Hollywood interpretations of our favorite comics are not uncommon, and perhaps one of their more popular go-to subject matters when looking for the big hits lately. But true fandom also appreciates the role reversal of comics taking on ideas originating from the big screen. It allows us to continue to experience these beloved worlds long after we’ve left the theaters.
When the movie Galaxy Quest hit theaters on Christmas day back in 1999, the film gained almost instant admiration from fandom as it parodied some of the same cult loyalty many of us have dedicated our weekends to. Simply put, the story is true to the fandom of shows like Star Trek because it puts the passion and commitment fans have on display long after the show’s existence.
On January 21, 2015, IDW Publishing (Idea and Design Works, LLC) released the first installment of a new comic series titled Galaxy Quest – The Journey Continues. Issue #1 was written by Erik Burnham, Nacho Arranz provided the art, Esther Sanz the colors, Gilberto Lazcano the lettering, and editing was by Tom Waltz. Back in 2008, IDW also released a miniseries titled Galaxy Quest – Global Warning, but this latest series follows more directly with Hollywood’s ending.
The original film plot centered on a cast of characters who continue to live off of the success of their long canceled television show called Galaxy Quest. A group of aliens intercepted the show’s broadcasts and assumed that they were real events. The aliens get an opportunity to meet the cast members at a fan convention where nobody suspects strangely dressed characters, and they eventually drag the actors into an intergalactic war.
Undeniably, part of the success must be credited to the unique cast of actors playing actors. This includes many who have left other footprints in fandom folklore. Commander Peter Taggart was played by Jason Nesmith, who was played by Tim Allen (Santa Clause, Captain Zoom and Buzz Lightyear). Lieutenant Tawny Madison was played by Gwen Demarco, who was played by Sigourney Weaver (Ripley from Aliens and Grace from Avatar). Doctor Lazarus of Mak’tar was played by Alexander Dane, who was played by Alan Rickman (Severus Snape and the bad guy Hans Gruber from Die Hard). Security Chief “Roc” Ingersoll was played by the archetypical red shirt Guy Fleegman, who was played by Sam Rockwell (Zaphod Beeblebrox from Hitchhiker’s Guide and the astronaut from Moon).
In the comic Galaxy Quest – The Journey Continues, the story does just what the title implies. At the end of the film, the captain used a device known and the Omega 13 which rewinds time by 13 seconds, allowing him to go back in time and save his crew from a horrific death. As readers return to the story, they get to see the many dangerous results that arise from playing with time travel. The possibilities are endless.
The new story follows the original ending smoothly. For those who are not familiar with the film, the plot may be a bit confusing as you can only explain so much on the limited number of pages in a comic. That, and trying to remain true to the new characters who are not familiar with what had happened makes the lack of a backstory just as important. Regardless, for those who loved the movie, it will feel like you’ve never left.
The artwork is crisp, vibrant, and easy to follow. However, the character imagery is a little over the top if you compare the graphic versions with those from the movie. If it was Arranz’ intention to separate the look of the comic’s characters from the film for an edge of originality, then it is a “mission accomplished” because they look (see cover) nothing like the names listed above.
Overall, Galaxy Quest – The Journey Continues should be a success. Most fans understand how silly some people think their fascination with science fiction looks. But the loyalty and dedication is what makes fandom so strong. So when a story comes along highlighting all of the clichéd elements of fandom, it can’t miss. February and issue #2 can’t get here soon enough.