Farscape's New Bickering Comic Entertains, TeasesS

Issue 1 of Farscape: Strange Detractors from BOOM! Studios is, simply put, a lot of fun. Not a whole lot of substance, maybe, but it's a pretty good time, anyway.

It starts with John's Leave It to Beaver nightmare, complete in black-and-white with Aeryn decked out in June Cleaver attire, which, while definitely being a thing of nightmares for her and John, actually kind of looks good on her. (Then again, I don't know what wouldn't.) After he awakens, we're not-so-subtly clued in to the fact that he's having domestic internal crises, due to the fact that he's having second thoughts about settling down to a life of domesticity with Aeryn and their son, Deke. (Nickname for "D'Argo?" I don't know. Either way, there's a baby, and it's adorable.)

After a conversation about settling down to raise a child vs. doing interesting things (which somehow also manages to touch on Chiana and Jothee's sex life), Aeryn and John join the rest of the gang for a trip planetside to go to a market. Some are going for supplies, others (the married Morad and T'Amra) are going to retouch their marital tattoos, and yet others are ostensibly going to wander. Deke-the-baby is left aboard with Pilot, who might just be the best potential babysitter I can think of right now. Sadly, though, there aren't any adventures in babysitting in this issue, as Deke mostly just sleeps. If this were a Hitchcock film, I guess Deke would be the macguffin. (That's probably not true.)

Anyway, at the marketplace, everyone begins to bicker. And that's it. (Or is it? The "To Be Continued" suggests otherwise.) At any rate, it seems difficult to define what's happened here—perhaps the planet's atmosphere makes everyone extra-irritable, more prone to arguing? At least, that's the suggestion. But since they get out all right, one can only hope that the next issue addresses the ramifications of this incident, because, when coupled with the several-page Cleaver household nightmare at the beginning, the marketplace argument epidemic wasn't given nearly enough page-time to convince me of its importance. Meanwhile, John and Aeryn have a conversation about modern art and the relative merit of representational vs. non-representational work. (Apparently John isn't such a fan of modern art, but he did once take a field trip to the National Gallery in DC. I guess we have that in common, only I like modern art. And, actually, that whole scene in the comic as well.)

I'm still undecided what I want from a first issue in general, torn between exposition and an attention-grabbing incident worthy of a Bond film opener. Here we have something between the two that more sets a tone that's fun, not too serious, and wholly enjoyable. I hope this tone carries through to the next issue. And that we finally figure out what's up with the angry marketplace effect, because logic tells me that a planet with an annoyance-inducing atmosphere is just about the worst place to set up shop. Looking forward, then, to finding out.

Story and script by Rockne S. O'Bannon and Keith R.A. DeCandido, art by Will Sliney. Color by Zac Atkinson. Farscape: Strange Detractors #1 is available in comic stores now.