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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Zarek (Part 1)

"Zarek" Part 1

Battlestar Galactica: Zarek #1 (Dynamite)

Writer: Brandon Jerwa

Art: Adriano Batista

Colors: Scott Kester

Letters: Simon Bowland

Cover A: Adriano Batista



Young Tom Zarek grows up on a battle-torn and suppressed Sagittaron.


Read the story summary of this issue at the Battlestar Wiki


Notes from the BSG chronology


This issue takes place from 50-30 years before the fall of the Twelve Colonies.


Didja Know?


Battlestar Galactica: Zarek was a 4-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Entertainment, covering the origin of Tom Zarek.


Tom Zarek's relationship with his father is quite different here than that depicted in the novel The Cylons' Secret. Here, he gets along well with his father, who is a poor nitrassium worker who is killed by Colonial troops while Tom is still a boy. In The Cylons' Secret, Tom's father was a successful businessman and considered Tom a failure, mostly because Tom insisted on doing his own thing, without the help of his family's business or money. Because The Cylons' Secret seems to have more contradictions to the TV series than does this mini-series, I prefer to take the information presented here as closer to canon than those of the aforementioned novel.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Tom Zarek

Jerome Randall Zarek (dies in this issue)

Karen Sue Zarek (dies in this issue)

Roderick Wallis (mentioned only)

Orrin Young (mentioned only)

Cynthia (mentioned only)

Taylor (mentioned only)


Devon Morehead



Didja Notice?


The preamble on the inside front cover of this issue states that Zarek was a political activist for more than 30 years before the fall of the Twelve Colonies. This appears to be consistent with statements in episodes of the TV series. The novel The Cylons' Secret has him starting his activist career about 10 years later, so that he would have been active only 20 years at this time. The 30 years figure as stated here must be considered the accurate one, as the TV episodes' versions of the characters take precedence when conflicting data is presented.


Throughout the mini-series, passages from Zarek's book The Revolution Within are presented. It is mentioned in the TV episode "Bastille Day" that Zarek had written a book that was banned in the educational system of the Twelve Colonies, but the book is not named; presumably it is the book named here, The Revolution Within.


Thomas Zarek's middle initial is J.


On page 1, a 3-year old Tom was exposed to a battle between Colonial Marines and the Cylons in Sagittaron City, the capital of Sagittaron.


Some unusual-looking ships of the Colonial Marines are seen on page 1.

Colonial Marines ships


One of the chief exports of Sagittaron is nitrassium, a fertilizer. The word "nitrassium" is fictitious, but was probably derived from nitrate/nitrogen, vital nutrients for plants typically found in fertilizer.


Tom's parents are Jerome and Karen Zarek.


Page 7 features announcements from the Sagittaron News Network.


On page 8, Jerome seems to be showing little Thomas a picture of the Arrow of Apollo in a book. The Arrow of Apollo is a relic of the ancient human homeworld of Kobol and is on display in the Delphi Museum of the Colonies in the city of Delphi on the planet Caprica. It later becomes an important key to the path to Earth in episodes of the TV series.


The back cover of the book Jerome is showing to Thomas has the name and image of Space Battleship Yamato, a reference to the Japanese science-fiction anime series of the same name that ran on Japanese television 1974-1975. Space Battleship Yamato


Karen Zarek requires regular dosages of aelotol to treat debilitating sickness from exposure to nitrassium. Aelotol is, of course, a fictitious drug.


On pages 12-13 Jerome Zarek breaks into the Sagittaron City Pharmacy to steal more of the expensive aelotol his wife needs since they can't afford to pay for it.


Jerome's tombstone on page 15 reveals that his middle name was Randall.


After the death of his father, Tom and his mother move to Perseus Village, just north of Sagittaron City. There, he attends Perseus Village Academy.


Tom's mother, Karen, becomes the outspoken founder of Citizens for Sagittaron Labor Reform.


Karen's tombstone on page 21 reveals that her middle name was Sue. 

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