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TrekIn2011: Best Star Trek Books & Comics December 30, 2011

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Books,Comics,Review , trackback

TrekMovie continues our 2011 retrospective today with a look at Star Trek on the printed page. We chose the best in books (fiction and non-fiction) and comic books (new stories, collections and covers). Find out what made the grade below.

 

BEST STAR TREK BOOKS & COMICS OF 2011

Compiled by TrekMovie editors John Tenuto, Mark Martinez and Robert Lyons

Best short story/novella – Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within

The clear winner for short stories and novellas (and in fact for all Star Trek fiction in 2011) was Christopher L. Bennett’s "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within" ebook. It may seem odd to give top marks to what amounts to a novella, but everything about the final installment in the Typhon Pact series for the year was outstanding. The pacing was perfect, the story was rooted in the classic traditions of Star Trek (i.e., contemporary social commentary told through aliens), and right down to the chapter breaks, it felt like the entire outing was designed as an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0. Even if you are not generally an eBook reader (which I am not; I read it on my desktop computer, ouch!), "The Struggle Within" is an absolute must-read for any serious Star Trek: The Next Generation fan.

Best Novel – Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions

As far as the best full-length novel for 2011, the hands down consideration has to the recently released "Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions" by David Mack. "Rise Like Lions" is a story of the last days of the Terran rebellion in the Mirror Universe. Masterfully told, and easily accessible, this second full-length Mirror Universe novel is filled with plenty of twists and turns to both engage the reader’s interest, and to serve as the potential seed of future stories in Star Trek’s ‘alter-ego’ existence. The pages may drip with blood and mayhem, but true to Star Trek’s greatest stories, seeds of hope are found in even the darkest moments. It’s an outstanding journey for Star Trek fans. (Full TrekMovie review for this novel is coming shortly). This is the third time in the last four years that Mack has topped
TrekMovie’s favorite Novel list (with "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game" in 2010 and the "Star Trek: Destiny" trilogy in 2008).

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Best Non-Fiction Book – Star Trek Vault

Star Trek Vault (by Scott Tipton) is part personal memoir, part nostalgia tour, part history lesson, and all good. There are two things that make Star Trek Vault unique: first, Tipton’s text is replete (like the universe’s turning points) with photos tracing not only the history of Star Trek, but also its merchandising and collectibles, something that hasn’t been done before. Second, the Vault includes reproductions of production items and collectibles (a favorite: the Wrath of Khan pendant and TMP stickers) adding to the fun. For Trekkies familiar with the history, the collectibles discussion adds some nice detail usually ignored. for those new to Trek, this is a great way to learn about the program and the items it has spawned. How about a TNG version next?

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Best Comic Book Series/Arc – Infestation: Star Trek

IDW Publishing took a six-month break from Star Trek comics during 2011, so it was a lean year for new Star Trek comics. IDW came storming back Fall 2011, with their first ongoing Star Trek series and a crossover mini-series featuring characters from the original series and DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes. However, TrekMovie staff agree (with some surprise) that the best story of the year was a two-issue story arc, Star Trek: Infestation, published February 2011 as part of a multi-title crossover Infestation event. Written by Scott and David Tipton, with art by Gary Erskine and Casey Maloney, and colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, Star Trek: Infestation stands on its own and you don’t need to read all the other Infestation titles unless you want to. Sporting the comfortable look and feel of an original series television episode, with zombies, Star Trek: Infestation was entertaining in spite of the crossover hoopla. Both issues have been collected in a trade paperback, Infestation Volume 2, and in a forthcoming hardcover collection. See Alex Fletcher’s TrekMovie reviews of Star Trek: Infestation #1 and Star Trek: Infestation #2.

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Star Trek: Infestation #1 A, art by John K. Snyder III, colors by Jason Wright; and Infestation (hardcover), art by Gabriel Rodriguez, coming January 2012

Best Comics Cover Art – Infestation #2 Gold Key Cover

Although IDW only published nine new Star Trek comics in 2011, more than 40 variant covers were produced, featuring an astonishing variety of art and movie set photography. TrekMovie staff agree that the best cover art for 2011 is a toss-up. John K. Snyder III created a cover for Star Trek: Infestation #2 that brought back fond memories of Gold Key Star Trek comic cover art by George Wilson. Joe Corroney is creating a standout series of Starfleet recruiting poster covers for IDW’s first ongoing series, set in the alternate TOS universe of the latest film, Star Trek (2009). A TrekMovie favorite is the unpublished cover for Star Trek Ongoing #2 which was revised and used as a cover for Star Trek Ongoing #3. Orion or Andorian? Which do you prefer?



Star Trek: Infestation #2 A, art by John K. Snyder III, colors by Jason Wright

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Unpublished cover for Star Trek Ongoing #2 and the revised version used for Star Trek Ongoing #3 B, art by Joe Corroney

Honorable mention for best cover art goes to Gordon Purcell who spent ten days sketching 400 zombies by hand (200 Kirks, 100 Spocks, and 100 McCoys) for a retailer incentive edition of Star Trek: Infestation #1. As you can see below, Kirk never looked better.

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Star Trek: Infestation #1 RIB hand sketch by Gordon Purcell on background art by Gabriel Rodriguez

Best Comics Collection/Trade Paperback – Star Trek: Captains Log

IDW Publishing took a brief break from Star Trek comics in 2011 so there weren’t many collections published. IDW began publishing a series of trade paperback reprints titled Star Trek Classics and a series of budget reprints, Star Trek 100-Page Spectacular, but the standout trade paperback for 2011 collected some fascinating one-shot comics published the previous year. The Captain’s Log tales feature Hikaru Sulu, John Harriman, Edward Jellico, and Christopher Pike in command. Unfortunately, a fifth issue featuring Rachel Garrett was cancelled. Nevertheless, this series of one-shot comics is well worth reading. See TrekMovie reviews of Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Pike, Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Harriman, and Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Sulu.

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Star Trek: Captain’s Log trade paperback

Honorable mention for best collection goes to the Star Trek Movie Universe Trade Paperback Box Set which combines the 2009 Star Trek movie adaptation with "Star Trek: Nero" and the "Star Trek: Countdown" prequel in a nice box.

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Star Trek movie box set

Star Trek books and comics available at Amazon

 

 

More 2011 look back to come

 Stay tuned for more retrospective looks back at the year that was.

Comments

1. Harry Ballz - December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

2. Dee - lvs moon' surface - December 30, 2011

Yeah… Happy New Year!!!

:-) :-)

3. RoadSiren21 - December 30, 2011

it’s new year’s eve on my part of the world. To Anthony, the entire crew of Trekmovie.com and to all the people of the message boards, Happy New Year! :)

4. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 30, 2011

Here too. It is 31 December, 12.29pm, it’s Auckland and it has been raining off and on since for some days now and promises to do more of the same. It is a very warm 22 degree Celsius and wet. The humidity feels like it is through the roof.

I am bagging up wet washing (laundry) to take to the local laundromat dryers as I can’t get anything dry and it is supposed to be Summer. Normally everything gets dried after about 3 or 4 hours outside by that very natural heating drying agent called the sun. Alas, this is not the case right now. But, as we say here, it’s good for the gardens!

On the other hand BsS is lolling around in a hot Dunedin Summer. Didn’t anyone tell you that it is good to share?…:) Did you not hear about the major flooding in Nelson? Yikes.

Happy New Year to everyone, everywhere! May it be a very fulfilling and great new year for all those involved in making the new Star Trek movie. Wishing all every success.

5. CarlG - December 30, 2011

Haha, I love that comic cover — so much cheesy B-movie goodness! :)

Christopher L Bennett and David Mack continue to be awesome — no surprises there.

Happy New Years everyone! Here’s to a Trekalicious 2012! :)

6. Red Dead Ryan - December 30, 2011

The “Star Trek Vault” is a must buy. Some neat articles, and some cool mementos.

The “Captain’s Log” collection is great too.

The Captain Garrett issue was written, but disappeared into a Kerr loop…..and wound up twenty-two years in the future!

7. CarlG - December 30, 2011

Aww, I think we need more Captain Garrett. Not cool, IDW.

8. Red Dead Ryan - December 30, 2011

Things around here just haven’t felt right since the Garrett issue disappeared!

9. Phil - December 30, 2011

B movie comic cover – great! Man eating Tribbles are a plus, too.

IDK, maybe Captain Garrett could have evolved into some hard nosed, hard drinking Captain who got the crappy assignments because Starfleet blamed him for Kirks death, and made the most of them. It might make an interesting narrative…..

10. Red Dead Ryan - December 30, 2011

#9.

Captain Garrett was a woman….

11. Phil - December 30, 2011

10. Oops. Hey, Starbuck went both ways, so why not?

12. Red Dead Ryan - December 30, 2011

#11.

Yeah, I think I’d prefer that Garrett remain a woman. Afterall, every other ship named Enterprise had a male captain. I’d prefer to see the C have a female captain*.

*Technically, Lt. Castillo became captain after the death of Garrett when the E-C went back into its proper time. So you already had a male captain of the ship, albeit for a very short time before the ship was destroyed and the surviving crew were taken as prisoners by the Romulans.

13. AJ - December 30, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR TrekMovie-ites!

14. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - December 30, 2011

About a week ago my non-Trekkie friend gave me a Star Trek Omnibus comic book. I’ve never been into comics much, but that book has increased my fandom by a few pages.

It being almost New Years, I would like to honestly, unashamedly say that because of Star Trek, 2011 has been one of the most fun and interesting years I’ve ever lived. So thank you, Gene Roddenberry, for your creation; thank you TrekMovie for your awesome website; and thank you Trek fans for your fandom, your cosplay, your fascinating threads, and much much more.

Live Long and Prosper–happy Trekking.

:-) \\//

15. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - December 30, 2011

Ahh Star Trek Mirror universe Rise Like lions was my Fave. Long Live the Terran Empire.

16. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 30, 2011

#16 Commodore – Has Bob Orci given back the agonizer? I mean, we don’t want it falling into the wrong hands…

17. Douglas - December 30, 2011

I hope in 2012, during the filming of the next Star Trek film, there will be some professional and comprehensive “making of” material with good photography, interviews, perhaps some time-lapse photography in set building, following the production showing problem solving in scenes, multiple takes of scenes, costume design, make-up (especially since make-up on the last one earned an Oscar), music scoring, etc. As a photographer, I sometimes cringe at how low the productions values seem to be in documenting these films. I see background footage on films like Lord of the Rings, The Matrix and even much older films such as the original Planet of the Apes and I am stunned at how wonderful they are, yet my heart’s love, Star Trek, seems to have only these “making of” attempts that are sloppy afterthoughts. On both the East coast and West coast there are extraordinary talents, and also in Hawaii, where locations are being used for the next film, that could do a great service in following of creative process in a Star Trek film. Also, with the audience numbers that reality TV rakes in, added to the Star Trek fans that would be attracted to it, this kind of reality capturing would seem to be quite marketable.

I realize that JJ Abrams takes keeping the story a secret very seriously, and I agree with that entirely, however the “making of” would come out much later after filming and would be fully under his control.

When I look at the “Trek Core” web site’s collection of wonderful rare photographs of previous productions I so often wish somebody would be able to organize the documenting of current Star Trek. There is so little in the way of really great photos, with rare exceptions, on past Star Trek productions. I also wish there were more thoughtful background pieces like the one just posted on this site regarding Nichelle Nichols.

The high definition cinematography stills and publicity photographs on GateWorld regarding the Stargate franchise is another example of great archiving and visual compositions. They are glorious!

I often wish I had more photography and material to show the Art of Star Trek to friends, but it’s so rare. The making-of footage sometimes does more harm than good in showing Star Trek as cool because it can be so boring and poorly executed.

Anyway, this is a very long post for me but it is one of my sincere wishes for 2012 that those famous powers-that-be more fully document these historic films that mean so much to so many.

18. Polly - December 30, 2011

Am I the only one who thought investation was a tad… stupid?

19. Jack - December 30, 2011

Happy New Year, to Keachick and everybody.

20. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - December 30, 2011

Hey Keachick. He still has it. Not sure when he will give it back. Lol.

21. Alex Fletcher / Sulfur - December 30, 2011

#18 Polly: Yes, the Infestation concept was pretty… not good. Having said that, the two Star Trek issues? Surprisingly good. I didn’t expect much from them and found that they felt more like a TOS episode than most of the past IDW comics have. Thus our surprise when we all agreed that they were the best comics of the year.

The covers for them? Just class. And for the record, I prefer the Andorian cover to the Orion one.

22. Red Dead Ryan - December 30, 2011

#17.

I read somewhere that a making-of book was planned, as they were saving production stills, but I have no idea what happened to the project. Maybe they’re saving it for a combined ’09/’13 book.

But I agree with you that a making-of book would be a hot seller. I hope they do one for the sequel.

23. Chris M - December 30, 2011

I recently purcahsed Star Trek Vault and would highly recommend it to evryone, it’s the best Star Trek non fiction book you will ever need or want!!

Happy New Year to all my fellow Trekkies!!

24. nate - December 30, 2011

The Vault is really cool, with a lot of pieces that are removable and some things I’ve never seen before. And that Purcell sketch of Zombie Kirk is sweet!

25. Icky - December 30, 2011

Infestation, like most crossovers, was complete crap.

26. WillH85 - December 31, 2011

I got the Star Trek Vault for Christmas, ton of fun looking through that.

27. CarlG - December 31, 2011

@18: Yeah, Trek and zombies is a pretty silly mix, but sometimes silly is fun. I would give it at least a chance.

28. Matthew M - December 31, 2011

E-Books are O.K. for fiction but to pay the same price for an e-book as for a hard copy? Not worth it. I’ll wait for used copies in the local used book stores.
Star Trek comic book art is horrendous! Especially the cover art. Looks like kids amateur hour it’s so bad. Is that suposed to be Sulu? Give me a break.

29. MJ - December 31, 2011

Kind of sucks that The Supreme Court and Paramount will still not let any adult Trek novels based on Trek 2009 come out. Not only that, they still have those first four Trek novels based on Trek 2009 on hold, including one by Alan Dean Foster.

Bob, any update on when, if ever, those four novels and any new novels in the nuTrek universe will be released?

All, I have been asking Bob this question for over 2 years now and he always avoids it, but I can always hope that he will respond someday???

30. Desstruxion - January 1, 2012

I loved the John Harriman story in the Captain’s Log series.

31. DWNicolo - January 2, 2012

This is truly the golden age of Star Trek Comics.

32. SJU - January 2, 2012

Good article. Always like to see what’s good.

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