BYRON BREWER: Karl, everything has been building in a great crescendo toward the coming conclusion of this book in March. But in February, we have the penultimate issue #4 which sees chaos on a volcanic world. Can you help us set the table for this issue?
KARL KESEL: Itâs never been fully explained how and where the Fleet gets its food. I imagine, simply out of practicality, they have a high-vegetable diet with limited meat. Still means they have to grow those vegetables, probably hydroponically. Still need nutrients. So during the course of this storyline, Galactica is âsoil miningâ a volcanic planetoid, primarily to gather nutrient-rich rock that can be processed for food production. Pretty dry stuff, except for the fact that itâs a VOLCANIC PLANETOID with rivers of lava and highly unstable, exploding terrain. It gives us a highly visual, highly dangerous setting for the penultimate issue.
BB: Of course, during our dialogue we have been talking about the amazing creation of Baltarâs Cylon Centurion. Is it a god or is it a monster? From the way the story has been going, will it be in this issue (#4) that we discover the truth of Baltarâs creation? Is it sitting in judgment? Can Starbuck and Apollo trust it?
KK: Not to be coy, but the question âcan anyone trust Baltarâs Centurion?â is really central to the story, and I donât want to tip my hand one way or the other.
BB: You have really done well with furthering the continuity of this re-imagined world of Battlestar Galactica, Karl. I know that five issues are not a lot for character development and detail. Is there any aspect of a supporting plot thread you would have liked to have fleshed out here? If so, what?
KK: Battlestar Galactica: Gods & Monsters is completely self-contained. There arenât any elements introduced here that are left hangingâ not that come to mind right now, at least. That said, I have a few ideas for OTHER storylines, should that opportunity present itself. One would even address a major hanging/forgotten/ignored plot thread from the show: the young boy war-orphan Boxey.
BB: If, in a next step to this re-imagining, you could take one of the characters from Gods & Monsters and spin him/her/it in an entirely new direction in the same âuniverse,â who would it be? Any idea for the series?
KK: The BSG universe is so tightly knit I canât imagine any sort of spin-off. It certainly couldnât include any of the major charactersâ their arcs and timelines are pretty much set in stone. It could be interesting to follow a ship that decides to leave the fleetâ a group of people who try to survive without Galactica protecting them, and how they would deal with the Cylons. But that would only be a Battlestar Galactica story in that the complete absence of the Galactica would hang over the story like a shroud.
BB: It appears as if Alec Morgan has really captured the drama and desperation you were trying to instill in #4. How closely do you work with the artists on BSG: Gods & Monsters?
KK: I work as closely as possible. However, Iâll admit due to deadlines and other commitments, Iâve had less time to interact with Alec and Dan Schkade than Iâd like. Dan is one of the nicest guys and most promising talents Iâve worked with in some time, and takes over full art duties on Gods and Monsters with issue #3. Itâs wonderful to see him really stretch his skills in all directions.
BB: I know you are using the existing âworldâ of BSG for this series, but were there any other elements inspired by other properties you slid in for the storytelling? Such as, for example, the oft-pointed-out Frankenstein aspect of the Centurion. Any others?
KK: The only other touchstone I keep in the back of my mind is the Lost in Space Dr. Smith/Robot relationship. It informs the Baltar/Centurion relationship only in the very slightestâ Iâm pretty certain the Centurion has absolutely no respect or use for Baltar whatsoeverâ but I keep thinking if I ever have a chance for Baltar to call the Centurion â you bevel-eyed boobie!â Iâd do it!