Sci-fi's original hero is back: 1st look at the new Buck Rogers

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Dec 17, 2012, 3:27 PM EST

Sci-fi's first fish-out-of-water-hero was Anthony "Buck" Rogers, a World War I veteran who, during a freak cave-in, was trapped in suspended animation until the 25th century. There he soon had to put his soldier skills to good use against a whole new set of enemies in a world foreign to him. He set the stage for countless others of his kind—and now he's back.

Not sure if you can tell, but we're pretty excited about ol' Buck making a comeback. He was a major success in the comic strips of the '20s for good reason. Great art, thrilling adventures, the far-flung future ... Buck was the perfect blend.

And though his late-'70s TV incarnation is mostly joked about now (seriously, have you seen the fantastically awful Space Vampire episode?), the old dog always seemed like he was due for another adventure.

Cue Hermes Press (which has been re-releasing the old strips in some stunning hardcover editions), which decided to resurrect the character one more time.

So—you've got a classic science fiction hero and you want to give him some pizzazz for the modern audience but stay true to what originally made him great. Who would you chat up? We'll tell you whose door we'd be knocking down and who Hermes Press got on board.

Howard Chaykin. Yes, that Howard Chaykin. Creator of Ironwolf, Cody Starbuck and Reuben Flagg, to name just a few. He's kind of the king of the sexy antihero, and he knows his way around classic franchises, too. His Star Wars stuff is a far cry better than the countless books that are still coming out even today.

And his art! Oh, it's just the right style for a return to the good old-fashioned future. Don't believe us? Go back and look again at that poster art above. Chaykin sounds pretty stoked about it, too.

Check out the full press release.

BUCK ROGERS the first, best, original Sci-Fi hero is back in an all-new comic book series from Hermes Press with art and stories by Howard Chaykin.

For the past five years Hermes Press has been producing critically acclaimed, best selling archival reprints of the original Buck Rogers daily and Sunday comic strips; now the company will be offering an all new take on this classic series helmed by renowned comic book artist and writer Howard Chaykin.

To celebrate his new Buck Rogers series Chaykin will premiere this new version of the feature with a poster designed especially for Comic-Con which will be given away only at the panel, "Buck Rogers, Past, Present, and Future" on Friday, July 13, from 6:00-7:00 PM in room 4. The full color poster, featuring Buck Rogers and Wilma Deering is a Comic-Con panel exclusive.

Chaykin's new series will take the feature back to its origins and have the look and feel of the "classic" Buck Rogers. Hermes Press publisher Dan Herman believes that the strength of the original newspaper strip is "its great sci-fi tales, characters, and its vision of the future -- it's a great tradition to draw on and this new series will pay homage to the classic version of the newspaper strip."

Chaykin feels that Buck Rogers is one of the great science-fiction features and is completely revved up about creating a new version of the feature. "When Dan casually asked me whether I had any interest in reviving BUCK ROGERS, my reaction was first physical--genuine goose bumps--followed by complete delight at the thought of paying back a concept that was so utterly seminal in my thinking about our medium and our field.

Chaykin will also be at Hermes Press' booth on Friday, July 12, from 2 to 4 to talk about the new series. So if you want the inside scoop on the new Buck Rogers and you happen to be at Comic-Con, come to the panel on "lucky" Friday the 13th!

(Via Bleeding Cool)