Now I understand why Citizen of the Galaxy was split into only three issues. Each one takes place in a different setting and set of circumstances to the point where it’s practically three different stories. There’s a common thread between Issues #1 and #2, but here in #3, if it wasn’t released under the same title, you’d have to squint to tell that it was connected to the others.
Even the name of the protagonist is different. Up until now, he’s been Thorby Baslim, orphan and adopted son of a beggar. Now, he’s finally found his family, the Rudbeks of Rudbek (Mansion) in Rudbek (City). And, instead of Thorby, now everyone is calling him Thor—including himself, on occasion.
Instead of struggling as a poor former slave or working his way through the ranks on a spaceship, he’s the heir to a large fortune on Earth and trying to hold his own against greedy and nefarious relatives he never knew he had. The whole thing is just a bit jarring and seems out of left field, but then, this is Heinlein, so what do you expect? This issue also introduces another Heinlein staple: a good-hearted older man who spouts blunt and unconventional wisdom and doesn’t put up with nonsense. The only thing missing is a bizarre and borderline-inappropriate romantic relationship—oh, wait, someone just suggested that Thorby marry his cousin. It’s officially a Heinlein story now.
This may sound like I’m being hard on the story, or on the comic, or on Robert Heinlein, but, really, I only kid because I love. I’ve been a fan of Heinlein for years, and despite the disjointedness, the familiar tropes, and even the sexual weirdness, the man was an excellent writer who knew how to tell a story.
This comic adaptation of one of his novels captures the spirit of Heinlein and takes us on an adventure that’s worth having. Ostensibly geared towards the Young Adult crowd, it’s something that anyone can enjoy. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, space travel, adventure, and intrigue, do yourself a favor and check out Citizen of the Galaxy.