List of Comics
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Battlestar Galactica has been adapted into comic book form since its inception, by a number of different publishers including Marvel Comics, Whitman Comics, Maximum Press, Realm Press, and Dynamite Entertainment. This article provides an overview of the publishing history and links out to individual articles for each series and issue.
Marvel Comics began its adaptation of Galactica with Super Special 8. Super Special was a magazine format comic book that featured different characters or adaptations each month. Issue 8 was produced just in time for the launch of the TV series in September 1978.
The Super Special adaptation was derived from an interim script of "Saga of a Star World", and some of the differences in the story are evident. This adaptation was also released in a tabloid format by both Marvel Comics and Whitman Comics.
Spurred on by the success of this adaptation, Marvel began a monthly comic series that ran from 1978 through 1980, and lasted a total of 23 issues. The first three issues, titled Battlestar Galactica, Exodus! and Deathtrap! respectively, consisted of a longer adaptation of Saga of a Star World, taking much of the art from the Super Special adaptation and expanding it by several pages.
Beginning with The Memory Machine, Marvel began publishing all new stories based on the characters in the series. From this point, the story began to depart from what was depicted in the series. According to letters pages within the publication, Marvel's contract with Universal Studios specifically did not allow them to use anything from the television series that followed "Lost Planet Of The Gods".
In the storyline that unfolded, a good deal of the comic took place in the magnetic void which the fleet first encountered in the TV episode "Lost Planet of the Gods". In the end of the TV episode, the fleet moves back into normal space, leaving the void behind, but in the comics the rag tag fleet remains in the void beginning in issue #4, with the fleet finally returning to regular space in issue #14. (This makes placing the episodes within the span of the TV series difficult, since much of the action could be surmised to have taken place between "Lost Planet of the Gods" and "Lost Warrior".)
In terms of tone, many of the Marvel comics had horror elements, a theme that was visited sparingly in the TV series. An incomplete list of monsters from the comic series would include a space vampire (issue #9), a carnivorous planet (issue #10), alien vermin (issue #15), a crewmember who transforms into a red ape (issues #17 and #18) and a monstrous shapeshifter (issue #21). Even the menacing and relentless Cylon Mark III in issue #16 owes as much of his origin to horror elements as he does to science fiction. Taken as a whole, Marvel’s Galactica is somewhat darker in tone than the series, but this not-so-subtle paranoia is arguable truer to the initial premise of the series than were some of the latter episodes of the television program.
Notably, the writers of the Galactica comic were quite willing to remove key characters from the dramatic mix for periods of time. From issues #6 to #12, Commander Adama is placed within a machine to help him remember the ancient writings he briefly saw on Kobol and, although we do spend some time in his dreams, he is effectively removed from commanding the Galactica for several issues, which of course sets up its own dramatic tension.
Another character who leaves the series for awhile is Starbuck, as part of perhaps the most effective story arc in the series. In this plotline the fleet stumbles upon Scavenger World, the dominion of the female space pirate Eurayle, who makes a deal to spare the Colonials if she can keep Starbuck at her side. The interactions between Starbuck and Eurayle are memorable, and the conclusion of the storyline, with a tremendous battle in issue #13, is a satisfying conclusion. At the end of the tale, Starbuck remains with Eurayle, and the fleet moves on without him, which of course sets us up for his triumphant return in issues #19 and #20.
Unlike both television series, the Galactica comic actually had a planned ending, with a series of plot devices being wound up in the final two part story of issues #22 and #23. In the course of solving a mystery, Lieutenant Jolly finds adventure and romance and helps in figuring out the long sought coordinates for Earth. A tongue in cheek adventure ably drawn and scripted by Walt Simonson this plotline provided a strong end for a memorable series.
Marvel Comics Monthly Comic Book
While not a great adaptation, what makes this comic interesting is that it is based on an early script of the pilot, and thus there are several distinct differences.
Titan Books Marvel reprints - trade paperbacks
Look-In Magazine, a UK based publication for children, published a serialized comic strip featuring Galactica from October 20, 1979 through October 11, 1980. The four untitled storylines spanned 52 issues, and contained 13 two page chapters per storyline. A very solid composition throughout, this incarnation of the rag tag fleet has been largely overlooked.
The UK company Grandreams came out with two Battlestar Galactica hardcover annuals, which contained short text and comic book stories. Far inferior to the Look-In strips, these comics were aimed primarily at children.
Battlestar Galactica Annual
Mission Galactica Annual: The Cylon Attack
For a very long time, Battlestar Galactica did not appear in comics. Finally, in July of 1995, Maximum Press (a Rob Liefeld imprint) published a miniseries that continued the Galactica mythos, and ignored the storyline from Galactica 1980. This miniseries is also known as the War of Eden.
This series was popular enough that it encouraged Maximum to keep going, and soon more miniseries appeared. Apollo’s Journey, The Enemy Within, and Starbuck all published as three issue series in 1995 through early 1996. Journey’s End, the final four issue series, broke many Galactica conventions. For example, there is a depiction of Galactica traveling back through time back to the destruction of the Colonies. This was not to last, however, and after the publishing of a compendium volume in early 1997, Maximum announced it would cease publishing comics based on Battlestar Galactica.
Maximum Press Image Gallery
War of Eden
The Enemy Within
Asylum (monthly anthology series)
NOTE: "Athena's Quest" was originally titled "Apollo's Quest"
Battlestar Galactica: The Compendium
Battlestar Galactica: Special Edition
In 1998, Realm Press brought Battlestar Galactica back to comics again beginning with their Battlestar Galactica Search for Sanctuary single issue special. Other one shots were subsequently published. Later, Realm introduced a monthly comic titled Battlestar Galactica Season 3. This series only ran for three issues before it was canceled, and shortly thereafter Realm abandoned the project altogether.
The Realm series was notable for its use of airbrushed art and its attempts to remain faithful to the look and feel of the Original Series.
Battlestar Galactica, Season II
Battlestar Galactica, Season III
The New Millennium
Eve of Destruction
Search For Sanctuary
Battlestar Galactica Special Edition
Cancelled one-shots and Season III comics
In May 2006, Dynamite began releasing a comic series based on the Re-imagined Series. The comics are set within the framework of the show and, at at first were set between the episodes "Home, Part II" and "Pegasus".
In October 2006, a miniseries focusing on the Re-imagined Series character Tom Zarek was released, focusing on Zarek's past.
The first series of issues based on the Re-imagined Series written by Greg Pak and pencilled by Nigel Raynor. The storyline appears after the events of "Home, Part II" and before "Pegasus" and significantly diverge from the Re-imagined Series' timeline of Season 2.
All thirteen issues have been collected in the following trade paperbacks:
Battlestar Galactica: Zarek
This miniseries explores the history of Tom Zarek.
Battlestar Galactica: Season Zero
Written by Brandon Jerwa and penciled mainly by Jackson Herbert, this series chronicles the first mission of Galactica under the command of Commander William Adama, dealing with terrorism in the Twelve Colonies.
Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus
Battlestar Galactica: Origins
Origins is a comic book series that explores the beginnings of various important Re-imagined Series characters, including Gaius Baltar, William Adama, Kara "Starbuck" Thrace and Karl "Helo" Agathon. Issues #1 through #4 deal with the life of Gaius Baltar, while issues #5 through #8 reveal the history William Adama and issues #9 through 11 focus on Kara Thrace and Karl Agathon.
All the issues in this series have been collected in trade paperbacks:
Battlestar Galactica: Ghosts
Written by Brandon Jerwa, this four issue mini-series consists of new characters outside of the Battlestar Galactica "mainstream" who are part of the Ghost Squadron, a black-ops team struggling to survive after the wake of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War
Battlestar Galactica: The Final Five
Classic Battlestar Galactica
Dynamite produced a short-lived comic book run based on the Original Series. Beyond both this and the Cylon Apocalypse series, Dynamite has been focusing on comics based on the Re-imagined Series.
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon Apocalypse
A four-part mini-series written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach that details the story of the Colonials' discovery of a virus that can destroy their Cylon foes and how they try to weaponize it.
All four installments of the series have been collected in the Battlestar Galactica: Cylon Apocalypse trade paperback.
A "re-imagined" Galactica 1980 written by Marc Guggenheim was released September 2009.
A sequel to the Galactica 1980 comics, taking place a year after the end of that series, was scheduled to be released in late 2010, but never came about.
In April 2009, Tokyopop released a manga edition entitled Battlestar Galactica: The Manga -- Echoes of New Caprica, with stories by Emily Salzfass, Richard Hatch and Mike Wellman, and art by Chrissy Delk, Christopher Schons and Anthony Wu. This first volume contained three stories: