Best Shots Extra: Buck Rogers #0

Buck Rogers #0

Buck Rogers #0

From: Dynamite

Writer: Scott Beatty

Art: Carlos Rafael

Color: Carlos Lopez

Letters: Simon Bowland

This is going to be a good time.

If you can avail yourself to shake loose of an extra quarter, you should definitely sample the zero issue of Dynamite’s latest licensed title, Buck Rogers. As you no doubt know, Buck has a rich pop culture history; he and his supporting cast have appeared in everything from pulp novellas to serials to comics to radio, TV and film. The incarnation of Buck that’s most commonly know to the present fandom generation would the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century iteration that starred Gil Gerard. For this take, the central conceit (spaceman Buck Rogers winds up in the future, and crazy s#!+ happens) remains, but there are some interesting twists that elevate this short tale.

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For one thing, the comics medium lends itself to a bit more imagination in terms of the antagonists. The Jovian paramecia are great fun, and Buck’s wiseass narration regarding their evolutionary process is frequently funny. I thought that Scott Beatty really nailed that aspect of the character (cocky fish out of water) that has survived in Buck’s spiritual descendants (John Crichton, Adam Strange, etc.) ever since.

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Carlos Rafael does a terrific job with the art. There’s a great flow to his pages, and he does some fine detail work. Part of what makes it really shine is the coloring of Carlos Lopez. Lopez makes smart use of particular effects, including the glowing piping on the trans-suits, and the noxious Jovian green.

For short preview, it seems like there are an awful lot of questions that get raised. I don’t want to spoil those, but you’ll find yourself asking about certain things, and wondering how Buck and his cast got to this particular place. It’s a really sharp hook to use to pull people back for #1.

Buck Rogers #0 really is a textbook example of what a title-teaser should be. Great art, solid storytelling, and dangling mysteries that will likely bring you back. And don’t forget the giant paramecia. Or the quarter.

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