I dabble in comics occasionally, Superman, Batman, Justice League, Buffy, Iron Man. For the longest time, I had fallen out of them, but am slowly finding my way back in. So it’s no surprise that my love of Trek, turned me to the new ongoing series.
IDW took a chance when they launched their new ongoing Star Trek comic set in the re-booted universe.
Trek has had a long history with comics, going back to Golden Key (I still have one of the collections somewhere at home I think), through a pretty bad Marvel run (which I’ve read a couple of, and still need to pick up an omnibus via Dark Horse) and DC launched and re-launched it a couple of times (which I do have a bulk of).
When the J.J. Abrams film came along in 2009 (2009!! 3 years ago already!!) IDW stepped in and did the movie adaptation, and then launched a new series.
This is where it could enter some shaky ground.
They’ve promised to tell new stories (and as I write this they have) but decided to intersperse these stories between updated retellings of classic episodes, but in this universe. So our crew is still on their original mission of exploration, but just told in a different universe.
Would the subtle differences be enough to draw readers in and hold their attention?
I say yes. I’m a huge Trek fan, and so want to see more of this rebooted universe, and seeing stories we know but slightly different is a good way to show us these characters in a new way.
Roberto Orci, who had his hand in the writing of the new film, is overseeing the series as creative consultant, making sure it fits in with what was seen in the new movie, and tying it into the continuity of the new universe. There are hints that plot points for the next film are being subtly layered in.
In the first two issues, we revisit the classic episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Approaching the galactic barrier at the edge of the Milky Way, the Enterprise recovers a probe from the Valiant, who tried previously, to their doom.
The ship is struck, and Kirk’s friend Gary Mitchell, who came up with him through the Academy, who serves on the backup crew, is somehow affected. It seems he has a latent psi ability which is now dangerously enhanced, giving him growing powers that make him almost god-like.
This leaves Kirk in the unhappy position of trying to figure out what to do with his friend and maintaining the safety of his ship.
I love the fact that Dr. Dehner is mentioned, but didn’t make the journey in this universe, and that Spock still advises the strongest course of action, Mitchell should be killed before he becomes too much of a threat to the ship.
Stopping at Delta Vega, they drop him off, but it’s too late. Unlike the television episode where Lee Kelso is strangled by a cable, Mitchell confronts him and makes him kill himself with his own phaser. This was a great moment, showing how the book, and by extension the universe is going to be different, even if similar things do occur.
In this, Mitchell taunts Kirk with his view of Jim, showing him his past, his time at the academy.
Finally, with Spock’s ready assistance, Mitchell is temporarily incapacitated enough to blast Gary with a phaser rifle. Not blasting a rock over his head to crush him, but full on, blast to the chest, killing his friend.
That’s pretty bold as far as I was concerned.
I like what they’ve done with the first two issues, and am eagerly devouring each and every one as I get to it.
I know there are some people who aren’t happy with the new universe, but I like it, I can bounce between Prime and Alternate, and be contented with both. I just very much like the fact that there are now more adventures occurring for this new, but oh so familiar crew.
The art by Joe Corroney, and colorist John Rauch is rich and lush, and you can easily identify each character with the new actors cast in their roles.
I’ve heard a couple of people complain about Tim Bradstreet’s covers. Each one has the familiar Trek delta farming a center image with character images on the outside. Personally I like them, they’re all kind of similar, but look great when placed next to one another. And hey, if those covers don’t suit your fancy, there are some incentive covers as well.
IDW, all I can say is keep up the good work, and continue to boldly go…