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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: The Daring Escape of the Space Cowboy "The Daring Escape of the Space Cowboy"
Battlestar Galactica #19 (Marvel)
Written and drawn by Walt Simonson
Inks by Klaus Janson
September 1980

Starbuck escapes from Scavenge World.

Story Summary

Adama tells Apollo that his time in the memory machine showed him that the inscriptions he glimpsed on Kobol revealed that the Lords of Kobol used pulsars for navigation in space, including as signposts to Earth. Going through reams and reams of information from the ship's computer, he has narrowed the likely combination of pulsars which could lead the fleet to Earth to 83, still too many to make any kind of accurate course settings to the lost 13th colony. Apollo delivers him the good news that Dr. Wilker has devised a way to process the dangerous fruit from Jungleworld into a harmless, nutritious (though not delicious) paste that can be stored and used to feed the members of the fleet.

Meanwhile, a wide patrol of Viper pilots has discovered a decrepit ship heading towards the fleet. They receive no communications except for a signal code indicating it's a friendly. Adama gives the order to allow it to land, which the falling-apart ship does by the skin of its teeth. Starbuck emerges from the ship and is greeted enthusiastically by his friends.

Starbuck delivers a report to Adama about his time on Scavenge World and some information he discovered there about the lost 13th colony. Later, he gets together with his friends to tell the story of his departure from Scavenge World (which, as we see from flashback panels, is not as rosy-colored as he describes it).

As he finishes his story, a report of a squadron of Scavenge World fighter craft heading towards the fleet comes in to the Galactica.

CONTINUED IN BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #20

Didja Notice? 

In this issue, the characters and narrative begin referring to the jungle planet from the last two issues as Jungleworld.

On page 3, Adama reveals that his time in the memory machine showed him that the inscriptions he glimpsed on Kobol told him that the Lords of Kobol used pulsars for navigation in space, including as signposts to Earth. Pulsars are extremely magnetized, rotating neutron stars which emit a beam of electromagnetic radiation as they rotate, making them powerful radio sources. Going through reams and reams of information from the ship's computer, Adama tells Apollo he has narrowed the likely combination of pulsars which could lead the fleet to Earth to 83.

In this issue, we are introduced to Captain Siduri and Lt. Enkidu. Writer Simonson has borrowed the names from the Ancient Mesopotamian epic poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Dr. Wilker devises a way to process the dangerous fruit from Jungleworld into a harmless, nutritious paste that can be stored and used to feed the members of the fleet.

In issue #3 (the adaptation of "Deathtrap"), Jolly was depicted with red hair. In this issue, on page 14, panel 4, Jolly has black hair!

On page 23, Starbuck mentions some of the card games he played on Scavenge World in order to win the parts he needed to fix up the old ship he found there, such as 3-Fingered Froggie and Mud Mother's Ramble.

Starbuck reveals that he believes the ancient spaceship he repaired and in which he escaped from Scavenge World was one of the ships used by the people who originally migrated from Kobol to colonize Earth.

Notes from Battlestar Bulletins

In the lettercol this issue, a reader asks how could Adama's wife, Ila, be alive in "Derelict" when Adama said she was at their house when it was destroyed in the Cylon attack on Caprica in "Annihilation". The editor responds that they think Adama was taking her death as a manner of faith, not fact; that he did not actually find her body there and "...we here at Marvel are mainly from Missouri!" The Missouri mention is a reference to that state's unofficial nickname: The Show-Me State. In other words, "if you want us to believe she's dead, show us the body." The response may also be a reference to an oft-quoted truism of comics, "If you don't see a body, don't believe a character is dead!" (And maybe not even then.) 

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