TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: New Visions #2: Time’s Echo + 7-page Preview | TrekMovie.com
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TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: New Visions #2: Time’s Echo + 7-page Preview August 5, 2014

by Fritz Kessler , Filed under: Comics,Review,TOS , trackback

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IDW’s Star Trek: New Visions photonovel series returns this month with veteran artist John Byrne at the helm in a new original story, “Time’s Echo”. Check out this latest “lost episode” of TOS with our spoiler-filled review, plus a 7-page preview, after the jump.

 

Star Trek: New Visions #2: ‘Time’s Echo’ (available Wednesday, August 6)
Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, Edited by Chris Ryall

With Time’s Echo, John Byrne takes a break from the companion pieces to classic TOS episodes he created with “Strange New Worlds” and “The Mirror, Cracked” to give us a new, standalone story. Does “Time’s Echo” go as boldly as his first two photonovel efforts? 

Cover: Art by John Byrne

Cover: Art by John Byrne

Story: James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are summoned by Commander Resnick of Deep Space Monitor Station 18 to investigate receipt of a distress call from the Enterprise over 1,000 years ago! Kirk sets the Enterprise on a course for the source of the transmission, the gravity-distortion riddled Galactic Core, and finds the wreckage of a familiar Constitution Class vessel on a planet with a high levels of radiation and a tiny strip of Class-M habitability. Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and McCoy take a shuttle to investigate the wreckage on the planet, while Sulu struggles to navigate the anomalous gravity fields to maintain orbit. After flying the shuttle over the remains of the saucer section, the landing party finds a desolate city rising out of the ashes, before they’re stunned and incapacitated by the city’s inhabitants.

It's a Khan-referencing life James T. Kirk!

An ominous view from the bridge

Separated from the rest of the crew, Kirk meets Kroy, the only English-speaking inhabitant, who guides him through the city’s ancient monuments to the Enterprise crew, and confirms what Kirk and crew have seen – the wreckage is indeed the Enterprise. The ship crashed after an attempt to escape the planet’s intense gravity, using a forced warp-drive implosion, sent the ship hurtling back in time 1,000 years. The survival of Kroy’s people, the direct descendants of the Enterprise survivors, depends on the ship now fulfilling its destiny: attempt to escape the planet and enter the doomsday time warp. But with 250 lives lost in the crash, will Kirk sacrifice his crew to save his own descendants?

Review: With Time’s Echo, John Byrne rides high on the expert photo manipulation and respect for TOS he displayed in his first New Visions books, “The Mirror, Cracked” and “Strange New Worlds,” but your enjoyment of the story may likely depend on just how recently you’ve checked in with more modern Trek. If, like me, you love DS9’s “Children of Time” or, less like me, love Enterprise’s “E2,” you’ll be pretty familiar with the time-warp-facilitated-confrontation-with-descendants idea. As a result, most of the suspense of the conclusion was lost for me upon realizing who Kroy was, but those less intimate with the episodes above may still have their minds blown by the twisty time-travel logic at play, and be moved at the melancholy finale.

Kirk and no-win scenarios - have we been here before?

Kirk vs. Kroy: giving new meaning to “distant family”

The joy of these books continues to be in the way Byrne leverages the longer length, great dialogue, and expert photo manipulation to truly capture the feeling of a TOS episode.  With 39 pages the story has room to breathe, and little moments like the reunion between McCoy and Lieutenant Shea (last seen in “By Any Other Name” and re-humanized after life as a Cuboctahedron!) on page 5, or the landing party banter on page 15 really let you settle into the world Byrne creates here. Character dialogue feels right all the way through as well, with Spock’s wit sufficiently brainy, and Chekov’s English just the right amount of mangled.

Shea

Lieutenant Shea – now on less stressful communications duty

The artwork and lettering throughout is generally wonderful – I love that spot-on classic “Tzeeeee” phaser noise on page 31. Watching the big-E careen against a planet’s atmosphere is fun in any Trek iteration, and that’s also no different here; the big escape at the end via “slingshot” is a blast to watch unfold. The occasional photo-manipulation seam does show through, though, especially with the characters original to the story. Somehow, Commander Resnick’s head just never looks like it’s aligned quite right when compared with the rest of the crew.

Overall, this is another impressive entry in the New Visions series. If you’re a latter-day Trek aficionado, the story might not have the zing you crave, but there’s still no better way these days to so fully revisit TOS, than New Visions.

Bonus Story: Sweet Sorrow

Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, Edited by Chris Ryall

Ever wonder why Yeoman Rand left the crew in season 1, not to be heard from again until presiding over Commander Sonak’s demise in ST:TMP? Find out now in Byrne’s short story “Sweet Sorrow” and see the power of Kirk’s smoky, farewell gaze in action. A delightful way to end this book, here’s hoping for more of these stories in future editions.

Yeoman Rand

A woven beehive like no other – farewell Yeoman Rand

7-Page Preview

ST_35-pr_Part1ST_35-pr_Part2ST_35-pr_Part3 ST_35-pr_Part4ST_35-pr_Part5ST_35-pr_Part6 ST_35-pr_Part7

Coming Next – Q Gambit #2 and City on the Edge of Forever #3

IDW’s release schedule has been reshuffled just a bit, but look for the next issue of the Star Trek Ongoing: Q Gambit series and the next issue of Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever later this month!

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Find Star Trek comics, toys, statues, and collectibles at TFAW.com!

Fritz Kessler is a writer, musician, marketer, graduate student, and editor at FliptheMedia.com. Quiz him on his absurd knowledge of Star Trek guest stars anytime by finding @hellofritzcom on Twitter.

Comments

1. CmdrR - August 5, 2014

Has Starfleet ever considered having ships just kinda hang out in the neighborhood instead of attempting dangerous, unstable orbits? Oh wait, there goes a boatload of plots…

Having snarked… this looks fun.

2. B Kramer - August 5, 2014

Great review Fritz, looking forward to New Visions “Time’s Echo” photo/fotonovel. Here’s a peek at #3’s cover not due until the fall. It’s a double story too:

http://www.byrnerobotics.com/forum/uploads/FrancescoConsoli/2014-07-16_051030_JB_ST_August.jpg

with appropriate music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf7y1Bn4LKU

Thanks & all the best.

3. pilotfred - August 5, 2014

been reading both titles and enjoying them fully, thank you for your review, I will look forward to getting them from my comic shop

4. Fritz Kessler - August 5, 2014

#2

Thanks B. Kramer, appreciate you linking the next cover. I’m particularly looking forward to that one!

5. B Kramer - August 5, 2014

#5 Welcome Fritz.

6. B Kramer - August 5, 2014

That was #4. lol

7. Anthony Pascale - August 5, 2014

We have all the October covers and blurbs here
http://trekmovie.com/2014/07/16/trekink-star-trek-comics-coming-october-2014/

8. tom vinelli - August 5, 2014

It amazes me that these guys can come up with great new Trek stories , yet the writers of the Trek movie can’t??? What will we see on the 3rd Trek movie Khan again. One of these days a writer in Hollywood is going to grab one of these stories and try to get it made, take a risk and get away from the NUTREK we have seen

9. B Kramer - August 5, 2014

7 Oh yeah, thanks AP, forgot about that.

10. Keachick (Rose) - August 5, 2014

Welcome back, Anthony Pascale. We thought you had abandoned us, however, Matt Wright, Kayla lacovino and others have done their best to “take care” of us in your absence…:)

One question about these ongoing comics – there seem to be at least two different versions of the same comic – ones with the same number which presumably means they are telling the same story, but with different cover pictures and different prices. What is the actual difference other than cover and price? If I were to order, which comic would give me more, if anything?

I have clicked onto your link above (#7) and I am about to order from that. So far the cost of ordering all of the ongoing series (not interested in other as in been there, done that – just the ones dealing with new cast/nuTrek/alt. universe) is approx. US$70.00 which I have yet to convert into NZ dollars plus the postage and handling which I have no idea of.

As you can see, I would like to think I am getting (good) value. I am already seeing that this little exercise could cost me more than NZ$100 and some.

Thank you.

11. Anthony Pascale - August 5, 2014

K

Comics (Trek and non-Trek) often have ‘variant’ covers. The contents are the same, but they may be more collectible.

To save money I suggest you buy the Star Trek Ongoing trade paperback collections which are released every few months. Those are available at bookstores and sites, such as Amazon. Not sure what best option is for NZ

12. Keachick (Rose) - August 5, 2014

Please – Keachick can be shortened to Kck, if preferred.

Thank you – and thank you.

13. Gallifreyan - August 6, 2014

This is very similar to a DS9 episode and a book…..

14. Mark Martinez - August 6, 2014

@Keachick:

The Star Trek Ongoing trade paperback collections have four issues per volume, but at the end of this year, IDW will publish their first Star Trek Ongoing omnibus which collects the first 12 issues in one book at a bargain price. The title is Star Trek: New Adventures Volume 1.

15. Fritz Kessler - August 6, 2014

#5 & 6 – thanks B. Kramer!

#13. Agreed – weird how that works out. Knowing that Byrne isn’t that big a fan of latter-day Trek makes me wonder how aware he is of the other iterations of the story he concocted here.

16. J.A.G.T. - August 6, 2014

A TOS photo novel? – Well that’s one weird piece of “retroism”

17. Newdivide1701 - August 6, 2014

@#13, I too agree about Children of Time. That’s the name of the episode by the way.

18. pilotfred - August 7, 2014

i have just read the photonoval and yeah a rip off from “children of time” very disappointed the 2nd story which is a short is much better now that should of been the main story

19. Pat Payne - August 7, 2014

Looking at some of the preview pages on startrek.com, I really dispute the assessment of “expert photo manipulation” in the review. It looks like bad Photoshop to me — it’s obvious when heads have been pasted on bodies, and the new photos do not jive with the reworked series stills, when elements of both are in the panel. It’s just way, WAY too jarring to be believable. Or pleasant.

As an experiment, I give Byrne an “A+” for effort and an interesting idea, but in execution a “D+” because it crash lands square in the “uncanny valley” (no pun intended).

20. Anthony Pascale - August 7, 2014

you know you can preview the comics by just clicking the thumbnails above?

21. Anthony - August 7, 2014

So is Byrne not doing artwork anymore? That would be quite a loss.

22. Pat Payne - August 7, 2014

@Anthony: I know I can… I’d just seen ‘em beforehand while I was browsing startrek.com.

23. Fritz Kessler - August 7, 2014

19. I can see that perspective, and you may be right that the language of “expert photo manipulation” is too strong. I agree that some of the photoshopped heads look pretty cheesy – like I said, Commander Resnick is obviously out of place.

I do feel, though, that Byrne does a nice job of capturing the TOS feel. Sure, some of the stills are not super believable and cheesy, but so was the show :). To me it felt like aesthetic choice of homage, sort of along the lines of the ST remastered DVD’s, vs. Byrne lacking skill, but that’s definitely a worthy point to consider with these books.

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