"Baptism of Fire"
Battlestar Galactica: The Compendium (Maximum Press)
Written by Robert Napton
Pencils by John Fang, Richard Horie and Brian Denham
Inks by John Fang and Rene Michellit
As he and
his fleet flee Carillon, Commander Adama reminisces about a
mission against the Cylons in his youth.
Feeling the weight of leadership after the fleet's narrow escape
from Carillon, Commander Adama reflects on a time when he was
merely a warrior...and wanted to be more.
20 years earlier, as a lieutenant, he is assigned to the
battlestar Cerberus. There, he meets Lt. Cain, the best pilot in
the service, and the two form an instant rivalry. Later,
Commander Odysseus sends the two on a mission to take out a
Cylon scanner dish in advance of an attack on a Cylon base on Onaka III by the
Cerberus. The pair are successful and the
Cerberus destroys the base. Lt. Cain admits he may make a
warrior out of Adama yet.
"Baptism of Fire" was originally serialized in 8 page
installments in issues 1-3 of Asylum, an anthology
title published 1995-1997 by Maximum Press. The story was
Battlestar Galactica: The Compendium from Maximum Press
In his journal entry, Commander Adama notes that it is Colonial
Yahren 7342 and it has been 3 sectons (~weeks) since the Battle
of Carillon and no further Cylon encounters have yet occurred.
However, according to the
BSG Timeline on the Battlestar Wiki, the year 7342 is
unlikely based on what we know of the TV episodes. The only date given in
the TV series is the Colonial yahren 7322, when the Cylons
attacked Umbra on Caprica, causing Starbuck to become orphaned
at about the same age as Boxey,
as mentioned in "The Man
with Nine Lives". The characters' ages are presumed
from the actors' ages at the time: Noah Hathaway as Boxey was 7
and Dirk Benedict as Starbuck was 33. From this it is deduced
that the destruction of the Colonies occurs in 7348.
On page 1, panel 1, Adama's reflection in the porthole window
shows the left side of his face and hand...from the way he's
standing, it should be his right side reflected!
Page 2 reveals that young Lt. Adama, after an engagement in sector
475, was assigned to the battlestar Cerberus, under its
legendary commander, Odysseus. The Cerberus is not
mentioned as one of the battlestars at the Cylon ambush at the
armistice, so it was presumably destroyed at some point between
this flashback story and "Annihilation".
The artist of Part 1 of the story, John Fang, appears to have
mistakenly used the modified designs of the Galactica
and other Colonial ships and artifacts as seen in Maximum Press
titles depicting the latter years of the ragtag fleet's journey
to Earth rather than the classic look seen on the TV series.
Page 4 reveals that Adama is part of Bronze Squadron on the
On page 5, Adama mentions that before the Cerberus, he had
served for a few yahrens on the now all but destroyed Solaria.
In the novelization of "Saga of a Star World", the Solaria
is one of the four battlestars destroyed by the Cylon attack at
the armistice. But she was never mentioned in the TV series
On page 5, we learn that Tigh (Adama's friend since the Academy)
was also recently stationed on the Cerberus.
Adama refers to Commander Odysseus as a living legend, a call
back (forward?) to Commander Cain's appearance in the 2-part
"The Living Legend" story in the TV series. Cain, as a
lieutenant, is also stationed on the Cerberus at this
On page 9, the artist labels the viper pilots' helmets with
their names as a shorthand method of keeping the characters
identifiable in the obscuring helmets. Possibly this is also an
homage to the Marvel BSG comic book series which did likewise in
its 1979-1981 series. The helmets do not appear to have a symbol
on the front though as they do at the time of the armistice.
On page 11, panel 3, Cain's and Adama's hair color appears to be
On page 13, Commander Odysseus details a strike to be made on a
heavily-fortified Cylon outpost on Onaka III.
Also on page 13, Odysseus mentions an apparently blind creature
called a Sagatarian (sic) Hardshell.
The Cylon's primary scanner dish on Onaka III, depicted on the
screen behind Commander Odysseus on page 13, does not appear the
same as it is depicted in the rest of the story. Perhaps the image
on the screen is merely an example of a Cylon scanner dish and
not the specific one on Onaka III due to the difficulty in
getting images of an enemy base.
In his journal entry on page 15, Adama says the events of his
and Cain's mission on Onaka III took place 20 yahrens ago, which
would have made it the Colonial yahren 7322.
Letterer Kurt Hathaway seems to have misread "Onaka III" in the
script as "Onaka One-Eleven". I suppose it's possible that I'm
misreading "Onaka 111" as "Onaka III", but since the number is
commonly known in science-fiction to relate the number of
planets from the sun (or moons from a planet), 111 seems
ridiculously large! Possibly it could be argued that Onaka 111 is an
asteroid, but since it is depicted as having a breathable
atmosphere, it would have to be a larger mass than an asteroid
Page 17 shows us the first appearance (chronologically) of a
golden-hued Cylon officer.
On page 22, Adama mentions that he and Cain were awarded the
Medallion of Kobol for their successful mission on Onaka III.
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