Book Review: Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues By Erik Burnham

galaxyquest1Title: Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues

Author: Erik Burnham

Year written: 2015

Publisher and year: IDW Publishing, 2015

ISBN Number: 978-1631403569

I recently decided to finally buy the DVD versions of some of the movies I had on video, I’ve had a list for ages and this included Galaxy Quest. It was on the Amazon search that I discovered there are two graphic novels about the movie written as sequels so I thought I’d give them a go. This is the first one I got, it’s the most recent but I didn’t get it in physical form as it’s three times the cost of the Kindle version which is £2.99. The link in the UK on Amazon.co.uk is here, though it’s probably available in other formats on other sites too.

This book is written as a sequel to the movie, so it does help if you’ve seen the movie itself but there is a bit of a recap at the beginning as an introduction that gives the important information that ties in with this story. The idea is that there is a war going on in a distant galaxy that is won by one side, the Omega 13 is activated as in the movie and time goes back 13 seconds but this time the other side wins. Years later the side that loses goes in search of the reason for this change and they find the crew of actors who were in the original movie.

The story was originally released as four shorter comics, I’m not sure if they’re available in digital format as well as physical but price wise this complete format is better than getting those individually, whether you choose the digital or physical copy. This copy is 104 pages long and includes the introduction with a story so far style part, a little paragraph on each of the characters and, at the end some full page art which I’m not sure was in the original fourth issue, maybe it was as I haven’t seen it. It’s a pretty short read even with all four together.

galaxyquest2

Image copyright IDW Publishing

 

The cover of this is pretty nice, I do like the artwork which is the same style as the rest of the novel, and has the same feel as a lot of Star Trek graphic novels, which is probably intentional considering how much of a parody of that show the original movie was. I do like the art style but some of the characters are hard to tell apart, the four main older male characters especially I found hard to tell who was speaking though it did get easier towards the end, mainly because they split up and the one has his prosthetics from his character on the TV show on. I guess they must not have been able to get the rights to the appearance of the actors in the original movie which did take a bit of getting used to as none of them look like the original characters really. In some ways it’s good, they aren’t trying to copy the originals and getting it slightly wrong, but it’s more obvious because of the similarities between the characters as I mentioned before so looking more like the actors would make them look more distinguishable.

The story itself is spread through four chapters with pages showing where the original issues would have ended and began. I thought the pacing at the beginning was pretty good, it got a bit more rushed towards the end as it seemed like it took until page 46 out of 104 for the action part of it to get started when they actually leave Earth. It’s one of those ones that could have done with a couple more issues to get it all sorted properly as it seemed to be a pretty abrupt ending. Some of the things that happened seemed to be a bit of a repeat of what happened in the original movie but I did like the sense of humour and the fact that the jokes were, to me, a similar level to the original movie. There were some bits where it seemed a bit forced but otherwise it carried on nicely enough. I did like the new aliens and the references to stereotypical sci-fi tropes such as not translating the distances when it translates everything else, they seemed to work for me and fit like in the original movie.

galaxyquest3

Image copyright IDW Publishing

 

The characters seemed to be pretty close to the movie, I think they did a good job with getting their personalities right. I think that even if you didn’t see the movie they could be characters you’d like if you like light hearted sci-fi that doesn’t take itself, or sci-fi in general especially Star Trek, too seriously. There was a bit of an introduction near the beginning to explain who each of the characters is, even the new ones, so you don’t have to worry about having seen the movie to understand who they are in relation to each other. I did like that as it makes it easier to read for people who either haven’t seen the movie or haven’t seen it in a long time.

Overall I think it was an ok graphic novel, at about £2.99 I would say it was probably worth it but to me it wouldn’t be worth the full price of the physical copy. I think that if you liked the movie this might be worth a read but only if you can get past the characters not looking like the actors who portray them. If you haven’t seen the movie then I don’t really think this would be worth picking up, unless you can get it in a bundle or something cheap, as the last part and the pacing towards the end just lets it down for me. I think if they’d been able to make it into six issues it had the potential to be something good as I did like the idea behind it and the writing and art styles, it just felt too rushed when it came to the conclusion and not very well described as it seemed a bit ‘we’ll go here and do this and yay it’s all over’ which, I suppose it kind of like some of the classic sci-fi out there but more explanation and story near the end would have made it a lot better.

Having said all that if you are a fan and can get this cheap like in a second hand book store when it’s a bit older or if it goes on sale then the art style is nice and it’s good to have a sequel to the original movie even if it’s in a graphic novel format. I would like them to make more, and the ending of this one does sort of suggest they could, but I would hope they would be longer or better paced if they keep it at the four issue format.

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