Babylon Rocker

A Shamelessly Passionate Sci-fi Adventure

It’s the far future. Earth is long abandoned as humanity establishes new dominions among the stars. Neo-feudal lords rule countries, continents, and even whole planets. The greatest of these dominions is the Sol Hegemon, an empire that controls the majority of Human Space, and whose rulers have long aspired to unite all of humanity under their rule.

Nasseena, captain of the transport freighter Babylon Rocker, believed in the fight for freedom and equality, the struggle to end Neo-feudalism. Honoris was created as a clone of the Sol Hegemon’s emperor so he could have a new, younger body to inhabit. Revolution came to the heart of the Sol Hegemon. The emperor was killed and Nasseena and her crew took pity upon his innocent clone. But the revolution’s leaders proved all too human and an imperialist counterstrike threw everything into chaos. Denounced as a traitor by her own side, Nasseena took, Honoris, her crew, and the Babylon Rocker to the Fringe. There, for two years, beyond empire and revolution alike, the crew wandered, hoping to find peace and an escape from chaos and the dark memories of the past.

But when they inadvertently save a runaway AI from a fanatical cyber cult, they find that the past is not so easily forgotten. Is it still possible to do what's right in an uncaring universe and how far must they go to do it?

I have loved science fiction ever since my father took my brothers and me to the theatre in 1997 to see the premiere of all three (special edition) Star Wars original trilogy films. Ever since, I have been creating fictional universes in my head, mostly for personal amusement. Only recently have I decided to try and put some of these ideas out in the wider world for others. Babylon Rocker in that, sense is a shameless excuse to squeeze in elements of all my favorite sci-fi properties up to this point and try to fit them together into a coherent vision in the form of a comic book.

The overarching premise of a misfit crew just trying to get by? *Firefly. The bright and vibrant color palette as opposed to the gritty beige or sterile white so popular in visions of the future these days? Outlaw Star. A vast medieval empire in space? Foundation. Sentient simians made intelligent by genetic engineering? Uplift. Death Worlds, Space Pirates, Power Armor, Mechs, Futuristic Religions, I could go on, but that would exceed the word limit of this article.

The only limitation I chose to place upon myself in terms of world-building is that there are no aliens in Babylon Rocker. I wanted the humans of this setting to not ‘just be us, IN SPAAAACE!’ In my comic, humanity has taken on many forms and many cultures, from cyberaugmented gangsters to gene-splicing cults to Neo-feudal overlords to fanatics determined to reclaim the abandoned Earth.

While not the main character per se, Honoris is the principal point-of-view character. Having emerged from his cloning tank barely two years prior to the story, he is as new to the universe as the reader and so provides the perfect avenue for exploring this little world of mine. Although this is not a superhero comic, Honoris’ great inspiration was Christopher Reeve's Superman, specifically the moment where this super-powered demigod does something as mundane as getting a girl’s cat down from a tree. He wants to do good if only to prove to himself that he’s nothing like the emperor. Unfortunately, this is often what gets him and his friends into trouble.

As for the rest of the Babylon Rocker’s crew, especially Nasseena, my chief inspiration was an inversion of Mal and Zoe from Firefly. What if the Browncoats had won, only to turn out just as bad as the Alliance? Just because you’re the underdog doesn’t make you the good guy. Having been forced to confront that truth, Nasseena in particular is still struggling to reconcile her earlier idealism with the hard realities of how the revolution actually turned out. Plus there’s the responsibility of keeping her people alive and flying.

Babylon Rocker, to me, is a setting for good, sincere storytelling. In the history of science fiction, from the Pulps to the Golden Age to the New Wave, etc., each movement produces people who think that what came before is irrelevant at best and outdated at worst. Why this thinking exists, I don’t know. I simply want to combine the best of all worlds and help push things forward with stories that are worth the telling. Support the campaign while you can, it's ending September 19th!