the Machines" Part 2
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War #2 (Dynamite)
Writers: Joshua Ortega and Eric Nylund
Pencils: Nigel Raynor
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover A: Stephen Segovia, Cover B: Nigel Raynor
During the Sag War, Ben’s robot
assistant, Isak, becomes the first robot to kill a human.
Notes from the BSG
This issue takes place entirely within
Admiral Tanner's flashback to 40 years earlier (begun in
the Machines" Part 1) to show events leading
up to the events of the first Cylon War.
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War is a
4-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Entertainment. Though
the mini-series itself is titled
Cylon War, the bonus script pages
included in each issue show that the story was titled
"God in the Machines" Parts 1-4, a better title in
the first place, so I have used those titles in
PopApostle's studies of the mini-series.
This series tells the story of the build-up to the first Cylon
War 40 years before the events of BSG2000. It was published the
year before the premiere of the
Caprica TV series on Syfy, so it unfortunately
contradicts a lot of the canon information about the origin of
the Cylons depicted therein. To make this mini-series fit into
the continuity at all, one must imagine that the Tanner
corporation here has merely taken a role in helping to improve
the Cylon robotic designs already introduced by Graystone
Industries in the aforementioned TV series.
Characters appearing or mentioned in this story
Commander Ben Tanner
Tim Tanner (mentioned only, deceased)
Gilbert Tanner (Ben Tanner's uncle, dies in this issue)
Ensign Tigh (presumably meant to be Saul Tigh, but chronology
Captain Kile (mentioned only)
Jonathan Tanner (name on tombstone, possibly John Tanner, Ben's
(name on tombstone)
The issue opens on Demetres Training Station in geosynchronous
orbit over Caprica.
On page 2, panel 2, notice that the Cylon head is sitting on the
round conference table as the bigwigs of the Caprican military
question Commander Tanner about the results of his tests with
Cylon soldiers. We see the center man (Admiral Jennings) at the table holding the
head on page 4.
Tanner is placed in charge of the Akins Transluminal Orbital
Manufacturing facility (ATOM) near Caprica as part of Caprica's
bid to develop battle robots.
On page 6, notice that the Sagittaron Cylons have the
Sagittaron symbol painted on their chests.
The Prime Minister of Picon at the time of the war between
Caprica and Sagittaron is shown to be
On page 12, Tanner has a meeting with Caprican military leaders
at Fort Hodge Orbital Defense Station at LaGrange Point Three
over Caprica. L1 through L5 represent
Lagrange points, "the five positions in an orbital configuration
where a small object affected only by gravity can theoretically
be stationary relative to two larger objects (such as a
satellite with respect to the Earth and Moon)" (from
Wikipedia), named for Italian mathematician and astronomer,
Joseph-Louis Lagrange (1736-1813).
This issue reveals that the portion of a Colonial robot's
programming that prevents it from harming a human being is
located in the 4BXG chipsector (the chipsector was previously
mentioned as a location of logic stalls in the warbots Tanner
Robogenics was developing).
On page 13, Tanner is given command of the Caprican destroyer
Eos. The ship looks like a forerunner of the
Admiral Jennings informs Tanner of his first mission as
commander of Eos, to be part of Caprican Battle Group Theta,
Third Fleet in protecting Scorpia against an attempt by
Sagittaron to annex the colony by force. Jennings explains that
Scorpia does not have much of a defense force, with most of the
planet's economy geared toward building their exploration-colony
ships. Scorpia is seen to be the home of the Colonial Fleet
Shipyards after the unification of the Colonies during the first
Cylon war and thereafter.
A young man called Ensign Tigh is seen to serve aboard the
Eos under Commander Tanner on page 14. Presumably this is
meant to be Saul Tigh, who would go on to meet William Adama and
serve with him in later years. But his presence here does not
conform to what is learned about his existence as one of the
Final Five Cylons who only arrived in the Twelve Colonies from
the original Earth during the first Cylon war (though it roughly
fits the false backstory he was programmed with when hidden
among the human colonists by Number One).
Various types of early starfighters are seen in the battle on
page 16, including some early Vipers. However, they don't look
like the Mark I Vipers (looking like the ones from BSG70, as
seen on display in the Galactica museum in
"Humanity's Children") and
they're not the Mark II or III from the first Cylon War either.
The rifle wielded by the Sagittaron soldier in panel 1 of page
18 looks quite a bit like an American M16!
On page 19, Tanner mentions military strikes on Picon Delta and
Caprica Secudus and that the Sagittarons have been pushed back
to Sagittaron Bellarius. This is the first mention of such
outposts in the Colonies.
Notice the illustration of the circuitboard in Isak's head on
page 22 has a sector labeled 4bXg, as noted earlier, the portion
that prevents robots from
harming a human being. The word "THEREMIN" is also printed on
the board; it's meaning here is unknown...a Theremin is an
electronic musical instrument.
On the last few pages of this issue, Isak ponders the
destructive traits of humanity and the roots of its religion and
comes to the conclusion that there is actually just one God and
that humanity, as the destroyers of God's works in the universe
must be destroyed themselves instead to stop them. This is a far
different origin for the Cylons' belief in God than that later
depicted in the chronologically-earlier episodes of the
Caprica TV series.