Scott Beatty On the End of “Buck Rogers”

Tue, March 30th, 2010 at 10:28am PDT | Updated: March 30th, 2010 at 11:08am

Comic Books
Steve Sunu, Staff Writer/Reviews Editor
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Book TitleRead the entire first issue of "Buck Rogers" right here on CBR.

This May, Dynamite Entertainment’s “Buck Rogers” series is coming to a close at Issue #12 with the conclusion of the final story arc “Moonfall.” The series, rebooting the adventures of the 1930s sci-fi comic strip and radio icon, has taken Buck through a number of different and amazing adventures with the re-imagined classic supporting cast including the brave and beautiful Wilma Deering and the brilliant Dr. Elias Huer. Taking Buck through his journey to the future from Issue #0 is writer Scott Beatty (“Robin: Year One”), who couldn’t be happier with both the fan reaction to and his work on the series. “I know Buck fans had very high expectations coming into this series and I'm quite flattered by all the positive press,” he said. “Taking on such a seminal sci-fi icon was a big task and I've had a blast. As for endings, think of it more as the end of Season One. We're stopping Buck at issue #12 and I'm going to focus on 'The Phantom' for a bit. In the interim, Dynamite will publish a Wilma Deering miniseries, and I hope to get back to the main Buck saga as soon as 'The Phantom' is up and running.”

Dynamite’s Wilma Deering miniseries will be penned by Beatty himself, but details on the story and character are still sketchy at this point. “Wilma's due for her own feature after more than 80 years, don't you think?” said Beatty. “Stay tuned. Her adventures are just as exciting as Buck's, and she's got a bit more experience under her belt when it comes to jet packs and ray-guns.”

Issue #12 of “Buck Rogers” sees an end to Beatty’s Season One and according to the solicitation, Buck Rogers and his team will go up against the most dangerous weapon ever created: Rocks. “Big rocks. Hurled from on high. Buck and company, including a few old foes, are at odds with Lunar 'Separatists'… or so they believe,” Beatty told CBR News. “For a guy like Buck who has traveled through time, been to the edges of the galaxy and fought alien hordes, a little jaunt from the Earth to the Moon is a dream come true even with the threat of war looming above.” But as for Buck himself, Beatty was cagey on the details of the ending for the character. “Buck's past finally catches up to him,” he said. “That's all I'm willing to divulge at this point.”

Although Issue #12 is about endings for Buck Rogers, it’s also a sign of beginnings, both for the aforementioned Wilma Deering miniseries and for Beatty himself, looking back to the beginnings of his run on “Buck Rogers.” “Before Buck I came off of more than a year of post-Apocalyptic stories in the WildStorm Universe,” he said. “In that I had a chance to really explore a lot of the Armageddon fiction that I consumed as a kid and still devour as an adult. Buck is post-post-Apocalyptic. 500 years later, humanity is trying hard to right the apple cart. What I've enjoyed most about the series is Buck's enduring sense of wonder about the future. Even with the threat of death looming around every corner, he's really having the time of his life. I love his excitement at actually having an anti-gravity pack and atomizer pistol.”

Covers to "Buck Rogers

For Beatty, telling Buck’s story and reimagining the character was incredibly satisfying – to the point of it being a personal milestone. “As I've said both here and in previous interviews, Buck is such an important part of science fiction that I came to the project with great expectations on all fronts,” Beatty said. “We wouldn't have Han Solo or ‘Farscape's’ John Crichton or James T. Kirk without a literal trailblazing character like Buck. For me, having a chance to write him and ‘discovering’ a voice for the character that felt true and new at the same time was both challenging and exciting as a writer. In my career to date, I've written Batman, Buck Rogers, and now The Phantom, three of comics' and science fiction's original and most influential characters. I consider that a personal milestone.”

“For me, the joy of writing is always more about the journey than the destination. I like the fact that sitting down with Buck is always an exercise in discovery, both for him and me,” Beatty continued. “When it's all said and done, which I hope isn't for a long, long time, I think I'll have more perspective. Right now, I think I'm happiest with Buck's perspective and self-reflection... and the fact that—as you'll see if you read the entire initial twelve-issue cycle—that Buck may have left the 21st century, but it hasn't forgotten about him. The last page of issue #12 encapsulates everything a ‘Season Ender’ should: A loose thread is tied up and the lives of the characters are changed forever with a jaw-dropping moment.”

But for Beatty, the most exciting aspect of recrafting and reimagining the world of Buck Rogers could be boiled down to one thing… “Hello! They live in the future,” he said. “Buck originally debuted nine months before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Before almost the entire Earth was torn asunder by World War II. Yet there was optimism that the Future would somehow be better. Sure, there would still be conflicts, but the human spirit would endure. I've been writing Buck through this generation's own economic meltdown and uncertainty, the lingering fear of terrorism, and wars on two fronts. But like Buck, I still think tomorrow will be brighter... as long as there are jet packs and ray-guns. What's appealing to me about these characters is that Buck lives for tomorrow, while his new friends and foes in the future consider it simply the now. Plus, it's a fun intellectual exercise to postulate how things change and how things stay the same 500 years later.”

Even with Issue #12 heralding the end of Buck Rogers for the moment, Beatty isn’t done with the Buck Rogers universe just yet. Both the Wilma Deering miniseries releasing from Dynamite and Beatty’s desire to pick up again with Buck Rogers in the future are two very big points for the possibility of the series continuing. “Oh, I'm not done yet! If anything, I'm only sorry that ‘Season One’ didn't have more Ardala, but we'll see more of her in ‘Moonfall,’ the arc running in issues #11 and #12.”

“Endings are always hard,” Beatty continued. “But as I've said, there's more to tell. And I'd be hard-pressed to chronicle ‘The Last Buck Rogers’ story just yet. Except for our ‘Zero Issue,’ ‘The Life and Death of Buck Rogers.’ Buck's adventures have just started.”

"Buck Rogers" #12 blasts off May 26. Read the full first issue here on CBR.

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TAGS:  dynamite entertainment, scott beatty, buck rogers, wilma deering, the phantom

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