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Farscape: Gone and Back #1

Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009
By: Andre Lamar

Rockne S. O’Bannon, Keith R.A. Decandido
Tommy Patterson, Nick Schley & Michael Babinski (i), Zac Atkinson (c)
BOOM! Studios
Plot: John Crichton is transported to another reality where he’s no longer married to Aeryn Sun.

Comments: BOOM! Studios returns with their latest story arc in the Farscape series with Gone and Back #1. Rockne O’Bannon eases the reader into this issue by welcoming a tender moment as John Crichton and Aeryn, along with Sikozu and Chiana, take their son Deke for a checkup. While being held in his fathers arms the newborn smiles at Gaarn (the physician), shooting him a playful stare, uttering baby-talk with “Apa!”

O’Bannon cleverly delves into the personalities of his characters and effectively knits appropriate dialogue for each of them. His understanding of the Farscape cast allows me to embrace the tone of any given panel. For instance, John Crichton’s blunt and smart mouth attitude from the television show are maintained in this script. Upon entering the alternate reality, and discovering Aeryn isn’t his wife, the alternate version of Chiana offers to cook Crichton a meal. Although he’s attempting to make sense of his new surroundings, the former astronaut in typical form replies with “Meal, uh, sounds like a good idea. I think I’m just sugar-crashing or something.”

An outsider from the series may overlook and dismiss the quote, believing it to be nothing of significance. But since I’m familiar with the John Crichton character, it pleases me to see that the writing intelligently represents him. Believability is essential to a fan and thankfully the storytelling delivers in this comic.

Despite fluid writing, the art proves too inconsistent in Gone and Back #1, as if the artists are using different techniques to distinguish from Crichton’s visit to the alternate reality (I will discuss this in detail later). Visually the beginning of this book reminds me of Cliff Chiang’s pop art style, mostly due to the physician Gaarn’s warm, yet, cartoony appearance. Not to mention Zac Atkinson’s color scheme with pastel colors adds a sense of fullness and fantasy to the book.

Sadly this lively feeling is short lived and handicapped by the inconsistency I mentioned earlier. Before Crichton teleports to the alternate world, Tommy Peterson changes his penciling method. Zac Atkinson abandons his lush array of colors replacing them with bland gray and tan hues, compromising the initial aesthetics the book previously established. Everything from background settings to character pigmentation are modified giving the book a less than stellar look, allowing one to conclude the art was rushed.

The only other thing to watch out for involves the Farscape series in general. These comics don’t introduce back stories of their characters or events, and the plot is very involved. Hence the best way to follow the series would be to watch a few episodes and/or research information on fan-sites or Wikipedia.

Nevertheless, I’m recommending this exclusively to fans of the series. The art reveals glimpses of beauty and the writing is on par with the script of the television show.



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