Brian O'Kert/ January 11, 2017/ Brian's Brain, Comics

Beyond The End Of Farscape

Farscape originally premiered on March 19, 1999, on what was still called the Sci-Fi Channel at that point. With a motley crew of crazy characters, Muppet aliens, and a twisted sense of humor that often counterbalanced very dark storylines, Farscape was unlike anything we’d seen on television. And in spite of an unexpected cancellation that looked like it’d leave fans in the lurch, the show managed to get a second chance at closure in the form of the 2004 Peacekeeper Wars miniseries.

All these years later, comes the word that maybe, just maybe, we might get a new Farscape TV movie. And I hope so, because that would be awesome. But what you might not realize is that Crichton, Aeryn, Jothee, Chiana, and the rest actually didn’t just settle into a quiet retirement after The Peacekeeper Wars. I mean, they totally intended to — they’d earned their happy ending — but the story of Farscape actually picked up again in 2008, courtesy of comics from BOOM! Studios. Show creator Rockne S. O’Bannon worked with Farscape novelist Keith R.A. DeCandido to plot out the Moya crew’s further adventures through the Uncharted Territories, and the comics are considered official canon by the Jim Henson Company. So if we really might get a new Farscape movie at some point, now is the perfect time to catch up on where the story went after the Peacekeeper Wars reached their climactic end.

BOOM!’s Farscape comics launched with three four-issue mini-series before launching a monthly ongoing title that ran for two years. I’ll be honest: those initial mini-series are a little rocky. The art for the series is never exactly great, but the writing thankfully increases in quality as the series goes on. Once it really hits its stride in the ongoing series, it can be as good as any storyline the TV series served up.

First up are those three mini-series that kicked the whole enterprise off. The Beginning of the End of the Beginning has Rygel doing something he’s waited ages for: returning home to reclaim his throne from his traitorous cousin, Bishan. Unfortunately, this is Farscape, so things aren’t nearly as straightforward as Rygel might have hoped. Before you know it, Rygel has been betrayed once again, and John and Aeryn are caught in the middle — and in the crosshairs of a new enemy.

The second mini-series, Strange Detractors, is a classically weird Farscape story that involves a plague sweeping through the Uncharted Territories. This one doesn’t just give you the sniffles, however — it makes you homicidally violent toward pretty much anybody within your line of sight. Given that the crew of Moya have often been at each other’s throats even when they liked each other, suffice to say things get bad, and fast.

Next we come to Volume 3, Gone and Back, and this is easily the best of the mini-series. Thanks to mysterious abilities John and Aeryn’s baby has begun manifesting, Crichton winds up dropped into an “unrealized reality,” one where D’Argo and Zhann are still alive and Crichton is happily married to someone who isn’t Aeryn — because they never met and she’s still a loyal Peacekeeper. Even in an alternate universe, John can’t let that stand, so he sets off on a crazy mission to track down Aeryn and convince her that she can be more than just what she was raised to be.

With the ongoing series, the stage is swiftly set for the story arc that will dominate the two-year run: the so-called “War for the Uncharted Territories.” See, Crichton may have put an end to the tussle between the Peacekeepers and Scarrans, but a brand new Big Bag has designs for the Uncharted Territories. Emerging from a portal into “Grey Space,” a thought-mythic species known as the Kkore have returned, and their plans involve nothing less than the utter conquest of known space. These guys are far worse than anything Crichton and crew have ever faced, a tactically brilliant, seemingly unstoppable force that topples or exterminates one species after another. But Farscape has always pitted its heroes against impossible odds, and they always rise to the occasion — even if not all of them come out of it alive. (Is that the case here? I’ll never say.)

The “War for the Uncharted Territories” arc ramps up until the comic is truly worthy of standing next to the show that spawned it, culminating in an epic series of showdowns, sacrifices, and one hell of a twist that this die-hard Farscape fan never saw coming.

There is also a series of short miniseries focused on D’Argo’s backstory and quest for vengeance, but they’re not required reading like the core ongoing comic is. There’s also a Scorpius spin-off series that ties directly into the “War for the Uncharted Territories” arc, and I would recommend checking that one out as well. It’s fun to see Scorpius trying to play his usual mind games to ensure he’s on the winning side in the brewing war, but it’s even more fun to watch him realize that he is utterly outclassed.

Since the comics have been acknowledged as canon, I’ll be really curious to see how the TV movie — if it happens — addresses the huge events they explore. But even if we don’t get anymore Farscape, the comic is a great conclusion to the story, one I like even better than where The Peacekeeper Wars left us.

A Deeper look at the series.

The majority of the Farscape comics published by BOOM! Studios take place after The Peacekeeper Wars, and continue the story of Farscape forward (the equivalent of season 5 of the show). They are as follows, broken down by how they will be collected into bound volumes:

Volume 1: The Beginning of the End of the Beginning

written by Rockne S. O’Bannon & Keith R.A. DeCandido, art by Tommy Patterson

Moya takes Rygel to Hyneria to finally get his throne back, and things go horribly wrong.

Originally published as Farsacpe #1-4, December 2008-April 2009

Published as a hardcover in spring 2009; published as a trade paperback in summer 2010

Volume 2: Strange Detractors

written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Will Sliney

A strange disease sets the crew of Moya against each other.

Originally published as Farscape: Strange Detractors #1-4, April-July 2009

Published as a hardcover in summer 2009; published as a trade paperback in fall 2010

Volume 3: Gone and Back

written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Patterson

Crichton goes to an Unrealized Reality where Zhaan & D’Argo are still alive — but Crichton and Aeryn never met…

Originally published as Farscape: Gone and Back #1-4, July-October 2009

Published as a hardcover in spring 2010; published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

Volume 4: Tangled Roots

written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

Crichton and Chiana go after Roiin, the bounty hunter chasing Deke, while Aeryn chases down her past and gets a few surprises.

Originally published as Farscape (ongoing) #1-4, November 2009-February 2010

Published as a trade paperback in spring 2011

Volume 5: Red Sky at Morning

written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

The homeworld of the Pilots is invaded by a mysterious new alien species, and it’s Moya to the rescue — but another Leviathan got there first…

Originally published as Farscape #5-8, March-June 2010

Published as a trade paperback in summer 2011

Scorpius Volume 1

written by O’Bannon & David Alan Mack, art by Mike Ruiz

Living in exile, Scorpius encounters a mysterious new alien species — will this be his ticket back to power?

Originally published as Farscape: Scorpius #0-3, April-July 2010

Published as a trade paperback in fall 2010

Volume 6: Compulsions

written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

Two Leviathans versus the Peacekeepers, and you won’t believe the end result….

Originally published as Farscape #9-12, July-October 2010

Published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

Scorpius Volume 2: Glorious Basterds

written by O’Bannon & Mack, art by Gordon Purcell

Scorpius continues his rise to power — if rise to power it truly is….

Originally published as Farscape: Scorpius #4-7, August-November 2010

Published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

Volume 7: The War for the Uncharted Territories

written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

NEW! The Kkore have invaded, and all of known space is falling before them: the Scarrans, the Hynerians, the Luxans — the Peacekeepers are next, unless Crichton and Aeryn can stop them.

Originally published as Farscape #13-24, November 2010-October 2011

Published as a trade paperback in summer 2014

In addition, “D’Argo trilogy” of three four-issue miniseries that involve Ka D’Argo, under the general title of “Uncharted Tales.”

Uncharted Tales Volume 1: D’Argo’s Lament

written by DeCandido, art by Neal Edwards

During the third season, D’Argo and Jool must find a substance Moya needs to survive, and get caught in a gang war.

Originally published as Farscape: D’Argo’s Lament #1-4, April-July 2009

Published as a hardcover in fall 2009, published as a trade paperback in fall 2010

Uncharted Tales Volume 2: D’Argo’s Trial

written by DeCandido, art by Caleb Cleveland

The full story of D’Argo’s life leading up to the premiere episode — his courtship with Lo’Laan, their marriage, Jothee’s birth, Lo’Laan’s death, and the titular trial.

Originally published as Farscape: D’Argo’s Trial #1-4, August-November 2009

Published as a hardcover in spring 2010, published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

Uncharted Tales Volume 3: D’Argo’s Quest

written by DeCandido, art by Cleveland

Between seasons three and four, D’Argo goes searching for the man who killed his wife — and instead finds Raxil and a heap of trouble.

Originally published as Farscape: D’Argo’s Quest #1-4, December 2009-March 2010

Published as a trade paperback in spring 2011

And there you have it. The individual issues are available at comic stores, and from various online dealers like http://spacecadetscollection.com/ The collections are available at comic shops, bookstores (particularly Barnes & Noble), and online dealers (like Amazon).

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About Brian O'Kert

Bastard son of the House of El: I Build what You Think up... Disclaimer: I am NOT ta be Held Responsible for what comes Next.