Collects Battlestar Galactica Origins issues 1-11 and Zarek 1-4

Writers: Brandon Jerwa, Seamus Kevin Fahey, Clay Carmouche, Robert Place Napton
Artists: Adriano Batista, Jonathan Lau

This series focuses on some of the (main) characters of the TV-series. It was apparently written before the final season of the show. But even so, there are some continuity problems in it and I think the stories here must be an alternate vision of the characters. The stories aren’t bad but they aren’t particularly great, either.

However, my biggest complaint is the art. Perhaps I’m the last one to moan about it, but this comic is based on TV-show where the actors are quite recognizable. Unfortunately, I couldn’t recognize the characters in the comic. For example, the Cylon women don’t look like the actresses and even worse, they look exactly the same. The only way to recognize the characters is when someone calls them by the name. Argh!

Zarek’s story starts the collection. I thought it was the most interesting one. I don’t think it was ever stated in the series what Zarek actually did, just that he was either a terrorist or a freedom fighter, depending on you point-of-view. Here we’re shown the terrible conditions that some of the Sagittarions must labor under, as pretty much slaves. They don’t have sick days and they don’t make enough money to buy medicine once the work makes them sick. Zarek’s parents went into politics to change things but even in some 20 years, the workers’ conditions didn’t really change. When Zarek’s mother is murdered, he turns into terrorism.

Zarek is shown as a brilliant manipulator and a very charismatic leader who can even turn jaded prisoners into his followers and essentially take over the prisons where he’s sent. The only thing which I found to be very strange was a scene where president Adar and education secretary Roslin are meeting with Zarek. So Roslin met Zarek before the war? Just no.

Then it’s Baltar’s turn. The story follows him from his childhood in a farm on Aerilon to the Cylon attack. Throughout the comic he’s arrogant and self-absorbed, just as the TV-version.

It seems that the Cylons have been influencing him long before the attack. Caprica Six and the other Cylons scheme to get Baltar appointed as the Director of the Navigational Program project. The human Cylons have apparently captured quite a few humans and done some hideous research on them right in the heart of Caprica City. I found this problematic. The story also gives Baltar a family which is never mentioned in the series.

Next up is Commander Adama’s story. I enjoyed this one the most and I think it most closely follows canon. It even has scenes which were seen as flashbacks in the series (some as deleted scenes on the DVD) where Adama meets Tigh and when they work together.

The story starts with Adama as a young, hot-shot pilot on his first mission which goes wrong and haunts him for the rest of the series. We’re also shown how the armistice with Cylons causes many of the officers to be mustered out of the military because the military budget was cut. (I’ve sometimes wondered why the Colonies would bother to fund the building of battlestars if they don’t have an enemy to fight.) Then Adama meets his wife and has the boys. But soon his wife starts to resent Adama’s devotion to the Fleet and their relationship sours. The rest of the story is quite sad and right before the ceremony Adama is thinking of resigning which doesn’t really fit my idea of Adama.

Otherwise, the story was good. However, for a while Adama’s commanding officer was Captain Alexa Caine, Helena’s mother, which felt more than a bit forced.

The last story stars Starbuck and Helo. They met as cadets. Helo tries to help Kara a bit and she rejects every kind of help fiercely. Then they are sent on their first mission together. It goes wrong, of course, and they start their friendship when they try to struggle back to civilization.

Starbuck is even angrier in this comic than in the series. She obviously has a lot to prove to herself and she takes it out on everyone around her. Helo is his understanding and patient self. Unfortunately, there are still moments which I think are wildly out of character, such as when it’s suggested the Kara and Karl had sex. They also come into contact with Cylon prisoners who almost tell them about the human Cylons.

It seems that I’m (once again) picking on the faults. However, I did enjoy these stories even though I can’t really consider them canon.