Review – Star Trek Countdown #4 – More Clues To Star Trek Movie Revealed

Today the "Countdown" to the new Star Trek movie ends, with the release of Star Trek Countdown $4. We finally get the showdown with Spock and Nero that this has all been leading up to, and we learn quite a lot about the new Star Trek movie along the way. Find out more in our review below. [SPOILERS]

 

STAR TREK COUNTDOWN #4 REVIEW

Now that this final issue is out, it seems like the series came out really quickly. Although it is great that there have just been a couple of weeks to wait since the previous issue, we now have to wait five weeks for the movie itself…bummer. The story, like the last three issues, picks up right where the prior issue’s cliffhanger ending left off. This is something that should make the trade (coming next week officially) read really smoothly in its final state.

There’s not much story left to tell by the time we get to the opening pages here, and the story moves along in that style. As you may recall, last time we were here, Worf had the Klingon Armada facing Nero’s Borg-modified Narada. In a complete and utterly expected non-spoiler, the expected result comes to pass. Sure Worf and his Klingon warriors put up a good fight, but after all, how big and bad would our villain really be if he couldn’t take care of himself? In the ensuing discussion with Worf, Nero truly shows that he has completely lost his mind, and he even reveals his dastardly plan [HIGHLIGHT INVISOTEXT: Telling Worf and Ayel he is coming after the Klingon Homeworld after he destroys Vulcan and Earth].


Nero tries to sweet talk Worf (click to enlarge)

We also quickly revisit La Forge, Picard, Data, and Spock and they drop a bit of technobabble while sharing some information that will likely play out on the big screen in a few weeks’ time. [INVISOTEXT: The Jellyfish is voice activated so only Spock can use it] Of course, I more than half expect to see it show up there too as some exposition, but those of us in the know will be able to share a little secret smile when that happens. After that Spock heads off to try to save the galaxy in one direction, while the Enterprise-E (yes, we actually see its name on the hull very clearly at one point in this issue) heads off to see how things went with Worf and Nero.


Geordi drops what could be a movie hint
(click to enlarge and unblur text)

The art in this issue, like the other three, is typical Messina art, with one exception that jumped out at me immediately. On page 7, there is a panel that shows La Forge and Spock together. Spock looks like he has been painted with water colors, something that really puts some life into his cheeks, and at the same time, gives a fantastic stylized look to him. Overall, the combination of art and colors are fantastic, and it is obvious that the artists are working together very tightly.

One really nice thing about this final issue in the series is that, at the end of things, it does set us up for the upcoming movie [INVISOTEXT: Most significantly showing both Spock’s Jellyfish and Nero’s Narada getting inadvertantly pulled into a black hole created when Spock released the ‘red matter’ into the Hobus Supernova (sending them back in time)]. But the ‘sequel to TNG’ aspect is also served well here. Thankfully, there are no major conflicts presented in this story that deviate too far off the beaten path in the Pocket novels (or nothing that couldn’t be worked around if they chose to do so). And more importantly, [INVISOTEXT: Picard, Data, the Enteprise and the TNG universe are all shown to survive after Spock and Nero go back in time – therefore more stories could be told in the TNG universe laid out in this series].


Before Nero faces Kirk, Spock and the 1701, he had to deal with Picard, Data and the 1701-E (click to enlarge)

Although Countdown #4 brings the series to a satisfying ending, this issue feels the briefest of them all and falls short of #3, which for my money was the best of the series. With all the twists and turns of previous issues, Countdown #4 kind of fell into a predictable pattern, and there just wasn’t enough of a story to sink your teeth into it. Overall, the miniseries covers the exposition leading into the new film quite well. It may not all be vital information, but I don’t doubt that there will be a few quick and quiet little references along the way to some of these events, which will leave you readers knowing just that much more than the guy next to you on opening night. Most importantly, the series has fleshed out the villain Nero and his motivation. [INVISOTEXT: Specifically his thirst for revenge against Spock and the Federation for what he feels they did (or didn’t do) that caused the death of his family and the destruction of Romulus

Grand scheme of things? If you’re a Trek fan and you plan on seeing the new movie, read this story — you won’t regret it. But if you could hold out, you may want to read it all in one sitting and do it shortly before you see the film.


Regular and photo cover for "Countdown" #4
(click to enlarge)

Countdown #4 arrives in comic stores today. You can order it at TFAW or pre-order the trade paperback at Amazon, which should be shipping in the next few days.

Countdown
#4

Countdown
TPB

$3.19
(April 1)

$12.23
(April 2-7)

The entire series is also available as a download for Apple iPhones and  Google Android.

Countdown #1

Countdown #2

Countdown #3

Countdown #4

$0.99
(iTunes)

$0.99
(iTunes)

$0.99
(iTunes)

$0.99
(iTunes)

$0.99
(Android)

$0.99
(Android)

$0.99
(Android)

$0.99
(Android)


MORE TREK COMICS COVERAGE COMING SOON
Also out today is the second issue of John Byrne’s "Crew" series. Look for a review of that shortly.

Crew
#2

$3.19
(April 1)

 

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I can’t wait for the paperback to come out! I’m heading to Barnes and Nobles the minute that I see it’s out.

My paperback shipped yesterday!

nice

I am having trouble figuring out how people who have not read the comic are going to have any clue what is going on. I mean this is meant for non-trek people as well, how are they going to start the movie 10 minutes after the comic ends and people are going to understand that these people got sucked into a black hole and sent to the TOS era. I mean i like it but i think my friends who aren’t big trek fans are going to be lost. Anyone else agree

[SPOILERS]

The black hole seems appropriate, given that’s how the O.G. Enterprise went back in time in ‘Tomorrow is Yesterday’. Interesting that the trip to the past will be unintentional.

Can’t wait until the trade paperback, not too long now! And not too long after that, the movie!

Sybok's Secret Brother

On my way to Guapo Comics right now! I just don’t have the patience to wait for the TPB.

My Trade Paperback is on the way. Can’t wait to see all of the comics n detail and not just read the synopsis.

You know, it’s too bad the TNG crew aren’t in the movie. I believe this movie will be great, and I love the story plot. Still the same, the Countdown portion of the story really seems to enchance the story. If anything else, we now know where “The Jellyfish” comes from. I’ve always liked Giordi (aside from the fact that I’ve always been a fan of Lavar Burton, too). :)

Gee-whiz! Sorry I used “story” so many times in that post. I just realized I did, and it sounds terrible. :)

Well, I am happy the time travel is an ‘accident’ rather than intent.

I downloaded it this morning for my iPhone. I won’t spoil it, but one of our beloved characters get messed up something terrible!

My only complaint is they wasted a lot of frames recapping the end of the third comic. The previous comics did not do this.

Overall, a nice prequel to lead into this summer’s movie!

I wish Captain Riker, Counselor Troi, the Titan, and Dr. Crusher had made appearances in Countdown.

No one who sees the movie will be lost. It’s a pretty safe bet that there will be some flashbacks covering some of the events of the comic books. At a minimum we will see the destruction of Romulus and Spock and Nero going into the blackhole. You don’t really need more than that.

The thing I will be interested in seeing is: If the time travel was unintentional, then how does Nero get from the time when Kirk is born to Young Kirk joining starfleet? Are Nero and Spock just out there roaming around in space for all of those years?

I guess I will know in a few weeks, I can’t wait…

@ Mike Ten-

I think the movie plays out Kirk and Spock’s story, then it shows Nero and Old Spock emerging from the black hole (Or white hole, depending on your preferred theory).

Anthony, you make this so hard!

Can’t visit this website again! Must wait for TB and Movie in a few weeks.

8 years have passed since “Nemesis” and La Forge is still a Commander? Either he had trouble or he loves the engineering too much to give it up. Or Spock was just mistaking.

It’s not that I’m normally focused on such details, but I like to see some progress in there lifes, even if it’s just a regular promotion.

Can't Wait for May 8th 2009

#15 Good Point.
My Guess and is only a guess. Nero is stopped by Spock. Is captured by the Klingons and sent to Rura Penthe. After a few years in prison and losing part of his right ear, escapes. And continues on his mission of vengeance. Ayel could have escaped with the Narada and gathered another Romulan crew while Nero was in prison. Now this is all guess work so I could very well be wrong. We will see in a month how things turn out.

So … Nero and Spock are stuck in the past. However, I doubt Nero just hangs around for 25-30 years until he decides to attack Vulcan. There also seems to be no mention of Nero in a Klingon prison. What’s up with that! Is he somehow captured after he and Spock travel back in time?

Bottom line – There is a lot that we don’t know!

(Spoiler alert)

(spoiler guess coming)

Remember the trading card that showed young Spock piloting a stolen ship? That ties in to the idea that the jellyfish ship was coded so only Spock Prime could use it. Young Spock must steal the jellyfish ship at some point and he could use it since he is Spock after all.

Amazon sent me an e-mail saying I will get my paperback in about a week!

Just picked up a copy today, the first three were great so I am expecting a lot from the fourth and final installment. I plan on buying the paperback but right now, I am going to sit down, smoke a doob (p.s. kids, don’t do drugs), and read all four countdown comics. Every time I purchased one of the comics I had to go back and read the previous ones.

Regarding the poll, how can you vote Star Trek not be in the title of a Star Trek movie? Why the hell do you think they changed Enterprise to Star Trek Enterprise, just for fun!? Any Star Trek TV show or movie MUST have Star Trek in the title, this is not batman this is Star Trek, same with Star Wars.

the implication is that Geordi left Starfleet to start his open Starship engineering firm. he went private. and often officers are referred to by their last rank.

Totally and completely off topic…

Nice Star Trek references in Monday’s “24” – two of the names being considered for Chief of Staff in the episode are Bob Justman and Rick Berman. No coincidence, since the episode was written by Manny Coto and Brannon Braga.

Cool stuff.

Ok, so the Narada (or T’Neruu, a la Ex Astris Scientia today) has Borg implants… How in Rao’s name (whoops, wrong franchise)… How in the name of the Prophets is a TOS era ship supposed to survive a battle with the Narada?!?!?!?!?!? Seriously. The real TOS Enterprise would get its tush handed to it, so this post-ENT/reboot universe has more advanced tech?

#2:

My paperback shipped yesterday as well! wooot! :-P

you won’t need to know any of this stuff to understand or enjoy the film — it is merely a layer of context to help us (fans) understand how it fits into the “known” universe.

So does the Narada attack the Kelvin and then just mooch about for 25/26 years until Kirk grows up?

Fascinating.

@26. captblsisko,

Borg tech doesn’t automatically mean Borg weapons, and even if that is so, any spaceframe with a certain technology can only be souped up so much by Borg technology.
If you soup up a 90’s era tanker with some weapons and military technology and travel back in time to the time of the first emergence of steam ships and iron hulls, you can expect that, while dangerous, would still be manageable by the explosive shells of that era…

Does anyone know if and when Amazon might release #4 for Kindle–I read the first three issues that way and I’m jonesing to be a completist.

RE: Where is Nero after Kelvin SPOILERS After the attack on the Kelvin, Nero is actually inspired by the heroism and sacrifice of George Kirk. He commits to change his ways and he attends some grief counseling and anger management classes. He then decides to make it up to the Kirks by changing his appearance to appear more human (his first attempt was having someone chew off his ear points). He then buys some make-up to cover the tattoos and goes to Earth and marries Winona Kirk to raise little James and make up for the father he lost. Eventually they settle down and being that he is a time traveler, Nero becomes obsessed with the past and opens a bed and breakfast (with the help of Ayel who attended cooking school). They decorate it with antiques and it is a big hit in Iowa. One senior Starfleet visitor was so impressed with it that he decided to change the location of the building of a major new ship to Iowa so he can come back more often. Things are rough for Nero as James tests his patience, until one day little Kirk steals Nero’s prized Corvette and drops it down a ravine. This sends Nero over the edge and he vows revenge on the little punk and so he decides to go back to plan A – kill everyone. Problem is that in order to pay for the bed and breakfast he sold the Narada to a certain businessman… Read more »

I continue to be amazed at how many people say that this is a great story. It is the story of a lunatic hellbent on destroying Earth. Have we ever seen this in Star Trek before? Yes, millions of times. Why couldn’t they come up with something genuinely original?

And I agree completely with #26. In “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, it’s mentioned that the Enterprise-C was under attack by three Romulan warbirds of that era (early 24th century). It’s also mentioned that these three ships would stand “no chance” against the Enterprise-D. So a late 24th century Federation ship can easily destroy three early 24th century Romulan warbirds. Yet a Borg-enhanced, late 24th century/early 25th century Romulan ship is supposedly going to attack a mid-23rd century Enterprise in a way that’s going to make for an interesting or convincing battle?

Come on…

Tanner Waterbury (HUGE PINK FLOYD FAN)

@32

LMAO Bravo!

you ruined it for us!

LMMFAO!

22 – I got the same e-mail.

#32- So is Nero’s B&B where little Jimmy learned to cook those Ktarian eggs that would come in so handy w/ Antonia all those years later??? now THAT’S some hard-core canon going on there!

#33

Really? Hmmm, I’m hard pressed to think of that many stories that involved someone hell bent on destroying Earth. V’ger wasn’t really determined to destroy Earth so much as seek his creator…the Borg wanted to destroy all of mankind. The Probe was merely trying to find whales to talk to. Shinzon wanted to destroy Earth for some ridiculous and whiny reason, but that’s the only one I can think of that involved someone deliberately setting out to destroy Earth specifically.

Ordered my TPB 3/24…..finally shipped today, excited! :)

@37-

Shinzon wanted to destroy earth because of…um..

Well, you see, Picard’s blood…no, wait…

The Federation…um, the needs of the many…

no, uh…humanity…geez…prime directive…

You know what I just realized? Nero looks eerily similar to Nosferatu when he’s dressed in black.

@30. That Nutty Fanboy

I hear (or rather, read) what you are saying. And as we’ve seen in ST:TNG a Borg vessel can be overwhelmingly destroyed or tricked into shutting down, but this is the case of a 24th/25th Century starship going up against… well, something akin to a 22nd Century starship, rather than a 1990’s tanker going up against a 1860’s warship. Borg shields and powerful weapons more than make up the difference against mid-23rd Century photon torpedoes and phasers.

I mean, even the Defiant, who was built to battle the Borg, had a hard enough time against them, and she had better weapons than the Enterprise-E. (“Ramming speed” for desperation and “adrift but salvageable” for the aftermath are clues as to how she fared.)

Only 6 more days and i get to see what happens after they go through the black hole.

@39

Shinzon wanted to destroy the Earth because he did not want to pay all the late fees he had with a couple of libraries, Blockbuster Video, and a few parking tickets.

It’s overkill, but this is Shinzon we’re talking about. Poor guy had Small Ears Syndrome.

#39, 43

Those are better than the reasons actually provided in the movie, so bravo! ;)

Good. I’m glad Romulus got blown-up, I’m tired of that planet.

The Enterprise in the film (Uglyprise) is no longer the TOS Enterprise. It has been upgraded with more modern technology (from the future) to combat Nero’s ship. Perhaps the Enterprise E has been destroyed on back in time…and the new Uglyprise is an attempt to reconstruct it.

C’mon payday… HURRY UP!!!

So that’s the whole backstory of Nero. I gotta say I am seriously underwhelmed. He’s doing this because he blames everyone in every major planet for the death of his world- a very huge reach for a normal rational person. That sort of emotional reaction usually lasts a few months and then reason reasserts itself, but I guess the argument is that he became unhinged- which is a lousy motivation for a movie villain IMO. Khan had good reason to blame Kirk- it was a direct correlation between Kirk marooning the group on that planet and never checking on them to Khan’s wife’s fate. An average moviegoer could relate to Khan and his motivation, but I can’t relate to Nero’s as it is presented here. I hope the movie does a better job of explaining this than the comic seems to, I hope there’s more to it that what looks like a petulant child’s temper tantrum.

With regards the TOS enterprise standing up against nero and his Borg pimped ship. I cant imagine traveling throu a black hole is good for a ship. Whats to say that the ships are both damaged in some way. And since the tech isnt available to repair said ships weapons.
Your stuck with a ship with lots of guns but no way to get them working.

#32

You’re a genius. Nero is actually Basil Fawlty! Maybe the thing which tipped him over the edge was when Pike dropped by and ordered a Waldorf Salad.
I guess Ayel is ‘from Barcelona’

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