Saturday, October 22, 2011

Farscape #24

Written by Rockne S. O'Bannon and Keith RA DeCandido
Art by Will Sliney

I came late to Farscape, discovering the show Sunday afternoons on a cable station a few years back, but thanks to the twin magics of DVD and EBay, I quickly acquired all four seasons and the Peacekeeper Wars mini-series that wrapped the story up.  I really grew to love the characters on this show, a diverse group of escaped convicts from different species, and the crazy and improbable situations they kept finding themselves in.  The series was a lot of fun, and had a lot of heart.

When I'd heard that Boom Comics was starting up a series of mini-series, co-written (or at least co-plotted) by the series's creator, I knew I'd be interested.  Like many a licensed comic, the earliest issues suffered from very stiff art, but the early stories were a treat.  It was nice to see familiar characters again, and unlike the Buffy Season Eight comics, they tended to stay in character.

After the mini-series approach gave way to an on-going series (and eventual spin-off featuring Scorpius), O'Bannon and DeCandido crafted a larger narrative around the idea of a new race, the Kkore, coming through a rift in space to conquer the Uncharted Territories.  This led to a twelve-issue arc that concluded with this issue.

During this arc, just about every world was subjugated to Kkore control, Aerynn Sun became the Commandant of the Peacekeepers and commanding officer to the large coalition of survivors and resisters.  Chiana found true love (with a bounty hunter hired to kill Aerynn and John Crichton's son), and a number of favourite characters met their final fate.

This story could never have been told on television, yet it felt, at every step, like classic Farscape.  DeCandido really nailed the different characters' voices, and among all the space opera bombast, found time to work in some good character-driven moments.  The art, by Will Sliney, worked well for character based scenes, although I never liked the way he drew spaceships.

There are some plot threads that were left unresolved.  We never did learn why Roiin was hunting Deke, Crichton's son, and the story potential of all worlds being left in a state of chaos is vast, but in the end, this was a satisfying run for this comic.  I would not object to the Farscape universe being revisited again some day.

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