Vulcan pit fighting, bar brawls, Corvette racing, motorcycles, and snubs. Where you ask? Why, it’s the second issue of IDW’s Star Trek movie comic-book adaptation. Kirk and Spock are into their teens and causing trouble! Read to find out how it all works out in our review.
STAR TREK: THE MOVIE ADAPTATION #2 REVIEW
Following on from last month’s opener, the second issue of IDW’s Star Trek movie adaptation picks up the story a few years later. Things start with Spock taking a test at school on Vulcan, showing him getting bullied because of his deficiency. The story then skips to Earth to pick up Kirk’s auto theft and canyon smashup before closing out Spock’s story on Vulcan and the first meeting of Kirk and Uhura.
Like with the previous issue, the adaptation continues to be presented as an extended version of the film, with new inclusions and deleted scenes. Issue 2 opens by expanding the scene of young Spock being quizzed at school, including the addition of a new a new question (one that looks like an attempt to explain the "quantum" logic of the movie’s alternate reality). We also see an extended version young Kirk’s Corvette joyride scene, which now includes a portion of a deleted scene (with Uncle Frank and Jim Kirk’s older brother). This part in particular is a good example of how writers Mike Johnson and Tim Jones seem to have gotten comic book timing down, limiting the actual joyride to two pages of four panels each. This scene features few words, some sound effects, and no Beastie Boys, but gets the gist of the five minute scene across in a two page spread.
The final half of the story plays out in much the same manner as the movie, ending issue with a fantastic rendition of an iconic shot from the film. Johnson and Jones have obviously been given some leeway to play with the pacing, and this has allowed them to give it more of a feel that works in the comic environment, unlike IDW’s adaptation of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan last year which stuck too closely to the script and pacing of the film, and did not translate well as a comic book.
David Messina continues the art, including the cover art, and his work inside the book is inked once again by Gaetano Carlucci. Like some of his work on the "Countdown" series, Messina effectively presents the book in a style that is reminiscent of the look of the feature film, even including some lens flares! Combined with Giovanna Niro’s coloring, the artists have used slight blurring in a few panels to strongly indicate the feel of movement, but do not overuse it, so that the effect never wears out its welcome. Messina sticks to using page-wide panels, 4 to a page for most of the story, breaking up the wide panels into two smaller ones for conversations, but the format does not feel forced, and the story is allowed to flow fairly comfortably.
The second issue continues with the strengths of the first, and improves the pacing significantly. Once again, there is one deleted scene brought into the mix, and some small bits of dialogue added and removed to give the story a feel that suits the comic book environment. Now that the coming-of-age stories are out of the way, the next issue will move on to Kirk’s time at the academy and the Kobyashi Maru. It will also be interesting to see how this movie adaptation series will connect and possibly overlap with last year’s "Star Trek Nero" series.
So far, this adaptation series is a good way to revisit the movie, and is managing to set itself apart in a different medium.
Star Trek: The Movie Adaptation issue 2 is available in comic stores now. You can order it from TFAW.