BUCK ROGERS #1
Published by Hp (Hermes Press), brought to you by Howard Chaykin, who’s aim was to bring Buck-Rogers back after his five century nap as the character you all know and love, but in a contemporary-fashion with an explosive plot to boot; This is BUCK ROGERS #1!
The first few panels are purely introductory and they are very well written, the hero of the tale acts as narrator taking us through a brief explanation of his life, his past and exactly where we will be going too as we are thrust into the action from there on in…
Admittedly the character-work isn’t great, but Buck Roger’s big chin and cheesy grin suits his cocky persona. The background and the mood-altering scenic art is what stands out over everything else, that and the war-planes that occupy most of the panels in this adventurous first issue. Colours by Jesus Aburtov -and NOT “Aburto”, according to the typo on the inside of the cover!- really make this comic stand out, and he has created some astounding contrasts between the realism of war and the beauty of nature. The cover art gives an electric first impression, with Buck up front as though he’s posing heroically for a picture as the world behind him is being destroyed?! This says a lot about Buck already, he does come across as a bit of a know-it-all and has purposefully been made to seem like this big-headed twat at the start, but it becomes obvious as you progress that there really is more to Buck than meets the eye, and he does have the best interests at heart. “The Rocketeer“ immediately comes to mind for various reasons, one being that Buck-Rogers is also one of those traditional down to earth hero types which are great for those times when you want some light-hearted fun with a more classic feel. You can expect a good political plot-line which provides a strong infrastructure to an otherwise mediocre construct. The lettering is a bit too ‘obvious’ about its digital origins and although the aim was to make the speech bubbles more contemporary by squaring them off, it is a creative choice that didn’t need to be made in the first place. The SFX actually tie some parts of the illustrations together in order to give the story clear-direction where the at-times-confusing placement of panels in the action scenes have failed to do so.
Without giving anything away, the ending kind of saves the comic and gives you a good sense of where the series is heading while still keeping you guessing! Issue one includes a one and a bit page interview between Hp and the writer/artist Howard Chaykin, in which we are given some good insight into the series.
By Dylan Butcher. 😀