Battle of the Planets #1
Image Comics/Top Cow (August, 2002)TRIAL BY FIRE part 1 WRITER: Munier Sharrieff PENCILER: Wilson Tortosa COLORIST: Shane Law LETTERERS: Robin Spehar & Dennis Heisler EDITOR: David Wohl COVER “A”/ART DIRECTOR: Alex Ross COVER “B”: Marc Silvestri, Danny Miki, & Steve Firchow COVER “C”: J. Scott Capbell, Rhys Yorke, & Shane Law COVER “D” (shown): Michael Turner & Arnold Tsang Geez, how many covers do you guys need? And why did I get this one?
Spectra launches their attack on the city of Central West. G-Force wants to go in and take down the Iron Terrapin robot, but the military leader, Brigadier General Tomak, thinks they’re a bad idea so Security Chief Anderson has to go over his head, convincing the President to send his “Gatchaman” team into action.
What they got right: The character models are a match for the Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets series (although Princess’ head isn’t as big as it was on the show, this being a plus really). The Iron Terrapin is the first threat Gatchaman/G-Force fought in their respective versions, and it was also used in the remake of Gatchaman in the 90’s, so this is a fair homage.
What they got wrong: In hindsight a lot of Tomak’s actions kind of have to be reviewed with what we learn about him in a later story. He comes off as a militaristic jerk, and those are a dime a dozen in science fiction. This, however, will really look bad after a later revelation. The other thing this series is missing is 7-Zark-7. Yes, I know few if any fans like Zark, partly because he was part of the editing of certain violence levels (poor babies) but without Zark and 1-Rover-1 they should have just gone with the Gatchaman character names and title. The only time they leave the planet is in the Thundercats crossover, which is also one of the differences between the Japanese and American versions.
Recommendation: This was a decent start, if light on the action thanks to Tomak grounding G-Force. However, I see that they were trying to set-up the threat this issue. So this is a good place to start.