Mission Log: SR

[Cover of Star Raiders Graphic Novel]
DC Graphic Novel #1
1983
"Star Raiders"
62 pages

Credits
Cover:Stephen Hickman
Writer:Elliot S! Maggin
Artist:Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Letterer:Orzecody
Editor:Andrew Helfer
Design:Neal Pozner
Editor-in-Chief:Joe Orlando

Hukkas appear out of the ground saying "Tar-ee Fors." One goes to wake Zeke, the last human on the planet. He reruns a surface monitor and watches the original Atari Force's adventure (AF1.03). Meanwhile, Jed and Tommy, a couple of rebels against the Zylons, have followed the signs of Atari Force's battle to Zeke's planet. As the three meet, a Zylon regenerates from its own remains and attacks. Zeke, with the Hukkas' help, builds guns that shoot rocket spears at the Zylons, carrying them into space. This is one of the few ways to kill a Zylon without it regenerating. Zeke then submits to Jed and Tommy his plan to use the Star Raider cruiser to defeat the Zylons and they go along with it. Jed stays to fix the cruiser while Tommy flies off to recruit pilots.

While Tommy is recruiting on Oric, the Zylons broadcast her image and say she is wanted. She heads for her ship while an ambitious alien follows. Meanwhile, an accident with the Star Raider's brain bug temporarily links Jed's and Tommy's minds, long enough for him to get her to shoot the alien following her. As Tommy is shot down trying to escape, Jed takes the Star Raider cruiser to her rescue. The spectacular rescue brings five recruits following after them, the most notable being Skrimsh.

The Star Raiders go through training, until Skrimsh steals the cruiser one night. Tommy goes to get him back. After a battle with the Zylons, Tommy locks her tractor beams onto the Star Raider cruiser and takes him back to Zeke's planet. When she releases the ship, though, Skrimsh takes off again. This time Jed follows, too. As he heads for the Zylon homeworld, Skrimsh remembers his life as a street urchin on Oric. He was told by an old vagrant that he is probably the last of his empathic race, the Guattians. Their entire planet was destroyed by the Zylons several years ago for reasons unknown. After some more battles, Skrimsh makes it to the Zylon homeworld and starts willing the Zylons out of his way. Zeke sees what's happening, realizes what's going on, and asks Jed and Tommy to come back for him. Meanwhile, Skrimsh confronts the Zylon queen and discovers she is also a Guattian. She was a biologist who discovered the weak-willed Zylons and became their mother/queen. She destroyed Guat because collectively the Guattians were a threat. Skrimsh removes the queen's life support and she dies of old age. He then wills all the Zylons home, at which point the Zylon planet explodes. Jed, Tommy, and Zeke show up and discover Skrimsh has survived by donning the queen's life-support system. They pick him up and take him home.

Annotations

  1. For the entire graphic novel, even though they're referred to has Hukkas, not once does one of them say "Hukka."
  2. Page 1: The on-screen graphics on this page and others are actually adapted from the Star Raiders video game.
  3. Page 7, panel 5: Atari Force is "a group of mythical time travelers"? That's pretty good considering their encounter with the Zylons was their first mission. Also, they're dimension hoppers, not time travelers. (Yeah, yeah. Time and space are one and the same. Blah, blah, blah.)
  4. Page 7: This Zylon could never fit in the empty spacesuit Dr. Orion found in AF1.03. It has four arms. The spacesuit had two. And why was it empty, anyway?
  5. Pages 11, 20-23: Apparently the mind-jewel Atari Force found was totally off-base on a lot of things when comparing what it told them to what Zeke tells Jed and Tommy. First, it claims the Zylons appeared 15 billion years ago, while Zeke says they attacked just 600 to 800 years ago. Second, it shows the inhabitants as green humanoids, not seemingly normal humans like Zeke. Third, it says the inhabitants never got a chance to launch the Star Raider cruiser, but Zeke has footage of it in action. Finally, it seems to claim the Dark Destroyer created or sent the Zylons. Here, the queen says the Dark Destroyer usurped her control over them. I'm much more inclined to believe the graphic novel. Perhaps the mind-jewel was planted by someone or something to warn the original Atari Force. (Don't believe everything you read, and only half of what alien mind-jewels tell you. :-) )
  6. Page 19, panel 5: The scene and the first word balloon are adapted from the final scene of the movie, Casablanca.
  7. Page 23: The way Zeke dodges the question of who the pilot was, coupled with his comments on how well he remembers it, implies that he might have been the pilot or at least closely involved.
  8. Pages 27-28: The Atari symbol and lettering can't possibly be the same ATARI from Atari Force. The closest it might be is a parallel universe version.
  9. It's possible DC was trying to leave the door open for an on-going Star Raiders series. Here is a list of possible dangling plotlines:
    1. Why did the (assumedly) radiation make Zeke immortal?
    2. Who was the original pilot of the Star Raider cruiser?
    3. What is the story of each of the recruits? Except for Skrimsh, they're hardly important to the story.

Note

Cover scan courtesy Nick Roche.

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Lee K. Seitz (lkseitz@hiwaay.net)
Created: 28 Apr 1999; Last Modified: 23 Sep 2005