Recalled 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.
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.
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.
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
- September: Pike (TOS) by Stuart Moore, art by J. K. Woodward
- October/November: Jellico, by Keith R. A. DeCandido, art by J. K. Woodward
- November/December: Garrett by Robert Greenberger, art by George Freeman
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.
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.