffs in terms of theme and character over the entire epic, but we're also doing our best to make each individual issue as satisfying a read as possible, with plenty of action, major character developments and shocking cliff-hangers.
TVGuide.com: Will there be additional series?
Pak: There will be some miniseries and one-shots also featuring characters and events from the TV series. Additionally, Dynamite Entertainment is producing a series of comics based on the original Battlestar Galactica television series, so Galactica fans should be well-provisioned with comic-book action over the next few years.
TVGuide.com: Did you work with Battlestar creator Ron Moore on the story?
Pak: I admire Moore so much I would have been thrilled to work with him directly. But at the same time, it's always great to be given the freedom to develop stories without micromanaging. In the end, it's worked out incredibly well I wrote the outline for the series without having any idea whether Universal or Ron Moore might approve. But after Moore read the outline, he just had a few helpful questions and key suggestions. I think a big part of the smoothness of the process has been due to how strong the source material is. The show's so well conceived and Moore's legendary series bible is so clear that it's not hard to quickly get a grasp of the central themes of the show and rules of the world. At the same time, the show's themes are so evocative and its characters so multifaceted that there's a huge amount of great story material to explore.
TVGuide.com: What is the main thrust of the comic's story?
Pak: Our story begins as the Galactica discovers a group of human survivors in a small Medivac ship under attack by Cylons. Adama suspects a Cylon plot, but Roslin points to the Sacred Scrolls, which contain an ancient prophecy: "The dead shall return in an ark of fire." Who are the "Returners"? Will they unite or divide the fleet and heal or break the heart of Commander Adama? As the series progresses, we'll discover more about the origins of the Cylons, learn about an underground group of human saboteurs trying to prevent the Galactica from reaching Earth, and delve deeply into the most compelling and dividing emotional story line from the first season. Huge twists are in store particularly at the end of issue #0 and issue #3 with major emotional, thematic and story payoffs. Dontcha dare miss it!
TVGuide.com: Where does it fit into the Battlestar's chronology?
Pak: The story takes place in the middle of the television show's second season, right after the return from Kobol and before the arrival of the Pegasus.
TVGuide.com: Will your stories show up on the TV series?
Pak: As far as I know, the stories in the comic book will only be found in the comic book. But they fit right into the continuity of the show and should provide fans with that Battlestar Galactica fix we all need while waiting for Season 3.
TVGuide.com: Are all the major characters included in the comic? Some are missing from the first issue.
Pak: You bet. Eventually, all the major characters should play in the comic book. Some key moments are coming up for Sharon, Baltar, Number 6 and Tigh, just to name a few.
TVGuide.com: Are you also introducing new characters?
Pak: One of the great things about the show is that it's full of compelling, varied characters with intriguing histories and relationships, so for the comic we can pull from that supporting cast and give great moments to some of the secondary leads like Gaeta and Dualla, for example. At the same time, we're absolutely developing and introducing new characters as needed. There's a huge cliff-hanger at the end of #0 which involves a new character of sorts. I'll say no more for fear of spoilers! And we'll have a shocking group of guest stars at the end of #3.
TVGuide.com: Have any stories been deemed off-limits?
Pak: I have to hand it to Universal and Ron Moore. We're doing some pretty crazy stuff here, telling big stories which take our characters to the next emotional level and provide details about the Cylons and the history of the Colonies that have never been seen before. Universal hasn't labeled anything specifically off-limits and so far has approved every script we've submitted. It's going to be a heck of a ride.