Hey there, Internet! If you’re reading this, that means you’ve returned for more Verdicts here with Captain Z! This week, I’m ripping off Evan a bit and I’m reviewing a comic series. Now, I know what you’re going to ask: what about your past reviews of the D&D comic series? What I mean is my first review of a non-board-game-based comic series. This week’s review is on IDW’s new Star Trek series.
This series, while fairly new, is quickly becoming the series I look most forward to every month. Only three issues have been released, and one arc completed, so it’s not too late to catch up. This series is set in the new Star Trek timeline, as in the one created in the 2009 Star Trek film, making it the first material to continue that story. The main purpose is to retell classic episodes of the original TV series and adapt them to the new continuity, which makes theories that Khan is bound to show up in 2013′s Star Trek sequel a bit more credible. The episode that is retold in the first two issues is the third episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” originally written by Samuel A. Peeples.
Freshly removed from its encounter with Nero, the USS Enterprise and its crew intercept a distress beacon while exploring the galaxy’s edge. The beacon is from an old starship lost 200 years prior, and upon inspection of the beacon’s logs, the ship was destroyed via self-destruct by order by its captain. The Enterprise continues to the edge of the Milky Way, but a barrier of some sort prevents them from leaving. The impending collision causes damage to the ship and seizures in several members of the crew, all of which die except for Captain Kirk’s old friend from the Academy, Gary Mitchell, who receives glowing silver eyes from the incident. Further medical tests on Mitchell reveals that he has also gained supernatural psychic powers. These grow more powerful at an alarming rate, and Commander Spock’s mind meld reveals that another being has taken over Mitchell’s body, explaining Mitchell’s increasingly violent behavior. Kirk is left with an impossible choice: desert his friend on a desolate planet, or risk his ship and crew to a violent force with seemingly no weakness?
The conversion is handled by Mike Johnson, whose other credits include work on DC’s Titans and Superman/Batman, as well as the graphic novel prequel Star Trek: Nero. The series is also guided by Robert Orci, writer of the 2009 movie script, so you know that this series is taking the characters in a direction that is approved. Penciling the series is Stephen Molnar, who also worked on IDW’s Star Trek: Mission’s End. With this crew of veritable Star Trek vets, the series is presented very well, with Johnson capturing the flavor of this new classic crew and Molnar capturing their likenesses almost to a tee.
It’s the little details that separate this from being a simple rehashing and make it a true story of the new timeline. For example, Mitchell talks with Kirk about their time at the Academy, expressing jealousy of Kirk’s sudden promotion to Captain, even though he was a year behind Mitchell. In the TV episode, a psychologist named Elizabeth Dehner was featured as a unrequited love for Mitchell who also becomes a victim of the galactic being. In this timeline, she was supposed to transfer to the Enterprise, but the presence of the new womanizing Bones, with whom she has a past, causes her to withdraw her transfer, thus changing the story quite a bit.
I recommend this series not only for Star Trek fans, but fans of comics in general. Like the recent movie, these characters feel new and interesting, meaning new possiblities for each story. I love the new timeline and had been looking forward to its continuation, and now that it’s here, I couldn’t be happier.
-New timeline Star Trek is great
-Official continuation as approved by screenwriter
-Quality writing and artwork
-If you don’t like Star Trek, it’s still Star Trek
-Uhura is still pretty useless
Come back next week for this week’s advertised article, the annual Captain Z Holiday Shopping Guide. See you then!