‘Spectrum #0:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Spectrum #0 brings to life the plot of a fictionalized show within a fictionalized show that circles tantalizingly around the very real fan obsession with a too-soon-cancelled actual cult TV favorite and its intrepid cast and characters.

Confused?  Stay with me now, and I’ll do my best to explain.

There once was a show called Firefly, starring Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk (among other talented and well-known actors, but Tudyk and Fillion are key to this tale).  Firefly was tragically cancelled in its first season.  Cue fan outrage, cult status, an unprecedented movie adaptation, fan jubilation, more cult status, and a seemingly never-ending Firefly presence in the comic convention universe. 

Tudyk and Fillion turned their ride on the cult fandom roller-coaster into the recent web series, Con Man, about…well, here’s the official elevator pitch for that…

(Tell me if you recognize any similarities with the real-life Firefly scenario.)

“Wray Nerely (played by Tudyk) was a co-star on Spectrum, a sci-fi series which was canceled too soon, yet became a cult classic. Wray’s good friend, Jack Moore (that will be Fillion) starred in the series and has gone on to become a major movie star. While Jack enjoys the life of an A-lister, Wray tours the sci-fi circuit as a guest of conventions, comic book stores, and lots of pop culture events.  The show will feature all the weird and crazy things that happen to Wray along the way to these events.”

Long story short?  Spectrum #0 is the opening salvo of a new comic book series, brought to us by Automatic Publishing, which brings the plot of the fictional show, Spectrum, alive. 

The similarities to Firefly are obvious and intentional.  We have a battle weary captain, a mysterious young girl who wields equally mysterious powers, and a group of bounty hunters seeking to capture said mysterious girl.  More similarities are promised.  Again, in the words of the publisher…

“A tight-knit crew of fascinating characters in a spacecraft that’s both a vehicle and a home, a dashing shoot-from-the-hip captain, a wisecracking clutch pilot, a powerful female who holds the key to various salvations and destructions…”

The brief story in Spectrum #0 throws its audience into the action, yet gives us a pretty good look at two key characters.  I was also impressed with the visuals.  The artwork is sleek and futuristic, and at the same time colorful.  There is an overall feel of an animated series targeted for the CW crowd, with a well-produced cinematic universe, with interesting aliens and environments. 

All else aside, I don’t think it’s unfair to say that what Spectrum readers are going to want is an epic space adventure that’s strongly seasoned with the wit and heart of Firefly.  It’s too early to draw any solid conclusions with Spectrum #0, but the possibilities seem strong.  If they’re not careful, I’m going to start wanting a reboot of Spectrum almost as much as I want one of Firefly.  And, at the very least, it gives me a wonderful Nathan Fillion likeness back in a space adventure setting. 

Spectrum #0 will be available this Saturday, May 7, as a Free Comic Book Day selection at a comic book store near you!  See you in the SpectrumVerse!

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