No, I'm not talking about Charles Burns' award winning series, although that's also good. I'm talking about the Whitman (Western Publishing) adaptation of the 1979 Disney movie. I am of the generation that was too young to truly spot the difference in quality between Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica and The Black Hole. I had a Black Hole beach towel,a few of the action figures and various coloring books etc... I haven't seen the movie in nearly 30 year and I can't say that much of it has resonated with me, but when I had the change to pick up the adaptation for $1 per issue recently, I simply could not say no. I realized that I'd never read these as a child, and boy did I miss out.
I don't know who wrote the adaptation (the GCD has been driving me nuts these days), but he did a fantastic job by focusing on the key themes of the film and cutting out a lot of the fat. The script is very efficient; the characters are quickly introduced and we get right into the action (or lack thereof, perhaps). The great Dan Spiegle handles the art chores here, and he does a magnificent job of telling the story. His pacing is fantastic and what I discovered is that this is actually quite an interesting and tense tale. The characters all look quite different than the movie actors, and that's a good thing as they all have that Spiegle touch. His work on Dr. Reinhart is particularly great - with flowing hair and distinctive facial hair really give him the look of a mad scientist. This two-issue adaptation (also published as single volume) demonstrates that there's a lot of good stuff to be found in this story, and it's easier to digest once you've removed the 'funny' robot voices. Great stuff.