The prequel to Star Trek Into Darkness continues this week with Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #2, from IDW Publishing. We learn more about Captain Robert April and we’re briefly introduced to another iconic character with an alternate universe twist. Spoilers ahead.
Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #2 (of 4)
Story by Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson, script by Mike Johnson, art by David Messina, ink assist by Marina Castelvetro, coloring by Claudia Scarletgothica, letters by Chris Mowry, creative consultant Anthony Pascale, edited by Scott Dunbier
Surrounded by natives of Phaedus IV led by Captain Robert April, Kirk confronts the former commander of a previous Enterprise, reported dead twenty years ago. April explains that they’re in the middle of a terrible civil war and Kirk’s shuttle was shot down by the opposition. Still under attack, Kirk and Spock are forced to leave their crewmates behind in the shuttle and follow April to safety in a hidden cavern. Safe for the moment, April explains why he’s on the planet. Kirk learns that his shuttle crew has been captured by April’s adversaries, the Shadows. He also learns what April expects of him. Meanwhile, Uhura has the conn, and is notified of an unidentified incoming vessel. The ship’s pilot is a businesswoman making a delivery to Phaedus. She claims to be working for April. Her name is Mudd.
Oh my Prophets! It’s Mudd!
The second issue of the Star Trek Into Darkness prequel delves into the reasons for Captain Robert April’s disappearance and his dissatisfaction with Starfleet policy. However, very little of what April has to say satisfies Kirk, and this makes sense to me. This Kirk doesn’t have the years of experience disregarding the Prime Directive that Kirk Prime had. Writer Mike Johnson is presenting us with a very intriguing contrast. There are several more interesting threads started in this issue–Uhura in command, Spock doing something rash, and, of course, there’s a Mudd like no Mudd we’ve seen before. David Messina’s art, with an able assist from Marina Castelvetro, brings it all together very nicely. I have one quibble about Robert April. He can look very different from one panel to the next, which is a little disconcerting. Nevertheless, another good read and I’m looking forward to resolution of all the story threads.
David Messina’s portrait of Uhura is the principal cover for issue #2. The B cover is a photograph of Kirk. The retailer incentive cover is a variant of Messina’s art cover which has been graded and slabbed by CGC. Only 100 copies are available. Messina’s cover art is always memorable. I’m not sure why IDW decided to offer a limited CGC-graded retailer incentive. The art is essentially identical to the A cover. I usually complain about too many covers. Now I can complain because I can’t get one of the covers offered.
You can find Countdown to Darkness #2 at your local comic shop this Wednesday, February 20, and in digital format same day as print. See read.idwpublishing.com, IDW’s Star Trek app at iTunes, or the comiXology app at Amazon or Google Play.
Preview of Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #2
The trade paperback collection of Countdown to Darkness is scheduled for publication in late April, before the new Star Trek film is released. You can pre-order the book at Amazon.
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.