Battlestar Galactica is about to go steampunk! Coming August 13th, Dynamite is launching STEAMPUNK BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: 1880, a 4 issue mini-series written by Tony Lee (2000 AD) with art from Aneke (DAMSELS). Tony Lee answered a few of our questions about this upcoming mini-series.
COMIC VINE: What is happening in this new book?
TONY LEE: We've tried to keep it more or less connected to the core values of the series, so once more the Human race is under attack from a mechanical foe, this time the Cylonics, clockwork creations of the insane Professor Baltar, who wants to be Emperor of the Colonial Empire. But, the last Aethership Galactica has something to say about that.
We come into this after the Crown Prince and heir to Arch-Duke Adama's throne, Apollo has been captured, and his sister, the Lady Athena and her servant Boxey travel to the Pirate world of Rising Star, to find the one man who can save her, the disgraced soldier-turned-smuggler, Captain Starbuck...
CV: Why take this world and these characters and add the steampunk look to them?
TL: I think it was more a case of 'why not'. The whole idea of taking a very strong 'man verses machine' story and throwing it into this world was too good an opportunity to resist, and once I started, I found so many similarities that it was obviously destined to be.
CV: What attracts you to steampunk?
TL: I've been a fan of Steampunk before it was even named, the whole idea of H.G Wells sending Victorians into the 'Aether' in their Cavorite-powered ships really grabbed me as a child, and books like War Of The Worlds kept that going. A lot of people class Steampunk as cogs, top hats and goggles, but to be it's youthful exuberance, it's a nation, a species even, optimistic about the future, creating for creation's sake and exploring the unknown. There's an innocence to Steampunk that doesn't really exist in many other sub genres.
CV: Is this book going to take place in space or will it be a bit more, pun intended, grounded?
TL: A bit of both, actually. The battles are both in space (or the Aether) and on the ground, where the the Cylonics have these giant, Pacific Rim sized clockwork counterparts that just take cities apart. But the Galactica is a spacecraft, and the Colonial Empire covers a solar system, so there's a lot of traveling to different worlds, and a couple of familiar alien races appear to assist or hinder.
CV: What are some of the main differences between this series and the other Dynamite series?
TL: Moustaches for a start! Big handlebar moustaches! The biggest problem Dan has with the ongoing Battlestar Galactica is that he's hampered by established continuity. We know what happened before thanks to the show, and in a way we know what happens to most of the cast afterwards thanks to Galactica: 1980. With Steampunk Battlestar Galactica: 1880, there canvas is blank. I can do what I want, and so we do. The character are all there, but there are distinct differences. I can kill who I want, change who I want. There's a lot more freedom in an 'Elseworlds' tale, and grab onto this with both hands.
CV: What would you tell people that are on the fence about picking this book up?
TL: When I wrote Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck, I saw at the beginning a lot of people going 'No, it's the Dirk Benedict Starbuck, I wanted Kara, this is gonna suck' and suchlike. But by the end, I was getting glowing reviews and acclaim for the story. And with this, I know there are people going 'why change it?' and to them I say 'why not?'. I spent years writing Doctor Who, where I learned the craft of exciting space adventure. I've written superhero, horror, sci fi, romance, you name a genre, I've probably written in it. All of this has been brought to the table for this book.
Try the first issue. If you don't like it? Then you don't have to read anything else I write ever again. Because I'm really proud of this, and I think the fans of Classic Battlestar Galactica will be too. And who doesn't want to see a half humanoid, half Daggit co-pilot, giant Cylons punching the cogs out of each other and sexy Pirate Queens?
Make sure to check out STEAMPUNK BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: 1880 by Dynamite Entertainment when it comes out August 13th. Check out a couple other covers below.