Wow. I knew I liked Scott Beatty, his stories always have a good mix of characterization with brisk plotting, but I didn't expect to like Buck Rogers this much. This is a really fun, retro take on Buck Rogers. The sci-fi world Buck finds himself catapulted to is fascinating. Centuries ago, Earth launched DNA samples of the animals of Earth into space and in the intervening years, those samples have been used to genetically engineer intelligent animals that are out to harvest humans. For food. Not only that, their spaceships are gigantic floating abbattoirs powered by nuclear worms that eat liquefied flesh. That's gross, but also awesome. Buck is thrust into this mad future and he responds by taking charge, flirting with Wilma Deering, and shooting things with his atomizer pistol. There are some interesting politics going on with a few human traitors, and both of them survive this first arc by disguising their intentions. I'm also quite pleased at the mastermind species that leads the animal army. Let's just say the hulking, robotic form they wear does a good job making them more impressive than they normally are. I'm digging that Buck seems to have a soft touch too, when making his escape, he rescues some intelligent animal prisoners. I'm hoping that means we'll get some neat animal men joining the cast as good guys. I highly recommend this book to anyone who digs sci-fi action flicks.
Carlos Rafael is a real find. The futuristic space-ranger suits worn by Buck and Wilma look awesome, but he does just as fine a job on the retro suits they find in the trash. He does a nice job making the animal faces expressive too, which can be tough. Naturally, that means his humans are even more effective. This is a very professional package. Pick this up.