This week there were no new issues of Star Trek comics, but IDW has recently released two trade paperback collections of comic series from earlier in the year. Today we take a look these two series collections, "Mission’s End" and "Crew", each of which takes a look at a different end of the Original Series era.
MISSION’S END TPB QUICK REVIEW
Ty Templeton and Stephen Molnar took a look at the USS Enterprise’s final mission in their Mission’s End mini-series. The story begins on stardate 1136.2 on one of the first missions in Kirk’s five years before jumping forward to the final mission. As per usual with Star Trek comics, things inevitably go wrong. In this case, i’s a revolution. This quickly leads to some impressive destruction and some hand-to-hand combat, Kirk-style. The story starts off a bit slow, but picks up rapidly. There are a few leaps in this story that force the reader to write parts of the tale on his or her own, but most of them play out like a television episode, there are only one or two that stand out as awkward. Ty Templeton brings his story to a close early, allowing for an elongated epilogue that reads like the last 10 minutes of Deep Space Nine’s final episode, “What You Leave Behind”. In a sense, this is what the last episode of the original Star Trek could have played out like at the end… if it had been given the chance.
The art ranges from excellent to decent, dropping in quality toward the middle of the story, but the colors pop off the page, bringing the TV series to mind as they do. In fact, one of the covers in the gallery, by Kevin Maguire, captures the gist of the series synopsis in one clean image of Kirk, McCoy, and Spock walking in three separate directions as the Starfleet emblem shatters behind them. Some of the dialogue is a bit difficult to read due to the font used, but as with anything, repetition makes things easier. This is not the best of the original series comic stories to date, but the epilogue stands comfortably with the best of IDW’s Star Trek works.
The "Mission’s End" Trade Paperback is available now.
CREW TPB QUICK REVIEW
John Byrne returns to the Star Trek universe, this time focusing on one of the most underutilized characters in the Star Trek television universe, Number One. No matter how you look at it, this series is John Byrne’s love letter to Majel Barrett and her Number One character, even to the point where each issue was dedicated to her. The character grows through each issue, and hints as to why she is in the position during Pike’s tenure on the Enterprise in “The Cage” are apparent throughout.
Most of the five chapters in this collection play out like classic original series episodes, and it is obvious that Byrne has a good feeling for the pacing and style of the series. Number One finally joins the Enterprise crew by the fourth chapter, and once she arrives on board the ship, who is the first person she meets, but Lieutenant Commander Pike. It is moments like this that make this story a can’t-miss for big fans of the original series. The final issue is set three years later, not long before the events of “The Cage”, and the look and feel of the story reflect that.
As usual, Byrne handles both the writing and art tasks with aplomb. The likenesses of Number One resemble the actress, and the ships and technology pictured perfectly fit the era. The covers presented in the gallery follow the theme of showing the starship in the story as a silhouette with an image from the chapter within. This love letter to a dearly departed beacon in the Star Trek universe is worth adding to any fan’s collection.
The "Crew" Trade Paperback is available now.
More IDW Trek Collections
IDW has been doing Star Trek comics for over a couple of years now and all of the comics they have put out have been put out in trade paperback collections (or soon will be). Each one is like a graphic novel, compiling the whole series.
Previously released collections
|The Space Between [TNG]|
|Klingons Blood Will Tell [TOS]|
|Star Trek Year Four – The Enterprise Experiment [TOS]|
|Alien Spotlight Vol 1 [TOS/TNG]|
|New Frontier: Turnaround [NF]|
|Assignment Earth [TOS (Gary Seven)]|
|Mirror Images [TOS (Mirror Universe)]|
|The Last Generation [TNG (Myriad Universe)]|
|Star Trek: Countdown [TNG/ST09]||Paperback:
|Spock Reflections [TOS/ST09]
|Alien Spotlight [TOS/TNG]
|Fool’s Gold [DS9]