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TrekInk: Review of ‘Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Harriman’ + Details On Rest Of Series May 5, 2010

by Mark Martinez , Filed under: Comics,Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Review,TOS , trackback

teaserRecalled to active duty for a medical emergency, McCoy confronts his grief and the man many hold responsible for the death of Jim Kirk, captain of the Enterprise-B, John Harriman. IDW Publishing releases the second one-shot in their Captain’s Log series this week. Find out Harriman fares in our review below. Plus we have exclusive details on the final three issues in this series. Spoilers ahead.

 

Star Trek: Captain’s Log – Harriman
written by Marc Guggenheim, art by Andrew Currie, colors by Moose Baumann

Six months after Jim Kirk’s death, McCoy is back aboard the Enterprise-B to assist with a medical emergency. Still grieving for his friend and unhappy about being recalled to active duty, his introduction to Captain John Harriman is unceremonious and graceless. Later, McCoy apologizes to Harriman, who still appears terribly uncomfortable in command, and tells the younger man about a time in Kirk’s past, when he was unsure of himself. Confronted by Klingons unhappy about the Khitomer Accords, Harriman’s mettle is tested again and when it looks like he’s going to fold, he surprises his crew and McCoy. Stardate 9856.4

Writer Marc Guggenheim takes on a difficult task, telling a story about a minor character from Star Trek: Generations, best known for allowing James T. Kirk to die. Examining Harriman’s life after such a traumatic event is appealing and challenging to a writer. Guggenheim wisely brings Leonard McCoy into the story to reinvigorate Harriman and to remind him that a little bit of basic captain-of-the-Enterprise sleight-of-hand goes a long way. I enjoyed reading Captain’s Log – Harriman and surprisingly, I didn’t experience the annoying blending of Harriman with Cameron Frye, a character from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off also played by actor Alan Ruck. My thanks to Guggenheim for allowing me to bury Cameron.

question

Harriman’s story is illustrated by Star Trek comics veteran Andrew Currie. Previously, he worked on Wildstorm’s Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Killing Shadows and TNG/DS9 relaunch mini-series Star Trek: Divided We Fall. As a veteran, I expect good things from Currie and he delivers. Most of the story is presented in close-ups of Harriman, McCoy and other Enterprise crew members. Currie handles them all with skill. Moose Baumann does a fine job coloring this issue too. As strange as it may sound, I’d have let him get away with much less work simply because of the intense blue he uses for McCoy’s eyes. Very striking work. I know it’s not terribly important to most readers, but I also like the design of the indicia page, which has an appealing LCARS theme. So, overall, a surprisingly good story about Captain John Harriman, a Star Trek character who doesn’t get much respect.

hell

The regular cover for Star Trek: Captain’s Log – Harriman features the title character looking over his shoulder at the man he replaced as captain of the Enterprise. Drawn by David Messina and subtly colored by Giovanna Niro, it’s very appropriate for the story. The retailer incentive photo cover features a grumpy-looking Harriman seated in the captain’s chair.

harriman harriman retailer incentive

Details on rest of Captain’s Log Series

IDW hasn’t solicited any new comics in the Captain’s Log series yet, but IDW tells TrekMovie there are three more to look forward to, finishing out the series by the end of the year. IDW has lined up a stellar group of creators for the rest of the captains, including Robert Greenberger’s return to Star Trek comics. Here is the schedule as far as we know

All in all, several Star Trek veterans and a fellow who’s worked on Captain Canuck, The X-Files and Elvira. What’s not to like about this scenario?

CORRECTION NOTE: Originally this article noted that Gordon Purcell was doing the art for Jellico, however it appears that Woodward was doing both Pike and Jellico. We are awaiting final confirmation of this on Monday from IDW.

The Captain’s Log comics won’t be available in trade paperback until next year, so stop by your local comic shop this week and pick up a copy of Star Trek: Captain’s Log – Harriman. You can also shop online at TFAW.

Captain’s Log
Sulu

Captain’s Log
Harriman

$2.99
(January)

$3.19
(May 5)

Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. You can visit his website, the Star Trek Comics Checklist for more than you ever needed to know about Star Trek comics.

Comments

1. The Gorn Identity - May 5, 2010

It was a pretty good issue. Loved McCoy and the guidance he provided Harriman with.

2. Allen Williams - May 5, 2010

that man should have never been captain in the first place. His character was such a joke. (basing this entirely on the movie)

3. VOODOO - May 5, 2010

If I were doing a comic book sequel that involved Harriman it would be about him being kicked out of Starfleet for being incompetent.

Harriman was a complete and total imbecile in Generations. How could an idiot like him possibly be the captain of the Enterprise? How could the writers have made him so stupid?

The Harriman charachter is just another reason to hate Generations.

4. CmdrR - May 5, 2010

2 & 3 – Thank you.
Nothing against Alan Ruck, but Harriman isn’t even a fully realized character. He’s on the screen to be a loser, so Kirk can die heroically. It’s a forced scene in a mediocre movie. I really don’t lose much sleep wondering what happened to him. Now, Jacqueline Kim as Demora… she’s welcome in my dreams anytime.

5. Sean - May 5, 2010

Actually…err I quite liked Harriman! I think the character was put into the impossible situation of having a half-completed half-crewed ship surrounded by reporters trying to be in the same room as a living legend! You guys try and do better! oh wait…you haven’t captained a starship have you?? so there! *sticks his tongue out*

6. Fraser Link - May 5, 2010

Um … and perhaps there’s a reasonable explanation for this … but why is 1701-A on the Harriman comic cover … and not 1701-B?

Or am I being too picky? It’s been a long week already, so perhaps I am …

7. CarlG - May 5, 2010

I believe this is what TV Tropes calls “being rescued from the scrappy heap”…. :)

8. Anthony Pascale - May 5, 2010

RE: ent A

not sure why people keep harping on this. As pointed out by Mark in the article, Harriman is looking back (or looking over his shoulder) to the last captain of the enterprise and the last enterprise. In effect he is haunted by Kirk and Kirk’s ship

9. nate - May 5, 2010

This was a good issue–and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series! The writers are talented, George Freeman is good and Gordon Purcell is the best regular artist Trek ever had!

10. Spectre7 - May 5, 2010

HAHAHA,

2,3 & 4

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

He reaked of inexperience yet he had gray hairs…. a complete disgrace to the Enterprise lineage.

11. Decados - May 5, 2010

I”m wonding if some of the commenters here have actually…WATCHED.. the Trek Series. The episodes are FULL of examples of people who were in high positions, other captains, admirals, ambassadors, envoys, who were either clearly imcompotent or so utterly arrogant as to be near to useless.

To act surprised that Harriman wasn’t to stuff, compared with some of the other sterling examples of other federation officers we’ve seen is a bit.. disingenous.

12. AnotherQ - May 5, 2010

“Star Trek: Of Gods & Men” brought the character
(and Alan Ruck) back to close up some of those
loose ends from Generations, and done quite
well with an entire Trek cast IMHO. Please check
it out if you haven’t already.

13. S. John Ross - May 5, 2010

#3: “How could the writers have made him so stupid?”

It’s a work-saving trick common in _many_ of the movies (including the most recent one) … instead of doing the work of making the heroes heroic through their choices and challenges, you make others in Starfleet or the UFP incompetent, shortsighted, cowardly or pathetic :(

Kind of like how they used to (?) stand shrimpy leading men next to artificially shortened doors to make them look taller. Same basic idea.

14. S. John Ross - May 5, 2010

(the above said, I think the Harriman comic looks pretty cool and I rather liked him in his recent fan-film appearances …)

15. Neal - May 5, 2010

Like it was said above, he wasn’t a fully realized character. We don’t know what experience he had. We don’t know what type of ship he was on before the B. We don’t now if he had been a First Officer and had just been promoted. We don’t know a damn thing about the character. And just like in the TNG crew Shatner’s books, he was made to look like an idiot to make Kirk that much more badass. Like he needed it right?

One thing that people keep forgetting to mention. Harriman was on his way out to Deflector controls leaving Kirk in charge. Kirk, told him that his place was on the bridge and that he would go. Hence sealing his fate. Plus if u add in the fact that the shields had been compromised as they were leaving and the energy ribbon was highly unstable and unpredictable. No one could have seen that hit coming.

Now, I’m sure u guys are wondering, “Why the hell is this schmuck defending him?” Simple, it wasn’t his fault. There were too many variables that could have never been predicted.

16. ryanhuyton - May 5, 2010

So the next three issues will revolve around Captains Pike, Jellico and Garrett. Looking forward to Pike and especially Garrett since we don’t know much about her or the Enterprise-C apart from the legendary and honorable sacrifices made in defending the Klingon outpost from four Romulan Warbirds.

Jellico, on the other hand, was seen in the “New Frontier” comics so I’m not so sure why we need to see him again.

I think we could see a “round two” of the “Captain’s Log” series just like IDW did with the “Alien Spotlight” line. So hopefully we will get to see Captain Archer, Captain DeSoto, Captain Pressman, or even a Captain Ransom issue.

17. John Lewis, Jr. - May 5, 2010

God help me, I wanna read this. My geekdom knows no bounds.

Seriously, I always wonder what happened to this guy after he “wrecked his father’s starship.” The general public, much like Trek fandom, would blame him for Kirk’s death.

I’d actually like a mini series as opposed to a one shot.

18. gulfjetguy - May 5, 2010

Aww! Everybody’s being so harsh on Harriman. We all know he was put into a difficult situation in Generations. Come On! WE all know that they were not the only starship in the area (realistically. there were possibly hundreds of others), but when there’s an “Enterprise” near by, Starfleet (in all its wisdom) always assumes the “Enterprise” is the only ship equipped for the mission, even though it most certainly wasn’t in Generations. Sure, Harriman was clearly inexperienced, but what more would you expect combining inexperience with a grossly under equipped starship? And BTW, has anyone read “Serpents Among the Ruins” from the Lost Era series? Good book about the Enterprise’s involvement in the Tomed incident and in my opinion greatly redeems Harimans’s character.

19. Zebonka - May 5, 2010

Come on – if anyone deserves a comic it’s Matt Decker. I want to see him nail some Klingons. He didn’t get those braids for knitting, folks …

20. www.chrisfawkes.com - May 6, 2010

Harriman killed Kirk due to his inexperience.

Picard killed Kirk by taking him to a point in time where Soran was about to launch his missile instead of going back earlier to the Enterprise when they Had Soran on board and could have easily over taken him.

Picards level of incompetence was far greater than Harriman’s.

Consider also Picard could have gone back to the Enterprise without the need for Kirks help. Kirk could have gone back to his own timeline.

How about a captains log story where we see some hotshot lawyer going over the logs and then bringing Picard to court martial for his role in Kirks death.

21. Fraser Link - May 6, 2010

Hi Anthony,

Okay, fair ball – wasn’t harping, was just asing, and I guess I didn’t make the direct connection to the haunting illusion when it came to the Ent-A because the image doesn’t seem to be as “ghosted” as the image of Kirk.

Thanks! :0)

22. Selor Kiith - May 6, 2010

Well it wasn’t all Harrimans fault… his Ship was undercrewed and not even completed and full of stupid reporters… that should have been the first test flight around Jupiter dammit… what do you think he should have done different than what he has done? He was the one who wanted to go down to deflector control to save the ships but he was stopped by Kirk and stayed on the Bridge saving about as much as he can…

23. CarlG - May 6, 2010

@16: Really? Oooh, I’m hyped for the Captain Garrett one!

24. Dom - May 6, 2010

20. Chris Fawkes

Incompetence was the watchword in Generations: Harriman was incompetent and froze in a rescue mission in front of Federation (and possibly non-Federation) journalists and their cameras and Jim Kirk apparently died bailing him out!

Starfleet ought to have demoted or sacked Harriman and questions should have been asked about why there were no other starships in the vicinity of Sector 001. All in all, a huge embarrassment for Starfleet, a great story for the media and there should have been any number of resignations. Whatever the case Harriman ought to have been transferred out of the limelight!

As for Jean-Luc: your chief engineer is captured and tortured and you don’t check his VISOR to see if it’s been tampered with. WTF?! You then allow him to walk around the ship unsupervised and you allow top secret information like shield frequencies to be visible to all engineering crew members.

In TNG, that would likely be need-to-know info for the Captain, First Officer, Head of Security and the Chief Engineer. Geordi ought to have been quarantined in sickbay or quarters until the mission was over, all secure info Geordi could have had access to reset and the VISOR should have been confiscated.

Additionally, your Android crewmember puts in an emotion chip without asking permission and becomes a gibbering jackanapes, compromising a mission and allowing LaForge to be captured. LaForge and Data should both have been suspended, as should Worf, as head of security for allowing an incompetent/incapacitated/emotionally-compromised crewmember to take part in a landing party!

Whatever my issues with TNG as a show, Generations is so dumbed-down compared with its parent as to be rather offensive!

25. Rah - May 6, 2010

I also have opinions, but they seem to be covered.
In general, i think people need to chill, a wee bit.
All in all, “the Higher, the Fewer”

26. jobryant100 - May 6, 2010

24. Dom – May 6, 2010

Actually I need to correct you on one point Dom. Geordi was beamed back to the Enterprise at the same time Picard was beamed to the planet surface to talk to Soren. It was supposed to be a prisoner exchange. If anyone was to blame for not checking Geordi’s VISOR it would have been Riker.

27. jas_montreal - May 6, 2010

This looks very interesting. I like the Harriman Log. I always felt like they needed a bit more backstory to Harriman and finally we get something ! Gonna purchase this.

28. www.chrisfawkes.com - May 6, 2010

Well said Dom. The entire story was so dumbed down to be insulting to Trekkies and the general public.

Such a shame.

While i appreciated Of God’s and Men Crawley’s line about these original crew memebrs being living legends was painful. It was a bad line in Generations when Harriman delivered it. To revisit a line already painful was not good.

I was pleasantly surprised by the overall story though. Not perfect perhaps but much better than Generations without the $$$ behind it.

29. OneBuckFilms - May 6, 2010

26 – If there’s any blame for the Visor security hole, it would probably come down to Dr. Crusher, who gave him a medical exam.

It’s likely she didn’t know what to look for, so even then it’s a stretch.

We can’t blame people for not thinking of something that is only obvious or deemed possible in hindsight.

The saying that hindsight is always 20/20 comes to mind.

As for Harriman, I suspect he was there simply because of his ability to speak to the press. The Enterprise-B launch looks like a publicity event, and the Enterprise-B was not meant to go into action, but merely look good on camera before going on active duty.

Harriman was not expected to deal with actual missions, and may well have been posted to the Enterprise-B before becoming a spokesperson for Starfleet. There are moments in that sequence when he immediately draws attention by stating that they were going on a round trip to Pluto and back (or something), when Kirk was uncomfortable with the cameras.

30. Doug Skywalker - May 6, 2010

@15 and 20: Neal and Chris Fawkes

Couldn’t agree more. Harriman jumped at the chance to save his own ship, giving Kirk the opening to feed his desire to be captain again. but, given that Generations was what it was, it’s best to just chalk it up to poor movie making in general. i think we all agree that Harriman was written that way on purpose.

and i’m sure Picard thought of going back to BEFORE it all went downon Veridian, but then the movie itself woudl’ve fallen into the cliche sci-fi time-travel notion of “don’t worry, it’ll all be fixed and everything will be back to normal when i go back in time” that we see that WAY too much. ST: ENT did this on a few occasions and the stories were ruined because of it. i mean, why bother putting our heroes through all that hardship just to erase it all and go back to boring status quo?

that, and i’m sure Picard was trying to not violate the Temporal Prime Directive that they bring up heavily in First Contact. not to mention a visit from Temporal Affairs is the last thing he needed.

what they probably could’ve done was allow Picard to see the Ent-D crash and possibly explode from the impact, knowing that someone could’ve been up there to help the crew. then, he faces a moral dilema in the Nexus: save his ship or the planet. thus, allowing Kirk to go to the Ent-D to save them while Picard goes to stop Soren.

in fact, i’m sure any of us could’ve written a better plot and script than that. thanks Paramount and Rick Berman for ruining a great concept and opportunity (and several characters along with it).

31. www.chrisfawkes.com - May 6, 2010

I think Rick Berman is being investigated by Temporal affairs as we speak. A court martial for the death of Kirk would be in order i should thing.

32. M_E - May 6, 2010

“26 – If there’s any blame for the Visor security hole, it would probably come down to Dr. Crusher, who gave him a medical exam.

It’s likely she didn’t know what to look for, so even then it’s a stretch.”

We could stretch things even a bit more… :)
We see in the TOS episode where hostile Klingos at beamed aboard the Enterprise that it´s possible to keep people in “transit” during transportation and even strip them of their weapons; so it makes sense to think that the characteristics of the VISOR might be recorded for security reasons so when Geordi is beamed at any time, any tampering on the VISOR would at least trigger an alarm so the device could be disabled still on the transport room.
Of course, that´s not how films/books/comics work or there wouldn´t be any story at all… :) so many plots would stop on that room! :)

33. Tallguy - May 6, 2010

Harriman was smart enough to know Enterprise couldn’t do the job (until Tuesday). His only sin was folding to Kirk. (And being the writer’s straw man as said above.)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v176/wpthomas007/Misc/Motivators/Heroes.jpg Here’s a more graphic rendition of my opinion.

34. Reign1701A - May 6, 2010

All these complaints you guys have about Harriman are addressed in the comic ya know. I picked up yesterday, it was excellent. I didn’t like the re-use of classic lines from earlier films but whatever. Excellent and mature look at the aftermath of Kirk’s apparent death.

35. Frederick - May 6, 2010

Harriman was invented just to make Kirk look better, which was an example of the poor writing that went into this film. Starfleet wouldn’t put such a poor Captain in that seat so soon after Kirk. It’s hard to feel sympathy for such a thin character or warm up to efforts to flesh him out. He didn’t belong there, pure and simple.

36. The Emissary Of The JJverse - May 6, 2010

#3..in all fairness we saw only a small bit of Harriman in Generations, and that was before Enterprise B even was assigned to its first mission… in all fairness though I see where you’re coming from; I think they should’ve given Chekov or Uhura command of the Enterprise B…

#20…good point, especially since technically, when Picard exited the NExus onto Veridian 3 there shouldve been a SECOND Picard, the one from BEFORE the Nexus approached, still on Veridian 3…

TO ALL: As for Geordi’s VISOR being a security risk…they didnt need to quarantine him…all they wouldve needed to do was have Crusher keep his VISOR for examination and since it was said that Geordi had more than one VISOR, have one of the others brought in for him to use…

As for Data, last time I checked, Starfleet didnt control what one can do with their own personal affairs…Data was declared to be sentient, and saying he was prohibited from implanting the emotion chip wouldve stated he was property…

37. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 6, 2010

In the Fan Movie Star Trek of Gods and Men we see Harriman doing much better as he tries with Uhurah and Checkov fix the Time line. That was a great example of what John Harriman did after the events in Generations. The IDW Comic will be great in telling more of his story.

38. Reptileboy - May 6, 2010

I have to say that I really liked this edition of The Captains Log. It’s a nice idea to focus on less well known captains within the trek universe. Who knows, we might even get a first Enterprise era comic with Captain Erika Hernandez.

I’m a huge Generations fans and to see Harriman and his crew fleshed out a bit was a huge plus. Although I am tired of the rehash of his flawed personality. I would much prefer to see a Harriman born from the trajedy of Kirks death and moulded into one of Starfleets finest captains. As McCoy points out, he did have much of a ship to captain when he left spacedock. Were it not for the experience of both Kirk and Scotty then things would have been much worse.

Well done to IDW overall though, the Star Trek comics over the past year or so have been some of the best I’ve read in my long fandom.

39. Neumann - May 6, 2010

I quite liked Alan Ruck’s take on the background of Harriman, that he’s a political man trying to make a name for himself, so that the Enterprise gig was just a notch in his belt. Actually, the whole launch of the Enterprise B seemed like a political move, Starfleet pushed the ship out before it was ready just for the media blitz, and probably to shift attention away from some other problem. You’re telling me bureaucracy still doesn’t foul up in the future?

Chris

40. Rah - May 6, 2010

If you think about it, Picard is actually still in the Nexus, everything we have seen since is just his fantasy life playing out, Guinan clearly states that the Nexus can give you anything you want, so the next 3 movies are all in Picard’s mind.
It makes sense.
Really.

41. Dom - May 6, 2010

26. jobryant100

Picard is still captain of the ship and therefore responsible. He also abandoned it in a battle situation. Bad decision-making all-round? Unquestionably! They’re supposed to be professional soldiers and they let the shop’s security be compromised that badly . . .

42. Élio Ribeiro - May 6, 2010

A little SPOILER:
About the way captain Harriman defeats the klingon ship, don’t you find a little lame? I mean, you could think that when someone designs a starship, could also think of a way to prevent that from happening.

By the way, it’s a rip off an episode of Voyager. And I also didn’t like it how a borg cube could be so easily defeated.

43. Reign1701A - May 7, 2010

42. That was a Borg scout ship not a Cube. But point taken anyway.

44. Dom - May 7, 2010

36. The Emissary Of The JJverse: ‘As for Data, last time I checked, Starfleet didnt control what one can do with their own personal affairs…’

No, but military protocol would require him to inform a higher authority of him modifying his operational hardware, as it would be likely to affect his ability to do his job.

‘Data was declared to be sentient, and saying he was prohibited from implanting the emotion chip wouldve stated he was property…’

No, it’s a security issue. Data is stronger, faster and more intelligent than any other person on the Enterprise. Suppose the chip had turned him into a psychotic killer rather than a Jerry Lewis wannabe. He could have destroyed the ship and killed everyone on board. At the very least, he would have needed to be put in quarantine for his and everyone else’s safety. Instead, he nearly got his best friend killed and that action indirectly led to the destruction of the Enterprise!

As soon as it was discovered that he had installed the chip, Picard should have had Data deactivated and sent to the Daystrom Institute. Sentient being’s rights are all very well, but there are limits!

45. Keith R.A. DeCandido - May 7, 2010

I don’t know where you guys got that information about the rest of “Captain’s Log,” but it’s off.

J.K. Woodward is providing the artwork for the Jellico comic, not Gordon Purcell. J.K. has, in fact, sent me the first several pages, and just confirmed via e-mail that he’s finishing it up this weekend.

So, uh, could you guys fix that? :)

—KRAD

46. Captain Rickover - May 8, 2010

# 44
Data was declared a personal beeing in TNG’s second season and not a property of starfleet. And the emotion chip are his personal property and not starfleet’s. So it his right to test it and implant it in his brain.

The other question is, was is it a right decission? Perhaps he should have tested it first, before going out on a mission.

On the other hand, there are so many disastrous decissions made in the history of Star Trek (from TOS to NEM) the ones in GEN are no exeption. But you’re right with your point that never before there were so MANY bad decission in just one movie.

I.) why the El-Aurian transports don’t avoid the Nexus in the first place? What happend with their bridge crews?

II.) Why no one on the Enterprise B was capable of doing the right thing? Harriman was stunned and Kirk’s decission to bring an untested ship in grave danger (an with it many civillians as well!) and go the deflector controll room alone was not much better. Why they fly in a thing no one knew anything about? Kirk’s decission could have been killed them all killed! Okay, Kirk was reckless sometimes, but that went to far even for him.

III.) The entire crew of the Enterprise-D failed as well. Beaten by a 20 year old tiny Bird of Prey! MAN! What a bunch of losers! And that from the crew who beats the Borg and hundrets of other problems. Why they never consider to shoot down Soran’s missles. They were not cloaked and needed several seconds to get to their target. Something went very, very wrong.

IV.) The klingon sisters must have gone mad! And as they face their end (what should have been predictable, because allready B’Etor knew they have no chance against a Galaxy-class ship), they were so stunned, they never ordered evasive action or shut down the damn cloaking device or – at least – abandon ship.

All that incompetenc-situations have one thing in common: The Nexus was near! My theorie is, this energy-thing somehow manipulate the brains of humanoids – even the ones of the writers of that movie! ;)

Starfleet is not the imperial Navy from the star wars universe! Personal rights are staying above everything in starfleet, as Kirk pointed out very well in several episodes and movies.

47. Keith R.A. DeCandido - May 8, 2010

Thanks for the correction!

48. Mark Martinez - May 8, 2010

and another correction from KRAD, JK Woodward is the artist for Pike, not Gordon Purcell, sorry about the confusion

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