Space: Above And Beyond #1
Topps Comics (January, 1996)
“Out Of The Silent Space”
ADAPTATION: Roy Thomas
PENCILER: Yanick Paquette
INKER: Armando Gil
COLORING/SEPARATIONS: Digital Chameleon
COVER ART: Ken Steacy
LETTERER: John Costanza
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Jonathan Michael Baylis
EDITOR: Len Brown
Based on the sci-fi series that made the mistake of going to sci-fi show hell, aka Fox, and part one of the pilot adaptation. In the future a colony is attacked by the aliens nobody thought existed. Back on Earth a couple are separated before the next colony ship is sent out because the government is trying to create rights for “in-vitros”, soldiers created for the AI Wars in tanks, the source of their insulting nickname, “tanks”. Nathan West tries to sneak onto the ship but is found before launch, foiling his and his girlfriend’s plans. His only hope of meeting up with her is by joining the space branch of the Marines where he meets the rest of the cast. Cooper Hawkes is an “in-vitro” falsely accused by a bigoted system (yes, he’s a white guy, but “in-vitro” is the new racism). Shane Vansen has dreams of joining the infamous “Wild Cards, the 58th Squadron. Paul Wang is a jokester. Vanessa Damphouse (the comic thankfully gives us the proper pronunciation, “Dam-Foos”) is simply lost. As they get introduced to their drill sergeant, the colony ship with Nathan’s girlfriend is attacked and crashes to the planet.
What they got right: I wasn’t a fan of the show so I didn’t feel like tracking down the episode to watch. Back in the day I gave it a few episodes but just didn’t get into it. The comic gives us a good introduction to the main characters, though only three of them have any real backstory. Nathan and his girlfriend, Shane and her parents being murdered during the AI Wars (no idea what that is from the comic), and Cooper because he was attacked by anti-vitro psychos who wanted to kill him for being what he is. We also get an early look at the show’s enemies, the “Chigs” (as yet unnamed), whom nobody back on Earth knows about just yet.
What they got wrong: Were there no single people among the second crew, or did the captain just think that because Nathan and his girl were pro-vitro they wouldn’t mind? This is the kind of nonsense that creates racists, just so someone in the government can act like the next Abraham Lincoln instead of the cheap opportunist they probably are. It’s just an excuse to have a non-com type join the Marines.
What did I think overall: I don’t know if the next two issues will change anything but I’m not any more into this story than I was the show. It’s well told and the art is decent but this really isn’t my style.