Rick Remender Talks "Classic Battlestar Galactica" #1

It's a "Galactica" kind of year: the re-imagined Sci-Fi series recently launched its third season and picked up the prestigious Peabody award, while the classic 1970s series is seeing a revival with a new DVD set and an ongoing comic series from Dynamite Entertainment. We tracked down Imperious Leader (aka series writer) Rick Remender for a look at the first "classic continuity" issue, in stores today.

The comic series begins with an exciting tale of survival set in the early days after the Cylon betrayal. Coping with the loss of their solar system, Boomer and Starbuck are pinned down by enemies on one of the former colonies. Remender explained, "I'm doing what I can to develop these two and their bond a bit while placing them in an extremely unfriendly environment with Galactica herself at stake."

Exactly where this and the series' other stories will take place in the Classic Battlestar Galactica universe is something on the forefront of Remender's mind. "All the stories will be placed between existing episodes of the show," the writer said. "All will fit perfectly into continuity. The first arc takes place between the pilot and the first episode as Galactica and her convoy makes their way out of their home system on the road to Earth, so I'll be using the entire original cast."

But look out for some new characters and twists, as well. "We're talking about a number of different unresolved stories from the original show as well as a few new original storylines as well. It's a matter of picking which one to do next." Remender explained that issues #1-5 will introduce a band of survivors from the Cylon-ravage world Maytoria.   "The planet is a moon of one of the original twelve colonies. The inhabitants are a fierce race of warriors and, as such, were the hardest hit by the initial Cylon invasion. One of the characters is based on a background player in the first episode of the series after the pilot. I'm doing all I can to lock this tightly into the original show.

Joining Remender as wingman on this Dynamite mission is hero cover artist Dave Dorman, who will be providing the series' regular covers, and Carlos Rafael on interiors. An accomplished artist himself, Remender's illustrated a number books from AiT/PlanetLar ("Black Heart Billy"), Dark Horse ("The Man With The Screaming Brain")   and Image Comics ("The Last Christmas"). But despite his visual leanings, Remender resists the urge to over-direct his collaborators.

"I happen to have been very lucky with the artists I work with as a writer and there is seldom a problem.," he says, adding, "I'll occasionally send a rough thumbnail or sketch to show my thoughts on a design or layout. It's important to not step on anyone's toes so I only do this as a suggestion. I like to give fairly specific instructions in my scripts because as an artist I hate to look at a bare script that leaves all the thinking to me. I like to have plenty of description as well as a bit of breathing room so I try and make sure anyone who draws my scripts feels the same way."

All indications are that artist Carlos Rafael is on the same page, turning in excellent interpretations of Remender's scripts. "Carlos' interiors are stunning. He's a real find. If I write a crowd scene, he does the entire crowd every time and gets the acting down pat. Issue #2 is where he really takes off with the expressive acting stuff. I'm never disappointed when the pages come in."

"Classic Battlestar Galactica" #1 lands in stores today from Dynamite Entertainment.

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