In order to see how the comics were intended to fit into continuity, let us look at this excerpt of a Tracy Tormé interview from the rare Sliders: Armada #1.
My goal is to keep [the comics] as closely related as
possible when it comes to character arcs and
situations. There will definitely be a single reality for
both the comics and TV show, so that if fans pick up
the comic and meet Rembrandt for the first time,
they can easily watch the TV show and immediately
recognize Rembrandt there as well. The comics have
the potential to really blow the Sliders universe into
the stratosphere. We're definitely going to take
advantage of that and not limit ourselves.
This goal was somewhat achieved even though I don't think it reached fruition in quite the way Tracy Tormé originally planned. The fact is that almost all of the comic ideas have now been adapted into episodes in one form or another (mostly in season four). In this section, we will cover what each comic had to offer that adapted to the show.
Note: All Sliders comics were set in season one with the exception of "Ultimatum" that was set in season two (note Wade's reference to "Gillian of the Spirits" in issue one) and "Deadly Secrets" which was set in season three.
Sliders: Armada #1 and #2
This two part story, which was released in June 1996, featured the introduction of a race known as the Zercurvians. The interesting thing here is that many of the plot points for the Kromaggs are identical to the Zercurvians...in fact, since he was very involved in this first comic project, many believe that the Zercurvians were Tormé's first idea for a race of interdimensional conquerors and he later modified that into the Kromaggs due to budget concerns. To further this theory, Pages 8 and 9 of comic #1 are identical to the scene in "Invasion" in which Quinn finds the timer is scrambled and discovers the "spaceship".
The Zercurvians are a race of beings from the 2nd dimension - a place where everything is flat (or two dimensional). Breaking away from the rest of their culture, a group of Zercurvians were keen on discovering a way to have height and depth and the eventually broke through the "midline" which sent them hurtling into the 5th dimension. Many of the ones who made the trip perished in the 5th dimension, but some were saved when an alternate Quinn Mallory turned on his sliding machine for the first time thus allowing the remaining Zercurvians a path of escape. They fell out of the vortex before Quinn, except now they were 3-dimensional!
Once safe in the basement, the alternate Quinn taught the Zercurvians about sliding (something they already knew how to do, but didn't know how to control until Quinn showed them). They had all the information they could get and they then killed that Quinn Mallory...and the hunger for 3-dimensional energy was now consuming them.
The Zercurvians built sliding ships and set out across the dimensions ravaging each one of all its 3 dimensional energy in a process called "The Raze". Also, the Zercurvians remembered their "friend" Quinn by hunting down every Mallory they could find and forcing sliding information out of them before they killed them. At the point of this story, the Zercurvians knew all there was to know about sliding except for how to open vortices at will (without a time limit).
As you can see, this is very similar to the Kromagg storyline...a race of interdimensional beings who can control sliding bent on destroying other dimensions. Also, the Kromaggs (as proven in "The Other Slide of Darkness") gained their finer knowledge of sliding from another Quinn Mallory (since we now know from the "Genesis" Online Slide that Kromaggs could slide but likely didn't know how to control it). The only real difference is how Quinn easily defeated the Zercurvians by trapping them in a vortex of recursion (they would jump from one vortex to another...never stopping...for the rest of eternity). It's very interesting when you look at how things have progressed on the show to see the similarities in this early idea.
Sliders: Ultimatum #1 and #2
This September 1996 comic featured a highly religious world in which the Christian faith was the controlling interest. Unfortunately on that earth, it was mishandled by politicians and power hungry people who had gained control of that world's Quinn Mallory and his sliding equipment. By using the equipment at random, it was made to appear that people were disappearing and that the world was participating in "The Rapture" in which people were being called to Heaven.
In reality, the disappearing people were all being sent to world where Satanism was the dominant faith and they were being sacrificed for spiritual power. It turned out that the Arturo of Holy Earth was against the religious outpouring and he helped to stop the sliding before it irrevocably damaged the interdimensional barrier between both worlds, thus causing a catastrophe of monolithic proportions.
As you can see, the fourth season episode "Prophets and Loss" borrowed heavily from this comic adaptation...it's a shame that for the most part it borrowed poorly.
Sliders: Darkest Hour #2
This 3 issue story from November 1996 was for the most part original. It featured the brief return of the Zercurvians, but more importantly to show continuity...issue #2 featured a world which was inhabited by nothing but robots. It turns out on that world that computers were discovered in the late 1800's by Charles Babbage and that sent technology leap frogging ahead. By present day, there were no living beings left on the planet...everyone had transferred their consciousness either into a mechanical shell or into the global net (which everyone was hooked into). Of couse, when our Sliders arrive as the only humans...this intrigues members of the world who would love to transfer into a human body again to feel the sensations long forgotten...
As you can see, this story was heavily borrowed upon for the third season episode "State of the A.R.T." in which the Sliders find a world inhabited by nothing but robots and one mad scientist who wants to transfer our Sliders' consciousness into robotic shells. Slight differences, but the same basic concepts carried over.
Another November 1996 offering, this story written by Jerry O'Connell explored a world where drugs were legal and encouraged. The reason was that in the 1960's, J. Edgar Hoover became so embarrassed due to his inability to stop drugs from coming into America, that he made them legal. By the 1980's, the revenue of the sales of drugs had brought the U.S. completely out of the national debt...and drugs slowly began to leak into the food and water supplies at the government's behest. The idea was to give people drugs like steroids through their food in order to make them a better military and work force. The USSR caught on to this idea, and a new Cold War race began...which country could make its citizens into more of a weapon.
This very inventive story was almost faithfully remade in the fourth season episode "Just Say Yes". There were slight differences in the alternate history which hurt the story in my opinion...Wade was the one to become drugged up by eating the food and Remmy was taken to an intoxification center (where it was Maggie and Colin in fourth season)....and lastly, Professor Arturo was the leader of the clean food movement for which he had been killed (in fourth season, it was Quinn who was the leader and he was only rumored to have been killed). The similarities are obvious here, but the story would have been much better if it had been faithfully translated.
Sliders: Deadly Secrets
While this second season era comic does explore the interesting premise of having our Sliders travel into space, it completely goes into left field with the backstory of Wade. This comic suggests that Wade's actual parents were "hippies" who were killed during a protest when she was just a baby, and that Wade was raised by her somewhat practical aunt and uncle (an attempt to explain her sometimes slantings in both directions). According to the story, Wade was told of this by her foster parents before she started sliding.
Many believe this is totally unfounded in the show's continuity due to the third season episode "Season's Greedings," in which Wade meets with her father, and mentions Wade makes of her parents all throughout the series ("Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome", "Electric Twister Acid Test", etc. - in all those accounts, Wade refers to her parents as being alive). In the episode "Season Greedings", however, Wade later goes on to recollect of old times with her father and treats him as her father...but it could be argued that due to the story being set that she was a baby when adopted...it could be explained away. That's not the impression given all through the series though...even from season one. Until explored in the series, I would personally say that this one is not to be taken in continuity...it's a little much to believe based on what we have seen. The story of the comic is pretty good though as it features cameos by both Conrad Bennish and Pavel the cab driver from season one (though you may not recognize them until they are called by name due to slightly inaccurate art renditions).
This story also marks the first time in continuity that Quinn finds out about Arturo's illness (something Quinn later gets all the details of in third season's "The Guardian"). In a way, it sets up that story...a story which was unfortunately later lost altogether in the television series as the producers began to ignore it after about 8 episodes.
Sliders: Get A Life
There is one lost comic as well...listed in the back of "Deadly Secrets" to be coming out soon was a new special entitled "Get A Life." The comic was never published, but it was to be written by Andy Mangels (a newcomer to writing Sliders comics, but not science fiction) and drawn by Rags Morales (who drew parts of Tracy Tormé's "Blood and Splendor" Acclaim special). A script and fourteen pages of artwork for "Get a Life" were completed, which can be seen in a separate section of the DoC.
Sure enough, the tradition of episodes mirroring comic premises continued to the very end. Whether intentionally or not, the last episode of Sliders on TV was astonishingly similar to this last, unfinished Sliders comic book. The season two era story featured a double of Gillian Mitchell (from "Gillian of the Spirits") who used her psychic abilities to follow the Sliders in her mind...which led to Sliders becoming an enormously popular movie franchise on that world. After landing amidst a gathering of thousands of fans -- who are waving such signs as "WADE WILL YOU MARRY ME?", cf. "Maggie, Marry Me" in "The Seer" -- the foursome are whisked away to the merchandise-filled mansion of the Sliders movie producer (none other than Conrad Bennish)...