Buck Rogers #1 by Howard Chaykin
Many publishers seem to have an endless desire to revamp old pulp heroes and revive caped crusaders who’ve been MIA for years, such as the recent (and uninspired) resurrection of the great Pete Morisi’s superhero title, Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt. Such updates, which often ‘modernize’ the character by making him, look, talk, and act like every other contemporary superhero, are rarely worth the time.
But with this makeover, it looks like Howard Chaykin will energize a stale property by giving Buck Rogers a not-so-modern world-view, one that revisits 1930s America and speaks to 2013 by looking to an era that shares much with our own. Rather than the coded jingoism we expect from traditional pulp fictions, Rogers articulates a ‘workers vs. capitalists’ socialist perspective; because the character first appeared in 1928, Chaykin’s move has an historical rationale.
While I prefer Chaykin’s art in black and white (here it’s colored and printed in the ‘hyper-gloss’ method), I enjoyed reading a book with an unusual take on what many others would’ve approached as a generic space opera: a handsome white guy battles an ugly alien to save a beautiful white woman and the universe. Bypassing such clichéd territory, Chaykin fashions an intergalactic Eugene Debs.— http://www.tcj.com/comics-survey-word-art-part-i/