Babylon 5

Babylon 5
Babylon 5 graphic novel review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Titan Books - 1-8528-6646-2
  • Release date: 1995
  • UPC: 9781852866464
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

These original stories take place roughly around the early days of Babylon 5 TV show’s second season. Unable to fit much detail into the series about the abrupt change of command at Babylon 5 between seasons, series creator J. Michael Straczynski takes the opportunity of the opening story to show why Jeffrey Sinclair is no longer in charge. It was a while before this was covered in any detail on the show, and then without as much background, and it features President Clark as a supporting character, much mentioned on the show, but rarely seen.

Afterwards Mark Moretti takes over the writing, working his plots around events then contemporary in Babylon 5 continuity. The revelation of Delenn’s new look is worth a full page, for instance. His plot is good, showing Sinclair’s difficulty in his new government appointed role on Minbarr while having a rogue assassin roaming Babylon 5. Moretti also fits in plenty of hints that all is not well on Earth, so pointing toward the future of the series would take.

Two artists work on the strips. Michael Netzer’s art veers wildly between some interesting layouts and some downright sloppy pages, with his cast likeness very much approximations. What he seems to enjoy drawing most is the assorted distinctive spacecraft used in the series, and some of his full pagers of these are spectacular (sample art left). He’s very heavy on the inks in places, and an early form of cut and paste seems to be used. He’s hardly helped to look his best by the primitive colouring. Carlos Garzon on the next two episodes is a welcome change, with more imaginative layouts, and illustrations of people that actually look like the Babylon 5 actors, if sometimes with unusually pronounced foreheads.

This content is also available with one extra chapter in the American edition, titled The Price of Peace. That would seem the better bet after so much time has elapsed, as while largely professional, there’s nothing compelling about the content.