Doctor Who

TrekInk: Early Review – Star Trek: Countdown #2

The first issue of "Star Trek: Countdown” showed us a surprising new friendship between Nero and Spock and finished with the shocker of a new Captain of the USS Enterprise, along with lots of tension between  Romulans, Vulcans and even the Remans. Issue two takes the next step in showing the events that lead up to the new Star Trek movie. Find out how that is all working out in our early review below. (SPOILERS)


 

 

REVIEW: STAR TREK – COUNTDOWN #2

The visit to Vulcan
As seen in the four page preview, this second issue picks up right where the first issue left off. (see TM review of Countdown #1). With the assistance of Captain Data and the crew of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E), Nero and his crew are able to fight off the Reman attackers. The two ships head off toward Vulcan to receive a warm welcome… or not. In the meantime, the Romulans discover that the ‘senile Vulcan’ (aka Spock) was correct about the future of the Empire… but had understated things. It was going to be far worse than he’d guessed at.

Like the first issue, and not surprisingly, issue two has a lot of exposition, necessary to bring us through to the opening moments of the upcoming film. Mike Johnson and Tim Jones manage to carry the story with a certain sense of aplomb. There are plenty of references back to what we’ve previously seen in the Next Gen era, and explanations for what happened to Jean Luc (now Ambassador Picard), what the Vulcans really think of Spock’s plans for unification with their Romulan "cousins", and how exactly is Data alive after the events of Nemesis. [HIGHLIGHT INVISOTEXT TO FIND OUT: You guessed it, Data’s neural nets were ‘successfully imprinted’ on B-4]

But at its heart, "Countdown" is an engaging tragedy about how Nero befriends Spock, only to suffer great disappointment in the midst of a massive crisis. By issue 2 we have yet to see Nero become the tattooed angry Romulan he will be in the upcoming film, but you can certainly see he is headed in that direction.  In addition to bringing us to locations seen in the TNG era (Enterprise & Romulan Senate), the comic also ties into the movie by showing us areas of Vulcan, such as the Vulcan Council seen in the trailer for Star Trek,


Apparently you are only able to view the Vulcan Council at an angle
(click to enlarge)

David Messina provides the art once again, and his style works well for this series, presenting things with a sense of shadows. Messina’s use of shadow and color really works well with the tragic nature of the story. There is also obvious use of some computer work in some of the scenes, including (as some have pointed out in the comments to the issue #1 review) some LCARS (aka Okudagrams) appear to be taken from the game “A Final Unity”. This is not a detraction by any means, and some of the space scenes are gorgeous and expansive, including the one in the Romulan astrometrics lab.


Did Romulans trade a cloaking device for Federation astrometrics technology?
(click to enlarge)

There are still some inconsistencies that have not been resolved between the first issue and this one, but they might still be sorted out in the last two issues of the series. Having said that, they don’t distract from the story, and, as with all Trek, a certain suspension of disbelief has to come into play to carry us through all of the events here. Regardless of all of that, "Countdown" is turning into more than just a prequel to the Star Trek movie, but also that send-off of the TNG characters that we may never see on film. Each issue of Countdown has also felt a bit short, but like the first issue, the second ends on a big cliffhanger, making the anticipation for issue three even greater. Overall, Countdown is is well worth reading for both comics fans and people who don’t usually read comics, but want to get the full movie experience and see how it ties into the whole of Star Trek.

Countdown #2 will be available in stores Wednesday February 25th. It comes with two covers: the regular with Data, and a Dealer incentive photocover, with Zoe Saldana as Uhura (from the Comic-Con poster).


Star Trek Countdown #2 cover A (click to enlarge)

NOTE: Data’s uniform on the cover is the TNG movie era style, but the uniforms used in the comics are based on the newer "Star Trek Online" style. The change in design was done after the covers were finalized.

Pre-order Countdown #2 – before it is too late
Issue #1 of Countdown sold out fast (and is now being sold for over $20). So it is a good idea to reserve your copies of issues 2-4 in advance at your local comic shop (or online at TFAW.com). Or you can wait until April and pick up the trade paperback, which includes all four issues.

Countdown #1

Countdown #2

Countdown #3

Countdown #4


(sold out)
available from Amazon resellers for $20+

 

$3.19
(Feb 25)

$3.19
(March)

$3.59
(April)

 

Star Trek Countdown
(Trade Paperback – compiling all 4 issues)

$12.23
(Pre-order – April. 29)

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest
TonyD
February 24, 2009 4:37 am

Looks good and I like the tie-ins to the larger Trek universe; but I hate having to read a story like this in pieces over the span of several weeks. As such, I for one will be picking up the trade paperback in April.

McCoy's Gall Bladder
February 24, 2009 4:55 am

Since they’re all sold out, can anyone enlighten us about the B-4/Data schism?

Or did they reboot Lore?

What gives?

Cheers

February 24, 2009 5:06 am

Issue 2 comes out tomorrow, it is not sold out

Dom
February 24, 2009 5:14 am

Frankly, I’m surprised that the Daystrom Institute hasn’t duplicated and improved on Noonien Soong’s work by now!

Dusk
February 24, 2009 5:30 am

4 – Indeed! Whatever happened to Cmdr. Maddox’s research?

Just Wonderin'
February 24, 2009 5:38 am

Is there ever going to be an explanation of how the hell Data is back? Maybe “Nemesis” really was just a bad dream, both in our universe and in the ST universe.

TrekDude
February 24, 2009 5:43 am

To #4 and #5:

I guess you could consider Soong being such a genius like Einstein… I guess even in the 24th century it’ll be hard for people to dublicate his work. His research in positronics has been groundbreaking and since he did not share lots of his work with many people they’re all left clueless and wondering how he has gotten his androids to work properly. ;)

Don Farnsworth
February 24, 2009 5:47 am
Mega mega geeky. The artwork great but the dialogue is so bad. Romuland screaming “It’s all a Vulcan plot”. These are Romulans not Klingons who are barbaric by nature. Nero’s buddy “Hmm risk everything on a remote chance of saving the empire, count me in” a rip off of Sulu saying something similar to Kirk when they were about to hijack the enterprise except these guys are bloody miners. No great adventure was ever likely theirs. Also an advanced race like the Romulan’s are unable to tell that a planet is about to explode but spock can prove it by looking through a dicky little telescope on his back verandah. Spock’s line “Not just any ship, not just any captain” is not something Spock would say with the exception of perhaps Kirk. “An old and dear colleague” in reference to Data who he has only met once. Nope the Spock character in these comics is a cypher where fans can live what they would say and feel if there were there. However the mega geekiness is intentional. The marketing guys were sitting around wondering how to market to the diehard fans. Those who will laugh hysterically at any in joke in the cinema just to let the audience know they get it. They figured if they created a comic with the dickiest dialogue they would win over those fans too. A comic would not even be on the radar of the new audience it was trying to attract yet convince… Read more »
TrekDude
February 24, 2009 5:49 am

Came on to add that even Data himself didn’t manage to dublicate Soong’s work with the creation of his own daughter. ;)

Robert H.
February 24, 2009 5:52 am

Surprised no one yet has mentioned B-4. The possibility that B-4 took Data’s name after he finally assimilated Data’s memories and so forth.

James
February 24, 2009 6:05 am

I think the whole ‘Data’s death’ thing has been handled very poorly.

Granted, he shouldn’t have been killed in Nemesis anyway – it didn’t really make a huge amount of sense to the storyline, it could have been easily avoided, and it smacked very heavily of Spock’s ‘reactor moment’ in ST:II.

Having said that, to just suddenly bring him back somehow makes it worse – it cheapens his sacrifice, knowing that he wasn’t really killing himself ‘cos he was ‘backed up’.

Just my thoughts.

Steve
February 24, 2009 6:23 am

Hooray! Data lives. Simple explaination, saw it coming, very Star Trek 3. But hey, he’s alive and ticking. Should save anymore argument about it.

Matt
February 24, 2009 6:24 am

I agree James, but generally, the sacrifice of Data is still incredibly noble, because even if Data knew B4 would eventually manifest his personality (and at that point, he didn’t have any reason to believe it would work after it had failed) he is still ending his own existence. From his perspective, that moment on the Scimitar is his last, regardless of his cloned existence.

Paul B.
February 24, 2009 6:28 am

For those of you still wondering about why/how Data is back–did you not see the SPOILER text in the review above? The “invisitext” part?

Instead of just posting comments randomly, how about READING THE ARTICLE first? You know, as a courtesy to the fine staff here at Trekmovie, or even just–I dunno–because you want to find out the answers to the questions you keep asking?!

Thanks, Alex and Anthony, for another brief but useful review! I like that you give enough detail to pique our curiosity but not enough to ruin the comic for those who want to read it.

NaradaAlpha
February 24, 2009 6:33 am

#8–keep your antitrekker prejudice to yourself…. also: we have no idea how close spock and data became after data’s recovery

on a side note…heres an interesting theory on nero’s true origins…what if he’s spock’s SON and not fully romulan at all? maybe he is spock and saavik’s son? it would provide an added motivation for nero getting revenge against spock; a son enraged at his absentee father….

Alden
February 24, 2009 6:37 am

I think the Romulans didn’t trade a cloaking device to the federation, but instead to Professor X. That astrometrics looks like Cerebro.

cpelc
February 24, 2009 6:40 am

anyone else notice that it’s picard standing up there to the left of Spock in front of the council?

Don Farnsworth
February 24, 2009 6:41 am

@15
1. I’m not anti trekker. I am anti diehard who just want the movie to be like a bad tv episode.

2. We know that in the second comic Spock mentions that he had not seen Data since he was destroyed. Interesting seeing as Spock wasn’t there so most likely they have only met once.

3. I’ll put my opinions out there wether you like it or not.

Mike Ten
February 24, 2009 7:25 am

#16 Alden, The Enterprise-D astrometrics was around before Cerebro as shown in the X-men movie. I guess Patrick Stewart liked the set so much he took it with him to X-men.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the Countdown series ends.

Daoud
February 24, 2009 7:31 am
#18 Data had a life *before* 2364 and the start of TNG. It’s clear he was familiar with Spock already from a number of times before Unification. Plus, between Unification and Nemesis (when Data was destroyed) is about a 15 year period, much of which is not ‘onscreen’ and left unknown. To your earlier comments, this comic had nothing to do with “marketing guys”. Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci thought it might be fun to do. They came up with the story outline along with JJ Abrams, and with the movie being shifted from December to May gave them the time to pursue it with the comics staff, and gave time to the comics storywriters and artists to do it. It’s clearly because of the rush to get it done that some of the dialogue is clunky. However, you’re very racialist to assume that all Romulans must be a certain way. All Klingons are not exactly the same. Gorkon was noble, Azetbur too. Gowron had a sense of right and wrong, that any Duras did not. Martok, Kor, Kang and Worf were all honorable. Koloth even. There’s a wide spectrum of behavior in any Star Trek alien race. The Romulans of the 2160 era were pretty conniving, and again in 2360. Not all Romulans were as honorable as Mark Lenard’s Commander, or even remarkable as was Linville’s Commander. The Romulans we’re seeing in Countdown (Nero and his associates) aren’t noble commanders, nor praetor’s guard, nor senators. They’re “common folk”. So… Read more »
Closettrekker
February 24, 2009 7:33 am
#18—“We know that in the second comic Spock mentions that he had not seen Data since he was destroyed. Interesting seeing as Spock wasn’t there so most likely they have only met once. ” How do we know that? I must have missed that bit. When does Spock mention that? To my knowledge, Spock has only referred to Data as “an old and dear colleague”. Since we are apparently looking at several decades after the events depicted in “Unification”, it seems to me that we do not really know how many times Data has interacted in some capacity with Spock. #8—“Nero’s buddy “Hmm risk everything on a remote chance of saving the empire, count me in” a rip off of Sulu saying something similar to Kirk when they were about to hijack the enterprise except these guys are bloody miners. No great adventure was ever likely theirs.” I see no similarity in the dialogue here and that of TSFS. And it is clear from issue #1 that Nero and his crew are quite close. It seems likely that there is some loyalty there. I am not a veteran comic-book reader, so perhaps this is a bit of preconceived expectation, but this is–afterall—a comic book. Just what do you expect from the dialogue? Spock’s line ‘Not just any ship, not just any captain’ is not something Spock would say with the exception of perhaps Kirk.” Is Data “just any Captain”? Given his extraordinary abilities, I think it is perfectly logical for… Read more »
February 24, 2009 8:21 am

I like that Picard’s an ambassador. It makes sense not only to the story, but to the character. Kirk warned him against promotion, “because while you’re in that chair you can make a difference,” but this isn’t an admiral’s desk job, it’s a very active role in diplomacy, something which suits Picard’s talents such that it would make a happy job for him.

SerenityActual
February 24, 2009 8:22 am

Looking forward to the graphic novel, as I don’t collect too many titles in monthly format any more.

New Horizon
February 24, 2009 8:32 am

21. Closettrekker – February 24, 2009
I am not a veteran comic-book reader, so perhaps this is a bit of preconceived expectation, but this is–afterall—a comic book. Just what do you expect from the dialogue?

I’ve read comics with exceptional dialogue over the years. Just because it’s a comic does not mean it has lack quality. Some of the best stories I’ve read have been in comic book form. It’s a comic book, not the daily ‘funnies’.

Dorothy Z
February 24, 2009 8:37 am

I’m sorry but that’s retarded. Data’s appearance (and explanation) is hackneyed and way too sentimental, not to mention a Search for Spock rip off.

February 24, 2009 8:41 am

SPOILER (sort of but not really): You know, technically Data “killed” B-4 when he overwrote his programming. Unlike Spock transferring his katra to McCoy (which was meant to be a temporary arrangement), Data has taken over B-4’s body completely and permanently. Bad android!

Paulaner
February 24, 2009 8:42 am

What’s wrong in the dialogue of Countdown?
Not all Romulans are military men and talk the same way.
Spock is an elder “man”, he is wiser and, in my opinion, is has learnt to accept his human half. It’s not the first time we see some emotional traits in his personality (the tears in TMP, his pride and delusion about Valeris in Star Trek VI and his feelings about Kirk).
By the way, do you want some bad dialogue? Generations is for you.
In the end, nothing in these previews is wrong, in my opinion. This a true reprise of TNG, and I’m very excited!

Mammalian Verisimilitude
February 24, 2009 9:09 am

Re: 22

Plus, Picard was an ambassador in the “All Good Things…” future.

Shatner_Fan_Prime
February 24, 2009 9:14 am

The fact that Picard is around and not looking much older seems to validate the theory that this story is not set “decades after Nemesis,” as some have claimed. I’d still like to know when these stories take place, but it’s looking more and more like the answer to that is: a handful of years after Nemesis.

Closettrekker
February 24, 2009 9:18 am

#24—“I’ve read comics with exceptional dialogue over the years. Just because it’s a comic does not mean it has lack quality. Some of the best stories I’ve read have been in comic book form. ”

I’ll have to take your word for that. Countdown #1 was the first comic book I had ever read. This was the kind of dialogue I expected. I would have been surprised to see a Star Trek comic where the dialogue was above the reading level of the average 10-14 year old boy.

Just out of curiosity, are there ‘Star Trek’ comics out there which can boast “exceptional” character dialogue?

Closettrekker
February 24, 2009 9:21 am

#29—“The fact that Picard is around and not looking much older seems to validate the theory that this story is not set “decades after Nemesis,” as some have claimed. I’d still like to know when these stories take place, but it’s looking more and more like the answer to that is: a handful of years after Nemesis.”

Perhaps, but it doesn’t seem to answer the question as to why Spock claims to have made Romulus his home for 40 years. That doesn’t seem to add up.

RD
February 24, 2009 9:27 am

Enjoy the last of the “tie-ins” with the old canon. Once XI starts canon from the “familiar” universe will be eradicated in favor of its new matrix in this new alternate universe, where nothing previously known has ever happened and the future has yet to be written. Who knows, this time Picard may chose not to fight that Nausicaan and disappear into obscurity. Data may never be discovered. Heck, THIS irresponsible Jim Kirk may not have been paying attention in his “Outsmarting cybernetic intelligence with street-logic 101” class at the Academy and die at the hands of Landru.

February 24, 2009 9:28 am

Too bad there are spoilers in the top of the article, a part that can be seen from the front page.
(I entered just to write this)

Athenian
February 24, 2009 9:32 am

Are these going to be released in a collected book form? Just curious because I have not been able to find them anywhere.

Athenian
February 24, 2009 9:33 am

Forgive me. Dumb question.

The Geek Who Gets Laid Often
February 24, 2009 9:55 am

32: ”Heck, THIS irresponsible Jim Kirk may not have been paying attention in his “Outsmarting cybernetic intelligence with street-logic 101″ class at the Academy and die at the hands of Landru.”

Actually, they plan to kill him off with a rare form of gum disease you can only contract when giving one of those ”smash-your-face-in-with-the-help-of-my-face” kisses that he’s so fond of.

Honestly, if they can make it work, I don’t care. It’s time for Star Trek to get good or GTFO (of film and tv).

Closettrekker
February 24, 2009 9:56 am

#32—“Enjoy the last of the “tie-ins” with the old canon. Once XI starts canon from the “familiar” universe will be eradicated in favor of its new matrix in this new alternate universe, where nothing previously known has ever happened and the future has yet to be written. ”

The alternate timeline has its origins in what you describe as the “familiar” universe, and in fact, is completely dependant upon the events depicted in all 5 television series and 10 previous films. It therefore makes no sense to view previously established canon and something which is “eradicated”, and certainly not as events which have never happened. Of course they did. If they had not—the “new” timeline could not have been formed in the first place. Star Trek “canon” has always had the potential to exist in multiple timelines.

Does McCoy not save Edith Keeler from the accident? Did that not happen? It sure seems as though it did, since everytime I watch COTEOF, I still witness the fictional reprecussions of it.

Is that entire event not a part of canon in your mind?

Will
February 24, 2009 10:11 am

Re: 37 Closettrekker

Not to nit-pick your logic on this, but you seem to be combining the eradication of a fictional timeline via the new movie with the existence of genuine material(in the form of episodes on tape/DVD/film) in the real world. As far as a logical argument goes, that’s like dividing by zero.

It’s almost as if, in my opinion, you’re saying that simply because the episodes and movies still exist for your viewing pleasure in the real world, the fictional timeline has not been eradicated.

A more proper argument on your part would have been to stick with the alternate universe idea of leading one character to another timeline and then following events from there. Were that your argument, it would both make sense for you to be correct that the existing universe leads to the alternate one of the new movie AND to say that the events of the existing timeline have been eradicated(or to put it less harshly, simply never happened here).

However, bringing in your witnessing of the fictional repercussions of a fictional event which you observe as an audience member to justify the continued in world existence of said event vastly weakens your reasoning.

NCC-73515
February 24, 2009 10:20 am

It seems to be me who first wrote about the A Final Unity screen.

February 24, 2009 10:25 am

38 – Star Trek has had it’s share of inconsistencies when it comes to time travel and alternate universes.

The movie’s alternate timeline was created by the Romulan’s trip back in time, presumably at the end of this comic book.

The other time travel stories generally happen thus:

a) Crew/Heavies go back in time, to change the past.
b) Crew make changes to the time line.
c) Crew travel forward in time, and when they check historical records, etc., they find that the changes they made were simply “meant to be”, or made no relevent difference. Nothing in the future was changed.

This movie postulates the following:

a) Crew/heavies go back in time (at which point a new universe is created).
b) Crew makes changes in timeline. Some permanent.
c) We follow crew in changed timeline.

Basically, the act of a) in both scenarios creates a parallel universe, as per string theory.

In short, the entire history of Star Trek, with a few exceptions, follows a specific path through one of the multiple universes created by their time travel. Never stated or portrayed, but that is the nature of the universe.

Most of the time, the changes are subtle enough that the crew’s return to the “Present” is simply not percieved or portrayed.

rangerone314
February 24, 2009 10:39 am

I have no problems with idea of a split-universe timeline…

It is just like in microbiology: creature called a hydra undergoes fission into two creatures… which one is the “original” one?

NCC-73515
February 24, 2009 10:44 am

Hydra has nothing to do with microbiology ;)

TrekTwenty
February 24, 2009 10:44 am

Im looking forward to reading the new comic…although there seems to be a lot of skeptics this time around. I’m not really looking forward to another trip to the comic book store to pick it up, though…

Montreal Paul
February 24, 2009 10:51 am

after reading and rereading everyones “theories”.. I have come to the conclusion that you guys put WAY too much thought into this. For God’s sake.. it is only a movie.. enjoy it for what it is.. enjoyable escapism. I don’t know about you, but I think enough at work.

You guys worry way too much about this stuff. Just relax people. You take this way too seriously. And I say this as a die hard Start Trek fan from way back. Enjoy it because when you start picking it apart and disecting it and contemplating it and taking it aprt even further.. it becomes less enjoyable. Seriously.. relax.

February 24, 2009 10:52 am

41 – Universe Abrams is spawned from future events in Universe Prime.

Therefore, the universe seen from TOS thru to Nemesis is the original one.

Before the Narada’s arrival in the past, both universes are actually the same one.

The time travel arrival back in time is what actually spawns Universe Abrams.

February 24, 2009 10:55 am

44 – I’m under no illusion that Countdown is a way of explaining the Reboot for us fans.

Most of us here enjoy looking into this, and it is part of our way of enjoying the Star Trek universe.

For me, it’s not worry, but anticipation, guesswork and discussion.

Paulaner
February 24, 2009 11:20 am

#44 “You guys worry way too much about this stuff. Just relax people. You take this way too seriously. And I say this as a die hard Start Trek fan from way back. Enjoy it because when you start picking it apart and disecting it and contemplating it and taking it aprt even further.. it becomes less enjoyable. Seriously.. relax.”

You, sir, are totally right!

Paulaner
February 24, 2009 11:23 am

#45 “Therefore, the universe seen from TOS thru to Nemesis is the original one.”

When the universe is filled with thousands of (known and unknown) space-faring civilizations, a lot of them capable to travel back in time, there is no notion of an “original” timeline.

Star Trackie
February 24, 2009 11:39 am

30 “Just out of curiosity, are there ‘Star Trek’ comics out there which can boast “exceptional” character dialogue?”

Check out Debt of Honor, it’s a damned fine TOS themed Trek graphic novel.

AJ
February 24, 2009 11:40 am

Paulaner:

The speculation on timelines is all part of the fun for some of us. Believe me, we’re not losing any sleep.

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