Don’t be confused by the title. This is not the sixth volume of an ongoing story but, rather, the story of ‘Number Six’, the sexy Cylon that infiltrated and wreaked havoc on the surviving human colony in TV’s Battlestar Galactica.
A quick history: Battlestar Galactica (BSG) was an American science fiction television series that premiered in 1978 and was reimagined in 2003. It centred around a space-faring colony of surviving humans seeking a mythical planet called Earth after their worlds were decimated by robotic enemies called Cylons. In the modern reimaging of the television series that aired from 2004, thirteen Cylon models were human replicas who could infiltrate the colonies and wreak havoc from within when called to do so.
Number Six, played by Tricia Helfer on television, was the main Cylon character and this graphic novel is the history of the Cylons told through her. Author JT Krul has provided a backstory to the reimagined television series, looking at a time when the humanised Cylons were learning what it meant to be human so they could infiltrate the human race without detection.
All five issues of the original comic mini-series are included in this graphic novel, along with cover photos of Tricia Helfer in character, cover art by Jenny Frison and alternative covers by Rod Rodolfo (with colours by Adriano Lucas), and Chris Bolson. Rodolfo also illustrated the final three issues, with Igor Lima illustrating the first two.
The graphics in Battlestar Galactica: Six are quite good. The settings and action are brooding and emotive with enough vibrancy and detail to set the mood without distracting from the plot. Where it falls down is in the characters. Number Six only vaguely resembles actress Tricia Helfer, while Dr Gauis Baltar looks nothing like actor James Callis who played him in the series.
The story, while showing potential, jumps back and forth too much, making the plot convoluted and hard to follow without serious concentration. Anyone unfamiliar with the BSG backstory is likely to be as lost and confused as Number Six herself by the flashbacks she experiences from other lives.
Disjointed stories rarely work and require a deft hand for it to make sense to the reader, or at least to peak the reader’s curiosity enough to keep going. JT Krul hasn’t quite got there yet. It’s hard to stay focused or to connect emotionally with a story that’s all over the place.
Hardcore fans of BSG should enjoy Krul’s glimpse into how the modern Cylons came to be, but it won’t be easy for them either.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 5