Robert Heinlein is definitely one of science fiction’s greatest writers. He takes the hero’s journey very seriously, even more intently than many of his peers and the genre’s more celebrated authors. He is one of the few authors, I remember reading as a child, who championed “rugged individualism”, as he truly believed, you are the owner of your destiny. This is why many scholars consider him, the father of social science fiction.
Although he is best known to much of the mainstream, as the author of Starship Troopers, most of his work had bigger political and societal derivations and was prophetic in many aspects. One of these seminal works by Heinlein is Citizen of the Galaxy, which tells the story of Thorby is a young, dissenting slave boy newly arrived at the planet Jubbul, and brought to the capital city of Jubbulpore, where he is bought by an old beggar, Baslim the Cripple, and is one of the most faithful adaptations of a book I have ever seen, especially in graphic form. Baslim treats Thorby, more like a son, than a slave. Baslim eventually makes Thorby recall his journey, through dreams, allowing the reader to witness how he became a slave.
He eventually teaches him how to beg and all the skills involved such as juggling, and how to patronize one to get what you want. Baslim, does not stop there, he eventually teaches him how to read, different languages, mathematics, history and geography. Baslim eventually makes Thorby a free man, but soon after something terrible happens, and Thorby is being hunted by the local authorities and sent to board the starship, Sisu and adopted by its captain, Captain Krausa, who owed Baslim, a debt. The end of the book, he finds out a powerful secret about himself and everything that has happened to him thus far, all connects to the story’s conclusion in the most redeeming way.
Rob Lazaro and Eric Gignac have adapted this beautiful tome page by page into something that is not only as enjoyable as the original but has brought elements that readers of the original material would have never imagined. The art by Steve Erwin is at top form in this adaptation, almost harkening elements of pulp art. The team that brought this to life, know this book as intimately as many Heinlein scholars. Overall, a great adaptation that stays faithful, while highlighting the reasons why everyone who read the first time enjoyed it in the first place.
Story: Rob Lazaro and Eric Gignac Art: Steve Erwin
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review