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Starship Moonhawk is a sci-fi, action/adventure, military drama created by Michael C. Prokop and occasionally assisted by other artists selected by the creator. It takes place on a massive space "gunship" assigned to the United Star Alliance Navy and is drawn in a quasi-retro Manga/Anime style reminiscent of Lejii Matsumoto or Haruhiko "HAL" Mikimoto. (with influences by Kenichi Sonada and Satoshi Urushihara) The series began in pencils on paper, was translated to a webcomic in 2002 and has been running erratically since. Recently, the author has gotten his act together and is updating on a weekly basis.
Starship Moonhawk at a Glance
The story focuses primarily on the adventures of the crew of the Starship Moonhawk in the 30th century (starting in the Earth year 2977, 1000 years after the birth of the series creator, to be precise.), and thus, is not a "20 minutes into the future" tale. The world of the 30th Century is not nearly as high-tech and sanitized as some sci-fi authors would have us believe. Humanity is on the verge of "utopian society", but there are still some very cynical elements of human nature floating about holding them back. Thus, we can still examine modern issues outside the regular setting. But, the road to get to this point was long and hard.
History of the Future(Abridged)
In the 22nd Century, Humanity discovered preliminary super-luminal (faster than light) space travel, but perhaps was not ready to venture past their own selfish aims. Most space travel was governed by massive Syndicates known as "Megacorps" and generally flew under their own guidelines rather than actual government sanction. As such, first contact with aliens was disastrous and upon encountering the Chotan Empire, humanity was quickly defeated and enslaved. This situation persisted for almost 300 years, but as the Chotan oppressors became complacent, a freedom fighter going under the name Moonhawk began fomenting the seeds of insurrection among the various species under the scaly boot heel of the Chotan. Using guerrilla tactics, he and his followers liberated several key military installations and captured enough hardware to begin a full-on revolution. The war began in earnest on New Year's Eve, 2450 and raged for 40 years. when the dust finally settled on the final battle, the Chotan were in retreat as the "Alliance" had amassed enough support to stand toe-to-toe with their former slave-masters. Humanity had gone from being slave animals, naked and caged, to one of the most formidable fighting forces in the Orion Arm. Arm-in-arm with their newfound allies, they founded the United Star Alliance which has stood for almost 500 years, hiccups aside. the logo is a large blue star on a white field with a blue ring containing 13 white stars arranged at regular intervals, all facing up. The simple logo represents the ideals of democracy set down by the founding fathers of the original United States as well as the solidarity of the 14 original founders.
Admiral Gilliad Cobalt The main character of Starship Moonhawk for the first five years, and the current story arc: "The Mercadian Affair" Cobalt has had a long and varried career from being a fighter pilot to a starship commander. A big change is on the horizon for the now middle-aged Admiral (83 years old in the comic timeframe) as his executive officer takes his command and he is shipped off to do battle against his former mentor, Torrance Colson.
Commodore Neriah Natsuke Solis is Cobalt's former Exec, and lover. Neriah and Gilliad are as different as they come, and yet a seeming match made in heaven. Both of them have their careers as the most important thing in their lives next to each other. Unlike Cobalt who is thoughtful and meticulous, Solis is headstrong, quick to act and frequently charges in where Angels fear to tread. How will she adapt to command without a safety net?
Commander Rachael Harrison is Solis' new Executive Officer. Rachael has been with the Moonhawk since the beginning of her second career and has received all of her promotions there. Prior to that, she served in the Two Decades War against the insidious aliens, the Crysallis. She received a battlefield "warrant" and served as a Warrant Officer on the USS Bradshaw (A Kevlar Class Battleship) where she received Navy SEAL training and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for nearly sacrificing her life to save her team. Her service record is a series of ups and downs afterward. You'd think with her accomplishments before entering Annapolis, she'd be a hard-ass, fire-pisser, but she is actually the most upbeat member of the Moonhawk crew.
Commander Sorthac Ni'Ssissreth is the Tactical/Security Officer of the Moonhawk. Sorthac's story is an enigma. Nobody really knows much about the stoic Chotan reptillianoid. Least of all, his motives for being part of the Chotan/Alliance Conscription Program; a program designed to foster improved relations between the former enemies. Rumor has it that Sorthac may have been an agent of espionage of some kind, but as of yet this is unconfirmed. His track record as tactical officer has been exemplary, even if his tact has not. his friction with Commodore Solis is well documented and will most likely come to a head sooner rather than later.
Starship Moonhawk was created in 1994 by Michael and has been a fairly consistent passion ever since. It has spawned a spinoff (Cosmic Feline) and a series of five novels which are now being painstakingly recreated in graphic novel format bringing their old, and now incorrect, stories in line with the revised canon of the current Starship Moonhawk.