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TrekInk: Review Of July Star Trek Comics July 30, 2008

by Alex Fletcher , Filed under: Comics,Review,TOS , trackback

It has been while but TrekInk is back with reviews for the three IDW Trek comics from July. We have the return of Kor as the Enterprise continues to experiment, the origin story of the Mirror Kirk and Spock, and more of John Byrne’s take on the adventures of Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln. We got Klingons, cloaks, combat, assassination, supersoldiers, and so much more…

 

Review: Star Trek Year Four – The Enterprise Experiment #3

The writing team of D.C. Fontana and Derek Chester has returned, bringing us another episode of their Enterprise Experiment series. This issue is the hump issue, so to speak, and takes what appears to be a bit of an abrupt turn away from the events of the last two issues. We open with a visit to a Klingon cruiser and Kor, making a reappearance three years after his house’s glory was taken due to the events on Organa (last visited in “Errand of Mercy” and the IDW comic “Against Their Nature”). When news of a major dilithium find on Loren 5 comes through, he sets off there to begin his vendetta against the Federation and test the Organian Treaty. In the meantime, the Enterprise finds herself docked at K-12, a station of the same design as K-7 from “The Trouble With Tribbles”, under repair from the previous events with the stolen cloaking device. Kirk is undergoing a physical, and despite his peak condition, McCoy recommends some shore leave. As usual, just as he takes some time to contemplate his situation, new orders come in, sending the Enterprise to Loren 5.


Kirk finds any excuse to remove his shirt and show off his chest… (click to enlarge)

Fontana and Chester, as they have done in the prior two issues, sprinkle references throughout the issue to other original series episodes, with occasional nods to events that made appearances in episodes of the newer series. The writing carries well for the length of this issue, but introduces a few confusing bits at the tail end of the story as it leaves us on a cliffhanger. I’m relatively certain that the confusing bits will sort themselves out in the next issue, including the preview of the cover that features an image of Sulu dressed as a Klingon standing over a prone Captain Kirk. Unusual, to say the least!

The artwork for this issue is pretty decent, but Gordon Purcell and Terry Pallott seem to have focused their efforts on the look of the Klingons and their environment to the detriment of our regulars. There’s something that looks not quite right about Kirk’s visage, but I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is. Likewise, Spock looks a bit too angular and harsh for my tastes. Having said that, I know that a number of the regular readers here enjoy the style of these two artists, and the art in this issue seems to be in their same regular style, just a bit below their average for me.


The Enterprise appears to be on refuse cleanup duty… those messy Klingons!
(click to enlarge)

The color work for this issue was done by John Hunt with Jason Jenson and Mario Boon. One question I have is “why so many involved?” With most other IDW issues, we have one color artist. Regardless, the colours stand out, as space has a very strong blue feel to it, the Klingon environments tend toward red and brown, and the sections focusing on the crew tend to be rather vibrant, with the same kind of feel as the old television shows, something to make your new color TV look good!

Overall, this is a good issue, picking up a new plot thread as the storyline appeared to end after the second issue. I’m interested to see where this is going next and how it is expected to tie into the first two issues of the series. I will be (and I expect others will to) disappointed if there is no connection between the two segments of the mini-series.


Cover for Star Trek Year 4 – Enterprise Experiment #3

 

Review: Star Trek Mirror Images #1

This month, the first issue of “Mirror Images” was released. This series focuses on the universe introduced in the original “Mirror, Mirror”, but is set well before the events of that episode. The Tiptons return to tell the story of how James Kirk became the captain of the mirror Enterprise. They preface the story with a quick two page introduction, giving us the setting, and showing how different it is from the regular universe that we’re most used to. This ends with Captain Pike killing an alien and narrowly escaping a trap set for him in the guise of an exploding shuttlecraft. He beams up to the Enterprise where he is tended to by his loyal physician, Dr. McCoy. Pike has his suspicions as to the culprit, and shares them with McCoy.


They don’t have evil beards… are we sure that we’re in the mirror universe?
(click to enlarge)

As expected, this is a story of betrayals, double-agents, lying, and plots within plots within plots — something as complex as seen in the Dune stories from Frank Herbert. It’s a bit of a confusing story thus far, but with three more issues ahead (including the second, out today), the story promises to be an entertaining one, leading us to the events of “Mirror, Mirror”. David Messina returns to do the artwork, as he has done on every issue with the Tipton brothers to date. His style is, as before, an interesting mix of approaching real life and pure comics. I personally quite like his style — heavy shading and simple facial lines, without too much detail, almost like he’s letting the color artist’s work help the reader fill in the details. As per usual on Messina’s art, Ilaria Traversi does a good job of getting the feel across.


Covers for Star Trek Mirror Images #1

 

Review: Star Trek Assignment Earth #3

Leaving the best until last, the new “Assignment Earth” series from John Byrne has rapidly become my favorite of the current batch of releases. This is coming from the guy who actually disliked the original TV episode and was pretty certain that this storyline just would not be able to fulfill expectations, despite Byrne’s excellent storytelling abilities. Byrne’s obvious interest in the material at hand has managed to make this an engrossing series, in terms of both story and looks.

In this issue, we jump forward another year to 1970 and find ourselves on the campus of the Illinois State University of Science and Technology. Gary Seven has taken the on the role of a visiting professor, and Roberta is acting as an anti-war hippie student. Yet another hair style and color for Roberta, just as promised in the pre-release press! This time around, Gary and Roberta are investigating some strange events that Beta Five has picked up around the campus. In other news, Isis makes another human appearance, this time taking the name of Tanya Neal. As usual, Roberta finds her familiar, but cannot put a finger on how she might know her. The story gets a touch predictable at times, but that is not intended as a knock, as Byrne does throw in some good plot twists along the way, including a sentimental epilogue at the end of the issue.


This is the classic nightmare of an adult long out of school… including Ms. Lincoln…
(click to enlarge)

Having said lots about Byrne’s art and situational writing over the few issues that he’s done, I’m not sure what else need be said, but let’s hit the highlights:

So, all in all, right on par with his other work on the Star Trek books. which is to say, if you like it, you’re in for another treat. If you don’t like Byrne’s stuff, and have given the other issues a try and still found them lacking, this one’s right in the same kind of style.


Cover for Star Trek Year Assignment Earth #3

All of the above comics are available now at your local Comics store.

Coming up next
TrekInk is now back on its regular schedule and we should have more reviews, news and previews from Star Trek comics, including the new Manga, for you soon.

Comments

1. Odradek - July 30, 2008

Idw puts out some of the best trek comics I’ve ever seen

2. Harry Ballz - July 30, 2008

In your first paragraph it says Robert Lincoln. That would be Roberta Lincoln, wouldn’t it?

3. Ensign Ruiter - July 30, 2008

Is that station K7 (Tribbles) being blown up to shit by Klingons? I guess the security threat was real afterall. Should Kirk apologize to Mr. Baris? Wait, I guess he’d be dead, Jim.

4. Beam Me Up - July 31, 2008

Why is IDW so infatuated with Gary 7?

5. e2 - July 31, 2008

THAT KLINGON ATTACKING KIRK IS NOT SULU! LOOK CLOSELY–IT DOES NOT, UPON CLOSER INSPECTION, LOOK LIKE SULU—YOU FAIL!!!

6. Cervantes - July 31, 2008

Some neat artwork on show here.
However, while the cover of the two Spocks on that left cover for Star Trek Mirror Images #1 looks just like him….I have no idea who that is on the centre cover, as it certainly isn’t Kirk….

7. Alex Fletcher / Sulfur - July 31, 2008

#5 — I presume that you’re talking about the preview cover for issue #4 at the end of the issue? Upon closer inspection it still looks like Sulu. If it’s not supposed to be Sulu or some clone/look-a-like, then it’s poorly done artwork. It definitely looks like Sulu to me.

The cover of issue #3 itself (pictured above)? That’s not Sulu, that looks like Kor.

#3 — not K7. :)

8. Daoud - July 31, 2008

That is neither George Takei’s nor John Cho’s Sulu. The eyebrows are wrong for either of them, plus the skin tone is not correct. It matches the coloration of Kor in the first image. Clearly this is Kor’s son, who is later killed by the Albino.

9. scifib5st - July 31, 2008

Helm …..set course to nearest comic book store, ahead warp 5. Set condition “YELLOW ALEART!”
Have Mr. Spock, Dr. McCory and Mr. Scott met me in the breifing room!

Someone bring the popcorn!

10. garen - July 31, 2008

so…in the Mirror Images #1 review….in the split screen picture with Bones and Kirk…..how much does Kirk’s pose and facial features look like Pine’s pose and facial features in the new ST: XI poster???

11. hamz - July 31, 2008

# 5. That is Sulu on the cover to issue 4. The book came out yesterday.

12. Iowagirl - July 31, 2008

#6

You’re right; not Kirk. That guy actually reminds me of a young Gerard Depardieu…maybe a french MU of some kind. Who knows..;)

http://loqueyotediga.net/files/Depardieu,-Gerard_tatuajes.jpg

13. What is it With You? - July 31, 2008

The “evil beards” image of Kirk looks like a mirror image of Chris Pine’s new poster.

Cool.

14. Closettrekker - July 31, 2008

“We open with a visit to a Klingon cruiser and Kor, making a reappearance three years after his house’s glory was taken due to the events on (Organia).”

D.C Fontana is one of the all-time great Star Trek writers, but I find the concept of Kor’s House somehow being “dishonored” due to the Organians’ “intervention” in the brief war between the Klingons and the Federation to be a bit too “TNG-era” for my taste…

15. Andy Patterson - July 31, 2008

4

Why is IDW so infatuated with Gary 7?

Because somebody else needs to be besides me.

And I think it would be more correct to say that John Byrne has the interest in the character and project.

16. Andy Patterson - July 31, 2008

Boy, Kirk is ripped. I loved Shatner but let’s face it he was never that ripped.

I also wanted to mention (and I’m looking for it as I type) but I think there are a few quality control issues IDW needs to stay on. Again, I can’t remember where it is but I remember for the second issue in a row a spot where tighter proofreading would have helped. Seems like it was a contraction or lack there of. When I’ve fed the newborn I can look later.

17. Andrew Steven Harris - August 1, 2008

#5 — you’re confusing the cover of issue 3 with the cover of issue 4. The cover of issue 3 (shown above) isn’t Sulu; as the writer mentioned, it’s the next issue’s cover (issue 4) that features Sulu.

#4 — it’s not so much that IDW is into Gary 7 as it is that John Byrne is into Gary 7, and IDW is into working with Byrne. And I think that the Assignment Earth series has been great–loved the ending to #3, really solid stuff.

18. Beam Me Up - August 1, 2008

Kirk looks like Fabio

19. Platnumonk - August 1, 2008

These IDW books are much better than past incarnations. I am a big fan of the Assignment Earth episode. truly sorry it never took off as a series, but the latest novels are great. The comics are even better!

20. OM - August 1, 2008

“YOU FAIL!!!”

…No, it’s *you* that fail. Anyone responding in ALL CAPS automatically loses, period.

21. Andy Patterson - August 1, 2008

17
And I think that the Assignment Earth series has been great–loved the ending to #3, really solid stuff.

hear, hear.

19
I am a big fan of the Assignment Earth episode. truly sorry it never took off as a series, but the latest novels are great. The comics are even better!

double – hear, hear.

22. Spiked Canon - August 2, 2008

a reboot comic?

http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/07/abrams-orsi-w-1.html

23. Alex Fletcher / Sulfur - August 2, 2008

#22 – from what I’ve read and heard — that’s not quite the case. I’d expect that we’ll hear something more solid and definitive over the next few months though.

See Anthony’s ComicCon comic book update column from last week for more details.

24. John Hunt - August 20, 2008

The reason for the three colorists on “The Enterprise Experiment” is due to the book running a bit behind and Mario being involved in an accident and unable to work on the full issue himself. Jason jumped in for two pages and I did 8-22. Issue #4 has me on colors, and now that’s Mario’s better, he’s back for issue #5. I hope that clears up the myster!

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