So the first decent Galactica series Maximum Press put out (actually, I recall enjoying the Starbuck miniseries, but that was set during the show and that may change when I get to it at the end of this review series) is about to come to a close. The Nomen control the Galactica, and Iblis is trying to control Apollo. Now he’s in the Ark and seeking the amulet that works with the Ark’s systems. But can it do something more?
Battlestar Galactica: Apollo’s Journey #3
Maximum Press (June 1996)WRITER: Richard Hatch ARTIST: Hector Gomez COLORIST: Robert Chong COLOR SEPARATIONS: Quantum FX LETTERER: Kurt Hathaway EDITOR: Matt Hawkins UPDATED CHARACTER/SHIP DESIGNS: Rob Liefeld & Karl Altstaetter
On the Ark, Apollo makes his case, stating that Iblis also transported the Nomen from their Earth Colony to the Galactica. If you think back to issue #1, the Nomen were aboard a prison ship, seeing a colony for the Nomen all their own. (I’m not sure which country I can joke about them being the origins of without getting someone mad at me.) Eve isn’t convinced and tells Sheba not to give him the amulet, but Apollo snatches it just as Iblis drags him back, with the Colonial leader vowing that Iblis won’t break him.
Unaware of these events (although Eve is drawn right next to Adam in the next scene), Boomer and Adam discuss the strike plan with Colonel Tolen, acting commander of the Pegasus. This is just to remind everyone that they have a plan they’re preparing to initiate because it’s not like they have a page that sums up the earlier issues…oh wait, they actually do, which makes that part pointless. The Vipers are launched (and why does the Pegasus have the same new model as the Galactica when they haven’t seen each other in centons and haven’t had the time to build new Vipers?) and begin a surgical strike on their sister ship as a strike team invades the ship.
Back in Iblis’s dimension, Apollo refuses to give Iblis the amulet after tricking him into telling Apollo why he wants it. Then Apollo fires an energy bolt from the amulet, realizing that it can conduct telepathic power much as Adam’s staff did. He uses it to open his own portal and arrives on the Galactica and this is when things start falling apart. Even Hatch can’t escape the Liefeldian influence that comes from writing for Maximum Press. I’ll explain if you can’t guess in a few paragraphs.
A quick scene showing how Baltar tricked the Cylon forces so that he can have the victory of taking the colonies himself. Again, a pointless scene that just allows Hatch to write Baltar as he should be written. Oh, and Baltar still has that Cable wanna-be outfit.
Apollo’s portal (which is the wrong color, using Iblis’s power color instead of the one assigned to Apollo and his magic amulet) takes him to the Galactica‘s engine room, where he easily takes out the Nomen guard (weren’t there only three of these guys in issue #1–oh, right, the Nomen colony that also didn’t exist in #1) and fights off Iblis’ influence. Things go fast as the convicts start breaking into the Ark and the invasion team meets up with Cain, Muffet, Boxey, and Bojay. The Nomen are convinced Iblis betrayed them, unaware that Baltar is responsible for the Cylon forces not arriving.
Iblis attempts to use Serina’s image to fool Apollo, but he doesn’t fall for it. Iblis insists that Apollo’s soul is now corrupted and thus his. Then he disappears
for plot convenience because things are going wrong, and Apollo Apollo sends a message that gives the heroes hope, turning the battle against the Nomen. Iblis is enraged, planning to kill Apollo and “subvert another descendant of Kobol and use him to wield the amulet”, and Apollo realizes that by “her” Iblis means his sister Athena. Go back, read that last sentence again, and know that I’m not the one with the typo. Iblis says “him” but Apollo apparently heard “her”. At any rate, it gives Apollo the strength he needs to send a stronger blast at Iblis, sending him away.
With the ship retaken by the Warriors, there’s still the invasion of the Ark. Sheba and Eve are sent through an escape tube, but the convicts stop Boomer from sending Cain down the chute only to be chased off by the arriving Apollo, who then uses the amulet to heal Cain. Do you see the problem yet? Now we have Apollo, with the amulet, able to channel great mystic energies strong enough to take down Iblis, a Satan (or at least demon) analog for the series. He can even heal people. This is all because of his bloodline, shared by his sister, Athena, and his son, Cain. (Boxey is Apollo’s stepson, and thus doesn’t share Adama’s bloodline.) Doesn’t that make Apollo a bit too powerful now? And the story is written by Apollo’s original actor, which brings to mind the William Shatner Star Trek novels that I hear brings Kirk back to life post-Generations.
The story ends with Apollo making his journal entry and able to finally say goodbye to Serina.
So that’s Apollo’s Journey, written by “Apollo” himself. While a few things fall apart, like some continuity errors and Adama’s bloodline being able to use the telepathic technology of the 13th tribe to near god-like proportions, for the most part it was the most enjoyable story that I’ve reviewed in this series. The characters feel the same, the panel layouts make actual sense (if you ignore the overlapping panels), and I actually enjoyed reading it. Unfortunately, it mostly suffers for being set in Maximum’s version of Battlestar Galactica, and makes it a tough read on its own merits, since following this means dealing with Robert Napton’s stories. Which we will do again next time. Napton returns to the series for the last of the mini-series, Journey’s End. Did he learns something from watching what a good BSG comic looks like? Only time will tell, and sadly…that’s a pun.
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