TrekInk: Review of Countdown to Darkness #4 with a preview and more |
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TrekInk: Review of Countdown to Darkness #4 with a preview and more April 9, 2013

by Mark Martinez , Filed under: Comics,Review,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

April The countdown to Star Trek Into Darkness continues this week with the release of the fourth and final issue of Countdown to Darkness from IDW Publishing. Klingons, Kirk, April, Keenser, intrigue and SPOILERS ahead. Ok, maybe more Scotty than Keenser, but there’s lots of stuff happening, including the trade paperback for those of you who’ve been waiting.

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 (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


In control of the Enterprise, April negotiates with the Klingons, offering the Federation starship in exchange for making him Governor of Phadeus IV. He sees this as the only way to save the Phaedans he’s protecting. Meanwhile, Kirk and Spock make for the bridge via the Jeffries tubes, while Scotty is tasked with taking back control of the main computer. April is a step ahead, nearly trapping them in the tubes, until Scotty turns off the Enterprise just as a large Klingon ship arrives, commanded by Kor. While the ships’s systems are down, the crew takes back the bridge and Kor prepares a boarding party. Against his better judgement, Kirk takes the Enterprise and runs, avoiding war but leaving Phaedus to the Klingons. Spock and Uhura reconcile. April and Mudd are prisoners. Admiral Marcus orders Mudd into the custody of Starfleet Intelligence. Pike informs Kirk that April’s program code and actions have been classified. Kirk is furious, but follows his orders. In London, at a Starfleet Data Archive security console, access is granted to John Harrison.


Even the Klingons are impressed!


Like 2009’s prequel, Countdown, the last panel in Countdown to Darkness leads directly to the movie, to be continued onscreen in Star Trek Into Darkness 05.17.13. There is one significant difference. No one had to read the prequel before seeing Star Trek, but if you did, you knew why Nero was so naughty. Countdown completely illumninated events that shaped Nero’s rage and actions. The story told in Countdown to Darkness is different; a puzzle without a solution. I feel a bit like Kirk when he’s told to forget about what’s happened. He wants an answer. I’m sure no one has to read the prequel to enjoy the new film, but I hope the movie answers my questions about the prequel.

I was moderately entertained by events that occur in the final issue of this mini-series, but frustrated by what’s missing. I’m basically a clueless reader of comics, enjoying them as entertainment and seldom reading analytically. That said, I was hoping to learn more in this final episode of the story, but I don’t think I did. There’s something there, but I’ll have to wait for the movie to understand how this comic ends. That’s ok. Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson want my butt in a movie theater seat and that’s what they’ll get. I was disappointed that Mudd is essentially mute and forgotten in this issue. What happens to her? Does she play a role in the movie? I don’t know what happens to April either, but it’s difficult to imagine the film unreeling without learning more about his fate. And our Starfleet heroes? Younger than their Prime counterparts, their personalities seem different, influenced and shaped by different forces and events. I grew up with the original series, but I’m finding the new Trek kids really interesting and entertaining too.

As with all the previous issues, I’m pleased with the work of all the artists. David Messina is one of the preeminent Star Trek comics artists. Marina Castelvetro and Claudia Scarletgothica are equally capable. Together, they’ve carefully choreographed the art as complement to the story. Messina’s art cover for issue #4 features a helmeted Klingon; presumably Kor. This cover is the lower right quadrant of the delta reproduced on the cover art for the trade paperback. There is a CGC-graded retailer incentive cover. The retailer incentive photo cover features John Harrison facing Kirk in a holding cell, much like a similar scene in the comic, where April is facing Kirk. What does this mean? My head will probably explode if I think too hard about this. If you’re in Canada, for Ottawa Comiccon, May 10 to May 12, 2013, grab a copy of the retailer exclusive edition of Countdown to Darkness #4 while you’re there and send me a postcard.

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 A, cover art by David Messina Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 B, photo cover

Cover A: Art by David Messina and colors by Claudia Scarletgothica, Cover B: Photo cover

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 RI CGC, cover art by David Messina Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 RE, Ottawa Comiccon

Cover RI CGC: Art by David Messina and colors by Claudia Scarletgothica, Cover RE Ottawa Comiccon: Art by David Messina

Preview of Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 Page 1 Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 Page 2 Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 Page 3 Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 Page 4 Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 Page 5 Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 Page 6 Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 Page 7

Countdown to Darkness #4 will be available at your local comic shop Wednesday, April 10. Digital format is available the same day as print at, iTunes, IDW’s Star Trek app for iOS, and for Android in the comiXology app at Amazon or the comiXology app at Google Play.

Star Trek:
(3rd Ptg)
Star Trek:
Star Trek:
Star Trek:
tfaw tfaw tfaw tfaw
$3.19 $3.59 $3.59 $3.19

Also available this week

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness
Mike Johnson (w) • David Messina (a & c)

The countdown to the motion picture event of 2013 begins here, in this blockbuster 4-issue prequel mini-series that sets the stage for the upcoming STAR TREK film! Like the best-selling STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN in 2009, this all-new series leads directly into the next movie, with a story by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson (STAR TREK ongoing series), and drawn by the original STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN artist, David Messina! STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS is the can’t-miss lead-in to the new adventures of the Enterprise crew!

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 104 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-623-0

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 RI CGC, cover art by David Messina

Cover art by David Messina and colors by Claudia Scarletgothica

Star Trek Space-Spanning Treasury Edition
Mike Johnson (w) • Stephen Molnar (a) • Tim Bradstreet (c)

IDW continues to boldly go where no comic book company has gone before—producing beautiful treasury editions of comics deserving of a BIG format! Collecting three issues fron the ongoing series that tell two complete stories, featuring one story inspired from the original series as well as one completely new tale! Great stories by ace Trek scribe Mike Johnson and stupendous art by Stephen Molnar featuring THE RETURN OF THE ARCHONS and THE REDSHIRTS STORY!

FC • 72 pages • 9.25” x 14.25” • $9.99

Star Trek Space-Spanning Treasury Edition, cover art by Joe Corroney

Cover art by Joe Corroney

Star Trek
Treasury Edition

More newspaper comic strips on the way

Heard via subspace grapevine: the second volume of Star Trek: The Newspaper Comics, featuring strips published 1981-1983, is tentatively scheduled for release December 2013.

Star Trek, by Martin Pasko, Padraic Shigetani and others

Newspaper rack card for the Baltimore Sun (?), circa 1979

And the fabric of our lives

Need some Star Trek comics fabric for those arts and crafts projects you’ve been putting off? A British eBay vendor, Fabric Angels, is selling 100% cotton fabric imprinted with Star Trek comic art and Star Trek comic covers. Get to work!

Star Trek comic strip fabric Star Trek comics fabric

Star Trek comics fabric

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.


1. Henry - April 9, 2013

Is the ship on image6 Enterprise??

2. Matt - April 9, 2013


3. Henry - April 9, 2013

I mean image6 of “Preview of Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #4 “

4. - April 9, 2013

These are great. I wonder if April will make it into the movie.

5. Matt - April 9, 2013

well i guess that theory about John Harrison being robert april can be now debunked.

6. ObessiveStarTrekFan - April 9, 2013

Whoa – cannot wait for the movie! I’ll be seeing that before I get my hands on the Trade paperback.

Kor, eh? Wonder if we’ll see him in the movie?

Phadeus abandoned to the Klingons: “…is there anything you would not do for your family?”

One month to go – it’s the 9th of April over here.

7. Theatre Historian - April 9, 2013

Would be sweet if one of the Klingons we see in Star Trek Into Darkness turns out to be Kor.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

8. Theatre Historian - April 9, 2013

On one hand I like that Qu’nos still looks like the Qu’nos we all know from the past 25 years of Trek series, on the other not to fond of the redesigned Klingon ship that doesnt look Klingon at all really.

But I am very willing to over look that, hopefully we will see at one or two reminsent of the Klingon ships of the past

9. redrevan - April 9, 2013

This is all very intriguing!!
Age-reversed April is now debunked and John Harrison has some impressive hacking skills.
I was really hoping for more answers than questions from the last issue of Countdown to Darkness. I’m a bit disappointed but it made me more excited for STID.

10. freezejeans - April 9, 2013

The old Gold Key comics are awesome, I’m so glad I’ve held onto them all of these years. There are some great stories in there, not to mention the amazing art.

11. Govna - April 9, 2013

My newborn son has a changing pad cover made from the comic flannel. It’s available at Joanne’s fabrics. Nursery theme is retro rockets with hints of ST TOS!

12. Gaz@uk - April 9, 2013

So can someone who has read all these just tell me if I need to read these pre movie like you really needed to before the 2009 film?

13. Marja - April 9, 2013

Well gee, last time I was able to increase the size of the images so I could read them. This time the JPEGs only let me flip through the thumbnails of the pages… :(

14. Curious Cadet - April 9, 2013

@9. redrevan,
“Age-reversed April is now debunked and John Harrison has some impressive hacking skills.”

I’m not sure the review says this. I will need to read the comic for the details.

But April is in custody of Marcus his former first officer, and we all know what former first officers will do for their ex-captains. Since April has been classified, Marcus could do anything with him, including using experimental shadow ops de-aging formula to change his appearance and send him to London. Harrison may still be April. Either way, Harrison may have been granted access to the data by Marcus, not hacked it for himself. And there are any number of other ways this could have played out to prove you wrong.

But I hope you are right, at least about April.

15. redrevan - April 9, 2013

@13. Curious Cadet

You’re right. But if April did get de-aged, he doesn’t need to access the archive about the code because he already had it. It maybe because he needs to erase some data about himself, we don’t know.

On the other hand, I have a feeling that Marcus is the center of all this vengeance against the commanders of the Starfleet though so I don’t think he’ll be in leagues with him.

All of it is very interesting though. :D

16. Superquerulant - April 9, 2013

@ 8: The artwork for Qo`nos in this comic book has nothing to say about the Qo`nos in the movie – And the ship we see is actually the “single pilot bird of prey” we saw in the trailer.

I guess that the creator of the comic doesn`t really have much access to the artworks for the actual movie!

17. rogerachong - April 9, 2013

Harirson needs the codes to steal his starship seen in the movie, I guess! He needs the ship to beam him out at the starfleet confab attack and to take him to Qo’Oos. Even a god needs a starship.

18. WaylanderNeo - April 9, 2013

I wonder why the full paperback Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness in the UK is released on the 10th May with the film being released on the 9th?

19. French Fan - April 9, 2013

Hmm, you think the comics don’t tell us Harrison’s motivations, unlike 2009 Countdown but maybe that because, contrary to 2009, we don’t really know WHO the villain is.

Maybe, the comics is telling us answers we can’t see…If I remember well, Harrisson is talking about vengeance against Starfleet Command AND Kirk and also about familly. Him being Robert April seems improbable (but not impossible as previously told by others) but what of his familly? Do we know if he has a son? That would explain the “familly” thing or maybe, he just has a link with Phadeus IV story….

I’ts just suppositions but I find this comic really interesting…

20. Paolo - April 9, 2013

I also think that Harrison could be April’s relative, maybe his son.
Harrison = April’s son.

21. Killamarshtrek - April 9, 2013

All bets are still on. Cumberbatch will be April enhanced with “Khan DNA” and using ‘April Giant Gun’
You heard it here first folks!

22. Mad Mann - April 9, 2013

7. That’s what I’m hoping for. I could care less about John Harrison/Khan right now. I want to know more about the Klingons. Is Kor in the movie? What changes have been made to their ships (like the Bird of Prey). Is the D7 in it? Do they act more like the TOS or TNG Klingons?

23. Superquerulant - April 9, 2013

@ 22: As everyone could see in the trailer: The “bird of prey” is now an “one man fighter” – The creators of this comic books do not really have much access to the artwork for the actual movie so they probably thought that it was a “big ship”.

The “D7″ was already in the Kobayashi Maru scene from the last movie – So it could be also in this movie.

And those klingons will be the “cold warriors” from TOS – Abrams and Co. (just like myself and many other fans) do not like the “space vikings” from TNG.

But at least the klingons are wearing bat`leths in this movie.

24. RenderedToast - April 9, 2013

So, is this the “grave crime” he talks about in the trailer? I might actually pick these up if they genuinely tie into the film this time.

25. Mad Mann - April 9, 2013

23: How do know that’s a Bird of Prey? That could just be a different fighter, like you described. I do like it, though.

I do remember the D7’s from the last movie, but I think it’d be cool to see them for real this time. I love that design, one of my favorites.

I’m hoping you’re right about the “cold warriors.” The space vikings got old on TNG, those costumes reminded me of the band KISS.

At any rate, I’m stoked about seeing Klingons.

26. Moputo Jones - April 9, 2013

Ha ha ha, I can’t believe so many of you actually believed that Harrison was a de-aged April?! Now on to the next wild speculation…

27. Jemini - April 9, 2013

why are Scotty’s hair are red? lol

28. Christopher - April 9, 2013

Ottawa, our nations capital is spelled “Ottawa”

Now go back to Woshington

29. Mark Martinez - April 9, 2013

@28: Christopher: I corrected Ottowa to Ottawa. Very sawry about my international carelessness.

30. Curious Cadet - April 9, 2013

@15. redrevan,
“You’re right. But if April did get de-aged, he doesn’t need to access the archive about the code because he already had it….I have a feeling that Marcus is the center of all this vengeance against the commanders of the Starfleet though so I don’t think he’ll be in leagues with him.”

Again, I hope there is no de-aged April, however, until I read the comic it’s hard to say what Harrison is gaining access to, but the way I read it, he’s gaining access to classified Starfleet files. Not just the “code” he used to commandeer the Enterprise. Moreover, Starfleet would have locked the back door April used, so he would actually need a new code anyway (assuming Starfleet kept such a massive breach of security in place) if his plan was to take over the Enterprise again.

I’m not sure why you say Marcus and April wouldn’t be involved together just because Marcus is behind the vengeance against the captains, and I agree Marcus is directly involved. But seems to me that Marcus would be helping April and vice-versa to exact their mutual goal, going back to the shared philosophy that saw Marcus leaving April behind and reporting him dead.

However, I think it would be awfully hard to help April disappear from custody, though if anybody could do it, it would seemingly be Marcus.

31. PaulB - April 9, 2013

#12 – If you read the review, you have your answer. If you haven’t read the review, then READ THE REVIEW TO GET YOUR ANSWER.

32. Scottevill - April 9, 2013

I think the link to the film will be a little less direct than it was with the Nero mini. We’ve seen both here and in the ongoing comic that Starfleet Intelligence is engaged in classified criminality justified in the name of defense. In the movie, Harrison – their top agent – goes off the reservation. This leads to the disclosure or discovery of another instance of Starfleet Intelligence engaging in classified criminality … presumably experimenting on the Botany Bay sleepers in an attempt to create super-soldiers of which Harrison is the prototype.

Whether Harrison is an otherwise normal 23rd century cadet who got recruited for the Jason Bourne treatment or a sleeper who was awakened and re-educated/brainwashed, sent to the Academy, perhaps lied to about his past, etc, we do not yet know… but I’m assuming it’s the latter… which would make him, if not Khan, certainly one of Khan’s lieutenants.

The film seems to be teeing up the following moral quandary vis-a-vis Starfleet (and by allegorical extension, the United States Armed Forces): do a few bad apples spoil the bunch? (Think: Abu Ghraib, CIA black sites, cold war era political assassinations in Africa and South America, et al.)

And there’s the converse: do a few good apples (e.g., our heroes) save the bunch?

33. The dude - April 9, 2013

Is there any proof that the planet they chase Harrison to in the movie is the Klingon Home word? What if that planet was Phaedus?

Also I truly believe that the villain is Khan, but how did he do all this. Since when was Khan a hacker?

I am also still open to Gary 7 at this point (Hint Hint, In the fight scene in the movie Harrison survives a Vulcan nerve pinch, Gary Seven has been the only antagonist in the TOS to be able to do that)

34. The dude - April 9, 2013

35. SirBroiler - April 9, 2013

It’s been pretty well-reported that the end of ST09 was going to reveal a drifting Bottany Bay as a set up for the sequel. Throw in Carol Marcus, a new weapon, the glass hand shot – all strings from Wrath – and it is safe to say there is a tie in to Khan in this movie.

These comics set up two plot points for Into Darkness: Marcus is head of Starfleet Intelligence – probably Section 31. He is somehow connected to Harrison – as many mention in a Jason Bourne type of rougue agent scenario.

From other sources its clear Harrison commandeers a Starship and heads to Qu’nos. The big question is why? Best bet, to rescue his “family” or the only people like him – the augmented crew of the Botany Bay – who have been discovered and captured by the Klingons in this timeline.

Kirk’s pursuit of Harrison is motivated by revenge – likely as a result of Pike’s death in the Harrison attacks. It’s a good flip of the Wrath concept – Khan seeking to avenge his family. The moral question is how far will Kirk go and will he abandon his Starfleet code to avenge Pike?

36. DUNN - April 9, 2013

I’m leaning towards Section 31 not being named, or maybe mentioned once. M only problem with that: Section 31 does not equal Starfleet Intelligence. Everyone seems to assume that, but they are two separate entities with members that occasionally overlap or defect to Section 31. Would love it if it were in there, but I have some doubts.

37. BatlethInTheGroin - April 9, 2013

#33: Oh, come ON. He’s NOT Khan and he’s NOT Gary. Sheesh.

38. BH - April 9, 2013

I;ve read all 3 issues along with the original prequel. That one had Nero in every single issue.

I think that straight up Cumberbatch is playing April because all of a sudden Robert April is talking like BC in this issue. Also, his hair has become darker, as he appeared more light grey/blond on first arrival in issues 2 & 3.

There’s 15 pages left to explain Robert April reverse aging which frankly could be done in a half page hypo injection. Said injection/process gives him augment style strength. Done, next, release date please.

No Khan, it’s rogue Starfleet Officer Robert April who feels betrayed finally by Marcus for SOMETHING (which we’ll see in the film) after fighting a Federation proxy war against the Klingons for 20 years.

More or less.

Or it’s Garth pulling the strings, as the shoe to drop on the final page.

39. Curious Cadet - April 9, 2013

@35 SirBroiler,
“Jason Bourne type of rougue agent scenario.”


40. The dude - April 9, 2013

@ 37

Then by all means unravel the mysteries behind him. What other cannon character could he possible play, enlighten me

41. NuFan - April 9, 2013

Guess who’s not debunked.

Guess who isn’t going to be debunked.

42. Red Shirt Sympathizer - April 9, 2013

Here’s the truth: Harrison is the half-step-neighbor-in-law of a red shirt killed on an away mission, and he is out for revenge. He is seeking to expose the truth about Starfleet’s abuse of red shirts.

43. Curious Cadet - April 9, 2013

@38. BH,
“Cumberbatch is playing April because all of a sudden Robert April is talking like BC in this issue. Also, his hair has become darker, as he appeared more light grey/blond on first arrival in issues 2 & 3.”

I have to admit that in these pages April looks a lot more like an older Cumberbatch. I still hope they don’t do it (That TNG episode “too short a season” association still makes my teeth hurt), but it’s still a strong possibility.

44. Jack - April 9, 2013

The comics have set up a pattern of Starfleet Intelligence apparently doing really, really sketchy things — maybe, just maybe, Harrison is reacting to this pattern (or part of it, maybe something that was done to him? Or something we haven’t seen yet), and maybe he’snit directly connected to April? Who knows…

45. scottevill - April 9, 2013

@39 – It may or may not constitute a “yawn,” but are we all agreed that the trailers/commercials call Harrison both the perp of the London bombing and “our best agent” – making him, definitively, a Bourne-type off the reservation no matter what (if any) canonical ties are revealed in the movie?

46. The Last Vulcan - April 9, 2013

@ 45. scottevill – They have the canvas of the entire freakin’ Galaxy to work with and they revert to doing an “undercover spy” story? I certainly hope/pray not as I have FAR too much respect for boborci to think that such a tired, overdone, flaccid scenario was the best the Supreme Court could come up with.

47. WaylanderNeo - April 9, 2013

@45 But “the best agent” could be referring to Benedict Cumberbatch or Noel Clarke (Since it was his character that caused the London explosion and he definitely serves in Starfleet).

@44 Aye this is what intrigues me the most – the effect of the shadow play of a higher organisation within Starfleet; which has been established throughout the volume series, hinted in Countdown to Darkness and the trailers – How this plays out in Into Darkness? Or if this has anything to do with the plot – guess we only have month now until we find out, I can only echo the sentiments of Mark and hope there are some answers/easter eggs to help answer some of those questions!

48. Kirk - April 9, 2013

The identity of the villain is revealed as an anagram of the movie title!


49. Travis - April 9, 2013

@ 35 SirBroiler:,I believe you may be right into your story of thinking! Lets think about this now

1: Either Alex Marcus with the Origional Enterprise has found the Botany Bay and the first to be revived is Khan but hides his identity of Khan to John Harrison! Here tho Khan gets transferred to a Starfleet Starbase where maybe he’s gets into the Federation!…. Or

2: The Klingons have found the Botany Bay and Khan again hides his identity from the Klingons with them holding Khan’s people hostage with Harrison working with the Klingons to take down the Federation since we know now that the April deal has gone raw!

What we know now is Benedict Cumberpatch is indeed John Harrison but Harrison is a alias name to Khan Noonien Singh! The only individual who can defeat Khan physically and mentally is Captain James T. Kirk…. Remember Khan’s inexperience in Space Combat will be his downfall again!!

50. Travis - April 9, 2013

@47 WaylanderNeo: Admiral Marcus to referring as ” the top agent ” is Noel Clarke and not Harrison/Khan! The ring that Clarke puts into a cup of water is a bomb that Harrison oversees!

51. boborci - April 9, 2013

Would somebody please release the movie already? I can’t take this anymore.

52. Sybok's Secret Brother - April 9, 2013

@ 51 – Good call. ;p

53. PaulB - April 9, 2013

#51 – Bob, if the movie is anything close to the, um, chowderheaded ideas bouncing around this forum, I will be most disappointed. (And since you didn’t disappoint with the first film, I have HIGH expectations!) Thanks for keeping Trek alive and giving us something to bicker about anew! :)

54. Trek in a Cafe - April 9, 2013

51. Is this distracting you from real work?

55. scottevill - April 9, 2013

@46 – I wasn’t assigning critical value (or lack thereof) to the observation. I was just pointing out that in the trailer, Admiral Marcus clearly says of the perp in the London bombing: “he’s our best agent.”

@47 – Who is on every poster standing in the rubble of London? It’s not Noel Clarke. As much as I like him, he is not the heavy of the picture. He has a bit part. I doubt that’s who Marcus is referencing. In fact, we’re watching Cumberbatch’s surprise arrival on the scene – where he proceeds to shoot up the room – as Marcus says “he’s our best agent.” We are clearly meant to assume that’s who he’s talking about – at least for the purposes of the ad.

To me, this paints a picture. The basic plot is: souped up agent off the reservation – and Kirk has to bring him in.

It takes a left turn when Kirk realizes this guy has a really good reason to want vengeance on Starfleet. His methods are abhorrent, but in this instance, Starfleet’s are, too – putting Kirk in an impossible situation. How he resolves this moral quandary will be the heart of the picture.

Note that NONE of this says anything about what canonical flavor has been applied to Cumberbatch’s character. It doesn’t matter.

56. Jack - April 9, 2013

51. Yeah, make a phone call already.

57. Dee - lvs moon surface - April 9, 2013


58. Mark Martinez - April 9, 2013

Short interview with Countdown to Darkness writer Mike Johnson just posted over at CBR

59. Teidi - April 9, 2013

I think Kor is the “canonical flavour” we are getting from this here….and John Harrison is simply….John Harrison super duper agent…we have to start to accept that….

60. The Sinfonian - April 9, 2013

@28 Pardonnez-moi? La capitale est Outaouais. :)

@51 If I gave you a million dollars, would you send me your DVD of the film?

61. Mad Mann - April 9, 2013

I wonder when and if there will be more Star Trek merchandise other than the Kree-O sets.

62. Gary S - April 9, 2013

@45 – my understand of “our best agent” was a reference to the Officer who drops his ring in the glass of water which is a bomb, not to Harrison.

63. bardicjim - April 9, 2013

Sorry, centipede coming through
……..╚⊙ ⊙╝

64. The Last Vulcan - April 9, 2013

@51. boborci – Nah, I say delay the flick until next year and sit back and watch everyone on this forum eat their own young. :)

@63. bardicjim – Thank you for wasting my bandwidth. :P

65. Mad Mann - April 9, 2013

Speaking of Klingons, who is playing them in the movie? Would there be any Klingons with actual names or are they all nameless grunts?

In looking at the cast list from IMDB, Ser’Darius Blain is plaing a “soldier,” that might be a Klingon….

66. WaylanderNeo - April 9, 2013

@55 – I agree with you that the purpose that moment in the trailer is to make us assume that Marcus is talking about Harrison – I’m not so convinced however that he is a top agent in question; Why would Kirk have no idea who he is? – Even on a mission of “vengence” surely he would have been briefed before or even during the pursuit? Could they not check who he was in the Starfleet databanks or via his DNA from a sample taken by McCoy?

This is how I see that “top agent” conversation between Kirk and Marcus and I’ll try to put this into context using a workplace:-

“The Office into Darkness”

You’re in a meeting with your boss at work because someone is stealing pens from the office. You don’t know who at this point but since only a select few trusted members of staff have the keys to the locker it can only be a select number of people. You check the security cameras, low and behold it was one of the people you had entrusted with a key.

You have no choice but to sack him/her on the spot.

However unbeknownst to you he/she had been stealing them for a homeless person across the street – while his motivations are unknown to you, the trusted employee had be manipulated into stealing the pens because if he/she didn’t the homeless guy would poop on his/her doorstep – this becomes apperant to you as the man is forced to step up his campaign, he has to become bolder, steps out of the shadows and starts trying to intercept pen deliveries as they are being made. You discover (too late) that the person you fired wasn’t truely responsible for the stolen pens and realise that the only way your going to stop this from ever happening again is stop the problem at the source and prevent the homeless man threatening your staff and delivery guys ever again.

You inform the police, who intercept the man and start asking him questions to why he’s doing it. The police discover that he was once used by the company as an outside contract plumber – It was a massive job with required alot of personal capital investment from him – However when it came time to pay, your company, represented by the then managers refused to pay him (he took too long and his workmanship wasn’t up to standard alas) – As a result he was left homeless.

Driven by anger and a sense of right, he devises a scheme to cripple the business by stealing all of there pens, with a view to massively reducing productivity thus bring the company to its knees. The police are left with a moral dilemma, what do they do? While his methods are clearly wrong; theft, manipulation with the ultimate aim to bring the company to its knees, the police can understand why he feels that way and feels empathy towards the man as they’d probably do something similar in his shoes so release him on a warning.

But with like all villians even that was manipulation; In the final act the company and the police discover that he doesn’t just want pens anymore; he wants the entire stationary locker paperclips and staples in all and he’ll go to any length to get them. The police have no choice but to bring him back in before he can do more harm.

My point is was the trusted employee you sacked responsible for stealing the pens? Yes, even if he was a bit part in the greater story, you assumed at the time he was the main threat.

Would you have sacked this trusted employee if you’d know that he’s been coerced? Probably not, but at the time what could you have done differently – It was only apon escalation did you see the real menace.

67. Moputo Jones - April 9, 2013

#51: Ha ha, I feel for you boborci!

68. Gary 8.5 - April 9, 2013

Apparently we have another Gary S,now hence the name change .

69. Gary 8.5 - April 9, 2013

51.If it is really driving you that crazy ,
Couldnt you just read your own script ? :)

70. Scottevill - April 9, 2013

@66 WaylanderNeo writes: “I agree with you that the purpose that moment in the trailer is to make us assume that Marcus is talking about Harrison”

Well, that’s not outside the realm of possibility but Occam’s Razor would suggest that the point of that moment in the trailer is to tell us about the movie’s heavy… one of Starfleet’s top agents who masterminded a suicide bombing in London. (Rumor has it the facility in question is a Starfleet data archive).

Waylander continues: “…I’m not so convinced however that he is a top agent in question; Why would Kirk have no idea who he is?”

I’m not sure why anyone is assuming that he would. Do US Navy Captains know the identities of the Navy’s covert ops officers? (Do US Navy Captains even know the name of every other US Navy Captain?)

Walander: “Even on a mission of “vengence” surely he would have been briefed before or even during the pursuit?”

I assume he is briefed (indeed, it appears that Harrison interrupts his own fugitive briefing to shoot up the room) but once the mission is underway, Kirk begins to suspect that Marcus has withheld certain key data points.

“Could they not check who he was in the Starfleet databanks or via his DNA from a sample taken by McCoy?”

I assume they will do both. His true identity will be a mysterious subplot that Kirk et al eventually solve – but not until late in the picture. I think the bit with the two shadowy figures walking out of the cryotube room will come at the very, very end. Might even be the last shot.

71. WaylanderNeo - April 9, 2013

Scottevill – in all honesty I don’t think we’re that far apart beyond; everyone has gone to great to lengths to “hide” and indeed fuel the uncertainty that surrounds Harrison (interviews with the cast and crew). Maybe once we get a Blu-Ray/DVD release we’ll find that the original intention was to have Khan as a big bad. On Cumberbatch’s audition the character arc (motivations, acts, possibly even death) remain the same, however the origin of the character changes.

I think you misunderstand me a little, I’m not saying Kirk should have always known Harrison – What I am saying is, If Harrison was indeed a Starfleet top agent; while Marcus most likely would withhold information; I would feel that the basic stuff such as name, rank, how they look would be passed on to person(s) tasked with the capture, making the question “Who are you?” moot.

If that basic level of briefing is impossible, then the question is why? Could it be because Harrison is completely off record because he and his past is on a strictly need to know basis and quite simply Kirk does not need to know? Or is it the case that he isn’t part of starfleet? Either way we arrive at the same point – Kirk having no idea who the man is stood in his brig.

I do believe the mystery surrounding Harrison is going to be key – the “Who are you quote” could also be at a point at the end of the film and we get the big reveal.

Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear – I suppose the reason I still choose to believe that it Noel Clarke being referred to as the top agent by Marcus rather than Harrison is because I feel that the mystery surrounding the latter is too great; and deep down, powered by the memories of a 10 year old lad, I still hope for a “Benedict Cumberbatch” Khan.

72. Bird of Prey - April 9, 2013

So far, Kor has been both been smooth-headed and ridge-headed. And now? Does he wear one of this helmets all the time, with the appearance of the forehead underneath remaining a mystery???

73. Aix - April 9, 2013

This sounds like Wikileaks stuff. What John Harrison was exposed to… classified info. He’s a Bradley Manning!

Funny because BC is playing Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate.

74. mikejohnson - April 9, 2013


Thank you to everyone who has picked up the comics. We hope they have whetted your appetites sufficiently. Your minds will be blown in the theater. I just hope you have enough mind-matter left to read the comics coming AFTER the movie as the adventure continues…


75. Jack - April 9, 2013

Any hint that Starfleet, pr Marcus, has had a hand in all this all along? Maybe Kirk was made captain so he could either be an unwitting patsy, generally — or a fall guy if needed.

And NC’s character could be incolved in no good, potentially….

76. Craiger - April 9, 2013

What if is just a disgruntled Starfleet officer with no alias, that doesn’t like their current policies? What if the Prime Directive got in the way of saving a loved one or ones while he was on a mission and blames Starfleet for that.`

77. Craiger - April 9, 2013

Sorry I posted the above in the wrong article.

78. Robinho - April 9, 2013

Judging by everything I read about the four issues of countdown to darkness and the fact that Kor is using a helmet all the time, we can safely assume that he is John Harrison. Rebember the episode the trouble with the tribbles?

79. Curious Cadet - April 10, 2013

@71 waylandernero,
“I would feel that the basic stuff such as name, rank, how they look would be passed on to person(s) tasked with the capture, making the question “Who are you?” moot.”

There are three ways “Who are you?” Can be taken:

Who are you …

1) … because I have no idea.
2) … and what have you done with John Harrison?
3) … because I don’t know you anymore.

All are valid.

As for who the “agent” is referred to by Marcus, it could be either Clarke, or Harrison. The fact Harrison shows up at the meeting when everybody in Starfleet is presumably looking for the “top agent” suggests it’s not him, as he wouldn’t have been allowed to get anywhere near the place. And perhaps the reason they are all so relatively calm is because they think the agent (Clarke) is dead, and Harrison makes a truly surprise attack in either case.

No Harrison is most likely not the agent, and the trailer is yet one more effort to mislead the audience.

80. Jack - April 10, 2013

Clarke could definitely be ‘the agent’ — but I agree, the trailer makes it look like it’s Cumberbatch (so, it may indeed be).

And the comic finally rules out, or seems to, Cumberbatch being April — since you can’t be in two places at the same time…

Although we might see Mudd’s ship again…

81. StelArian - April 10, 2013


I guess you should stop reading :)

82. Matt - April 10, 2013

what i want to know is why they haven’t revealed clarke’s characters name.

83. redrevan - April 10, 2013

Yes, you did whet our appetite. Great job on the comics! Looking forward to After Darkness. :D

84. Killamarshtrek - April 10, 2013

I’ve read the comic now and (SPOILERS AHEAD) everything still points to April, there’s even an image of April in the brig with Kirk & Spock looking on, they could’ve traced it from the Harrison publicity shot! April has conveniently been turned over to Starfleet intelligence and suddenly Harrison turns up in London (it doesn’t state the passage of time between the 2 events).

Harrison is either April, or April’s relative or April’s clone but he is HEAVILY involved with April and Marcus. April makes it clear a war with the Klingons is inevitable and that ‘other’ sources are at work.

I’ve been saying it all along – BELIEVE!

85. RoobyDoo - April 10, 2013

I”ll be at Ottawa CC and hope to pick up the variant cover.

86. Curious Cadet - April 10, 2013

80. Jack,
“the trailer makes it look like it’s Cumberbatch (so, it may indeed be).”

The trailers have also made it look like the Enterprise crashes into San Francisco Bay, among other misleading edits, and focused homages suggesting a remake of TWOK. I don’t think the trailers can offer anything definitive. Not that it isn’t possible, but talking about these things as though they are incontrovertible facts is kind of silly (not that you are, but others).

“And the comic finally rules out, or seems to, Cumberbatch being April — since you can’t be in two places at the same time…”

Are you basing this on having read it? Killamarshtrek, seems to indicate what I speculated, that April is taken into custody and then sometime later Harrison appears (not two different places at the same time). Now, I’m with you for many reasons, the greatest of which is that I don’t want them to do such a stupid story as to have a de-aged (and surgically altered**) April masquerading as Harrison a la one of TNG’s worst episodes “Too Short A Season”. And I’ve said since the beginning I don’t think they would do anything so preposterous. That said, nothing actually rules this out as a possibility, especially with these guy’s track record.

**I say surgically altered because now that April has been brought back it’s even more likely someone who easily recognizes the infamous April on the street will assume it’s him, thus convoluting this already odorous plot theory even more.

87. Jack - April 10, 2013

Uh, that got deleted possibly — but yes, in a story full of spoilers, i’m basing it on having read it (it was on itunes last night). Kirk is ordered to drop April off at a starbase (he wants to take him to Earth) and head on to Nibiru. And they keep Mudd’s ship aboard. Still possible? Maybe. But highly unlikely. I think the April business might just an illustration of weird s**t going on in Starfleet…

88. Jemini - April 10, 2013

so Uhura to Spock in this comic:
“you have a family here that needs you. I need you.”

sounds familiar?

89. Jack - April 10, 2013

Last frame spoiler:
okay, so Pike’s last words in his comm conversation (happening when April’s in Enterprise’s brig) appear over the frame showing the exterior of a starfleet data facility in London, and then we see the back of a Cumberbatchy-looking guy and he types in John Harrison as his access. Could it be quite a bit later? Maybe, but…

what is established in this issue:
– weird sh*t going on with the Klingon Empire
– weird sh*t going on in Starfleet, specifically with Starfleet Intelligence
– weird sh*t in the past, like a secret control code (with the password Caroline) being built in to at least one Starfleet vessel
– weird orders (to Kirk, anyway) from Marcus Sr.
– Kirk’s frustration with the Prime Directive allowing genocide
– Spock’s promised Uhura to stop risking his life so much…

Questions: Was April really acting on his own — and cut off from Marcus/starfleet? Was Kirk being manipulated and, if so, by whom? Was Kirk’s sudden promotion part of a larger scheme? Who the heck is John Harrison? What the heck is going on?

90. Jack - April 10, 2013

I have to double check to see if there’s a stardate on the Harrison bit…

91. dscott - April 10, 2013

Just my opinion, but I think all the prequil does is show us how Kirk begins to question the prime directive when morally challenged.

92. Jack - April 10, 2013

…there’s not.

– Pike’s relaying these seemingly sketchy orders…

93. LogicalLeopard - April 10, 2013

13) Isn’t it great that we’re almost a month from release and we STILL can’t rule out Robert April, even though, and no offense to the brave pioneers who put forth the theory, it was probably the most bizzare speculation out there at the time it was introduced? Until the comics shut up detractors like me!

51) I was about to respond to that post and talk about the genius of the producers spinning us all like this to bust the box office on opening night…then I noticed it was you writing *LOL*

94. LogicalLeopard - April 10, 2013

The above should be to 14 (CuriousCadet), not 13

95. LogicalLeopard - April 10, 2013

Here’s the question though….is April the leading candidate now? This is the prequel, which last time set the stage for the main villian. But April, not Harrison is the main featured character. No hint of him being in the movie yet. The command code thingy can’t be the only carryover from the comics to the movie can it? I think April will feature in some way in this movie, but how? As Harrison?

I was one of the biggest critics, but a jailed Robert April being turned into a deep undercover, plastic surgery/genetically enhanced/deaged by special sauce agent is looking pretty feasable right now.

96. Jack - April 10, 2013

95. No he’s not. He’s apparently on the Enterprise to be dropped off at a star base on the way to Nibiru — while John Harrison’s in London.

97. Jack - April 10, 2013

Just a guess, but I don’t think the command code will come into play in the movie — I think this was all about setting up the apparent sketchiness of Marcus/Starfleet…

98. I-Chaya - April 10, 2013


In a quick syncing of the movie synopsis and the comics, how else will Harrison “detonate the fleet”?

99. TyrusX - April 10, 2013

What a terrible comic. No signal of MUDD, not even a single line.

100. Moputo Jones - April 10, 2013

I read it on Comixology today. I am also disappointed that there were no further details on who Mudd was. Harry Mudd’s wife? Daughter? No relation whatsoever? If Harry Mudd doesn’t show up in the film, I’ll be mightily disappointed.

101. cpelc - April 10, 2013

99 – No but it sure seems like they’re going to use her ship on the hunt for Harrison. Probably the one in the trailer barely fitting.

102. Killamarshtrek - April 10, 2013

@86 CC
just to be clear, I didn’t infer that Harrison’s appearance was a while after April gets dropped off with Starfleet Intelligence, just that the comic doesn’t state whether there is a passage of time or not between the 2 events.

103. VOODOO - April 10, 2013

I was underwhelmed with this series from start to finish. Unlike the Countdown to the previous film this series seems to have very little to do with the actual film.

Beyond that the series was kind of boring. Sorry, but I expected a lot more.

104. Josh C. - April 10, 2013

100 – I’m pretty sure they said she was Mudd’s daughter in volume 3

Given some of the things in the Star Trek Ongoing comics, it’s not entire implausible that April was, in fact, working for Starfleet Intelligence, though given his attitude toward Starfleet, I think that’s a stretch. But then again, if he really were, I doubt he would tell Kirk that.

This special code on the ship is likely something that Starfleet intelligence either knows about or is probably going to use. Perhaps it’s what Harrison uses to “detonate the fleet.” He may very well know about it if he is part of Starfleet Intelligence.

The first Countdown comic had a not-insignificant tie-in to the movie. It seems like it’s hard to tie this comic into what we know, which probably means we’ve been all kept in the dark pretty well.

I just don’t think he’s Harrison though. Though I think the theory that he could be April’s son or something is still possible.

While one can never 100% rule out anything, if Harrison was Khan, you would figure we might get at least a whiff of something to do with augments by this point in the comic.

105. TrekkerChick - April 10, 2013

“Given some of the things in the Star Trek Ongoing comics, it’s not entire implausible that April was, in fact, working for Starfleet Intelligence,”

The same Starfleet (or someone — who contacted Pike) that, in “The Return of the Archons” (IDW) was willing to let the descendants of the Archon crew live as mind-numbed near-mind-slaves of Landru as a century-long experiment? nice.

Mudd was able to get access to SF supplies that weren’t well-guarded, either. Convenient. “Oops. We left the front door unlocked! Hope that no one comes in and steals our tech!”

Besides, how did April’s access override just happen to get transferred to the new ship’s computer… lock, stock and barrel? What, you just built a new starship, and you inadvertently grab your old surplus starship computer and programs without looking for backdoors/malicious software?

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHO DID PUT THE TRIBBLES IN THE QUADROTRITICALE?! Arne Darvin was set-up! There was a second Klingon agent on the grassy knoll! lol

Seriously…puzzles within puzzles.

106. TrekkerChick - April 10, 2013

Got it!

John Harrison is, simply, John Harrison. Some charismatic guy who just got a lay-off notice,and is intent on revenge for being laid-off in a lousy economy!

107. Jack - April 10, 2013

“How else will Harrison detonate the fleet?”

Good point. I should have said ‘I hope’ that’s all we’ll see of it, but you’re right. My fear is clunkiness like we saw with Nero, where the background explanation we saw in the film doesn’t quite explain anything and the effect isn’t mystery (instead it looks like oversight at best). I’m sure they can handle it. I’m also a little afraid of a wink to the comics — ‘remember last week when Robert April tried to take over the ship?”

Unless… they show April in a flashback or intelligence report or something (this fitting the theory that Nokan North = April). This sounds complicated to me.

108. Kenji - April 10, 2013

I know! John Harrison is Stonn, he is mad at Romulans for killing T’Pring, so he is taking revenge on the Enterprise for stopping the plot to destroy Romulus with the last drop of Red Matter!

No, wait! John Harrison is the breeder of Admiral Archer’s beagles! He is taking revenge on Scotty for losing the dog in a transporter accident!

No! John Harrison is Trelane, the Squire of Gothos, who is taking revenge on the Star Trek franchise for replacing him with Q!


Ah, who cares, it will be just a bunch of lens flares and action sequences, not like Trek the way I would do it (i.e. more conferences, use of original cast, philosophical debates about how man is meant to be free)

109. BH - April 10, 2013

Ive read all the comics and it’s VERY clear they have changed April’s coloring in this last issue. He’s blond/grey in issue 2, but here his hair is darker in issue 4 for sure.

Not sure what to make of that, unless there’s a clone or April Prime at work it doesn’t appear as if he’s Harrison.

I’m kind of with Jack at this pint: the first prequel was all about the villain Nero basically. This one seems to be setting up the ‘rotten to the core’ aspect of Starfleet which is going to be driving Harrison’s actions.

It DOES seem clear that Harrison is an alias for the actual name, and I’ll stick with April for an as of yet unexplained reason. Call it Trekkie Sense.

110. TrekkerChick - April 10, 2013


If it is any consolation (not being sarcastic), other than the production team and the guys with the checkbooks (and probably not them, fully, either), is it going to be how anyone would necessarily do it?

111. Kenji - April 10, 2013


Welp, just back from the comic shop with Countdown. Yessss (insert dork fist pump gesture).

I was kidding about how I would make the movie, of course. Unlike 99.99% of film critics, I have no agenda regarding how I might have done it better. I assume this one is being done as well as time, money, and concept allow.

I also know that the Trekaliban will have many many complaints with the new movie, about how it is too popular and easy to enjoy, but the first one convinced me that these guys are well acquainted with classic TOSisms as well as the know how to make a modern technological thriller.

112. Jeyl - April 10, 2013

*Finishes the comic*

Uh, question. What was the point of this prequel comic? We have Kirk and crew getting involved in something that could be very important, but it ends with a reset switch by having Pike making the event classified and telling Kirk to forget about the whole thing. I know Robert Orci says that his own work in the comics is pointless, but did he really have to make that point so obvious in comic itself? It couldn’t have been more obvious if Pike said “Kirk, we’re in a Star Trek comic book. It’s not supposed to have any meaning.”

And you’ve to love how Kirk thinks that the reason April went crazy is because he’s been away from Earth for far too long. What is that supposed to mean? Does Kirk actually believe that outer space in general is dangerous to your sanity and the only way to fix it is by visiting Earth? I know that the High Court wants to make Earth the center of the universe where everything happens, but I had no idea that they were going to do it to the point where the characters actually believe that Earth is the only place in the entire universe where you can maintain your sanity.

113. Xeos - April 10, 2013

Just finished #4, i guess it’s yet to be seen how this ties into the movie — where as the original Countdown was very clearly tied directly to the film. I hope the tie in to the movie isnt just the last page of issue 4 and really does involve Mudd, April, a previous Enterprise, and questions the Prime Directive.

114. Laura George - April 10, 2013

Personally, I was most surprised about seeing Boba Fett on the cover.

115. Pirate - April 11, 2013

All four comics were boring and made Kirk and crew look like idiots for losing the ship

116. I-Chaya - April 11, 2013

Maybe we’ve all been so focused on who John Harrison is that we’re missing the big picture. The villain in Into Darkness isn’t John Harrison; it’s the subterfuge going on in the bowels of Starfleet. That’s what the comics are showing us. There is a plot afoot within the organization and April is aware of it. Remember what Pike tells Kirk at the end.

The villain is present in the comics and in the film. I remember an article where Bob, JJ or Alex said that we would feel sympathetic to Harrison’s cause. Harrison isn’t the true villain but he becomes the scapegoat. IMHO

117. sisko - April 11, 2013

So, like @116 said, clearly the bigger story is the subterfuge going on in Starfleet. However, after reading issue #4 of Countdown to May 17th… er Darkness, I’ve come to theorize that perhaps Mr. Harrison is a Klingon mole, a la Arne Darvin (like @78 and @105 brought up The Trouble With Tribbles), hence why he is stronger than normal humans, hence why they end up on Qo’nos (wanna start a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, what better way than having a “human” cause problems on the Klingon Homeworld).

So it’s like Star Trek VI all over where humans (Starfleet Intelligence) and Klingons are scheming to keep war going (or in this case, start the war that April claimed was coming).

I remember reading some news article on this site that said that the ramifications of Vulcan going all implody-like (hard to spell a made up word, sorry) are more paranoia and increased security measures (like the Patriot Act and other “War on Terra” propaganda coming out of Washington). So why not drum up a war to make the populous see the need for less freedoms for more security/safety. And in true Kirk and Crew fashion, they’ll stumble onto this plot and expose it and stop it.

So to recap, my wacky theory based on reading Countdown to Darkness is:
-John Harrison is a Klingon mole a la Arne Darvin (which is why it doesn’t matter if it’s Benicio del Toro or Benedict Cumberbatch playing the big (visible) bad).
-Starfleet Intelligence is trying to get more and more power and will start a war with the Klingons (who are up for that) to get that power (see the conspiracy theories regarding the War in Iraq and Bush and the neocons AND the Star Wars Prequels and the Sith plot to take over the Galaxy)
-Khan is not in this movie and has nothing to do with this movie, that’s just misdirections sent out by the Bad Robot Crew (seriously, why is everyone so hell-bent on there being another Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan? Anyone see Space Seed? Khan in Space Seed and Khan in ST:TWOK are two different people (for obvious reasons). And Khan in Space Seed was not hell-bent on revenge. Getting control of a starship, yes, getting revenge for perceived wrongs against him, no.)

118. Galrand - April 11, 2013

Just read the collected edition. The story reminded me of the TOS episodes “A Private Little War”, “The Omega Glory”, and “Errand of Mercy”. The first two episodes plotwise and themewise for the last one. Felt like classic Trek, dealing with themes that are relevant to current events. It’ll be interesting to see the film!

119. Jack - April 11, 2013

116 I-Chaya. “Maybe we’ve all been so focused on who John Harrison is that we’re missing the big picture. The villain in Into Darkness isn’t John Harrison; it’s the subterfuge going on in the bowels of Starfleet. That’s what the comics are showing us. There is a plot afoot within the organization and April is aware of it. Remember what Pike tells Kirk at the end.”

Exactly. Remember too Bob’s interest in government conspiracy.

120. Killamarshtrek - April 11, 2013


And ‘Bread & Circuses’!

121. Ahmed - April 11, 2013

The way Kirk was ordered to forget April & not to ask questions made me thinking that Section 31 is the hidden enemy here. The John Harrison is an agent of a black-op in Starfleet intelligence.

122. meepmeep189 - April 12, 2013

My thoughts:
*Section 31 “might” be in the new film.
*There is indeed an allegory in this film and it involves the Prime Directive (ambitious, i like). Is is morally acceptable to stand by and watch the extinction of a race, or to try and help that race?

123. crazydaystrom - April 12, 2013

119. Jack-
“Remember too Bob’s interest in government conspiracy”


124. Curious Cadet - April 12, 2013

@122 meepmeep189,

I have a couple of problems with the use of the Prime Directive in this movie.

First it is a direct rip-off of the TNG episode “Pen Pals” (right down to the volcanic activity) where this aspect of the PD was first explored, I.e. “Helping a society escape a natural disaster known to the society”.

Second, this is a weird aspect of the PD, along with “helping a society escape the negative consequences of its own action”, both of which did not appear until the TNG era. Both seem concocted to create artificial drama where there should be none. Neither position reflects any policies of which I am aware toward cultures of our own planet. The idea a society would abandon any other facing something as serious as extinction from any cause is ridiculous. Though I suppose both could be seen as frameworks for looking at our own societies to serve as a wake up call for environmental preservation, and to a lesser extent supporting SETI, and other scientific research to thwart natural disasters?

Regardless, it seems like it has been applied in this movie for the same reason, to create an artificial situation in which to place the characters to give them a conflict, and a way to relate to the April violation of the PD without telling that whole story. It also creates an artificial way to set up what sacrifices Kirk is willing to make to save Spock, thus setting the stage for a later decision.

How the Prime Directive allegory works in this movie is unclear at best. The April violation ties directly to the TOS era where the Soviets and US were arming respective sides of an otherwise third party civil conflict, the practice of which continues to this day. But the Nibiru application makes no sense, other than to present a obstacle from canon which Kirk must violate in order to save Spock, so that later Kirk must either chose to let someone die, or Spock must make the decision about Kirk.

That seems to be the main dilemma with respect to the Nibiru application of the PD, and I hope not the focus of Harrison’s problem. April’s violation seems much more ripe to motivate Harrison, and create a problem for the audience — I.e. should the US supply arms to one side in a situation where China is openly supplying arms to another? Certainly the US does this in situations where it’s own purposes are served. Oil, commerce, etc. but in others, Africa, Syria, Bosnia, the US seemingly turns its back. April appears to be acting from an altruistic place, which likely makes it more of a moral dilemma for people. It will be interesting to see how this is applied to Harrison if at all.

125. Keachick - April 12, 2013

The Amazon rainforest is slowly (and not so slowly in some places) being chainsawed, bulldozed out of the existence and along with it many of the indigenous people (as well as the animal life) who have inhabited these forest areas for thousands of years. Yet the big, powerful nations turn a blind eye to it, probably because many may have vested interests in the short term profit to be made from mining etc.

This wanton destruction has also had the effect of creating huge ghettos in cities like Rio de Janiero. Poverty, crime, violence are rife.

Also, I think that good mercenaries are rarely unemployed, either in the past or now…

126. Jordan - April 12, 2013

Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

127. Matchoow - April 14, 2013

The most interesting thing about his issue, for me, is the helmeted Klingons. This suggests to me that JJ is unsure of which look he will be giving the Klingons in future movies; with ridges or without ridges. The comic book artists weren’t able to get clarification, so they drew them with helmets.

128. Bucky - April 14, 2013

It’s all a Starfleet Black Ops job gone wrong (hoping for a Section 31 shout-out!), April is tied in with Harrison’s black ops Starfleet spook guy. Starfleet is up to bad business in the movie, as evidenced by the subtle conspiracy vibe running through all of the IDW series so far. Kirk being annoyed about adherence to the prime directive will pay off in the movie, maybe with a mention about what went wrong with April, maybe not. Klingons will wear helmets. Maybe the Enterprise will use Mudd’s ship to escape a tight spot in the film.

129. ironhyde - April 23, 2013

Can i say just how boring and clumsy these comics were?
I ate up the original Countdown and bore into it with joy and intensity. This new set of comics, now that my trade paperback has arrived, are absolutely the most mundane, rehashing of boredom I have ever seen. I’ve stopped after the first 3 parts. Not sure I can even build up the interest to finish… :( I feel sad.

pls note i’m not trying to start a fight. Just seriously, offering up my humble opinion. I really hope others enjoyed them. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.