Amazingly, after the 2 previous episodes, there are NO new characters introduced in this one. Good thing, it was crowded enough already. So much so, that the promised focus on Flight Deck Alpha was limited this time out to a single panel (wherein I pay tribute to some design work from the film THE SPY WHO LOVED ME).
One thing that stands out for me is that despite 2230 being a comedy, it was actually the first time I dealt with romantic relationships in any of my stories. You've got the various entanglements Laurette Spang and Dirk Benedict were involved in, the mutual overpowering attraction between Michael Ansara and Maren Jensen, and of course, the ongoing love story between Richard Hatch and Anne Lockhart's characters. As you can probably tell from this episode, especially the art, I had a thing for her at the time I did this story.
Meanwhile, Robert Stack, who the main character of my series THE GUN! was based on, and who had a small part in 2230 #1, returns this episode, to become a major player in this sequel. His TV series STRIKE FORCE was on at the time I was doing this story. Looking back on the film AIRPLANE! (another influence on this entire mess, no doubt), it hits me Stack was a LOT funnier than Leslie Nielsen ever was. Maybe they should have cast Stack as the star of POLICE SQUAD! instead?
After 3 episodes focusing on minor interludes with the large cast of characters, this one finally begins to focus on the "main story", the mystery going on down in Flight Deck Alpha. In addition to a number of minor characters making return appeareances from earlier chapters, this one introduces Ridley Scott, Dan O'Bannon, H.R. Giger (I kid you not!!) and Jenny Agutter. I also pay tribute in the art to the design work of Ralph McQuarrie, who I just found out passed away at age 82 last March (2012).
This art this time probably involved more use of zip-a-tone than I had ever utilized before, and I recall actually having to do up a color "guide" just so I could figure out which graytone level to use where. (See the last panel in the 2nd page.) It really makes one appreciate how much easier computer programs-- either Corel Draw (a problem-and-a-half itself at times) or Photoshop (incredibly much easier to use for many things) are to have these days.
Story & Art (C) HENRY KUJAWA
All prominent characters are Trademarks of HENRY KUJAWA