Review: Star Trek: Klingons — Blood Will Tell #1 and #2

As part of his valiant efforts to keep the Trek community informed, Anthony has foolishly graciously invited me to contribute reviews of Star Trek comics to the Trek Movie Report. What was he thinking?

We’ll get started by catching up with IDW Publishing‘s second mini-series, Star Trek: Klingons — Blood Will Tell. The first two issues of this five-issue mini-series are already in comic shops. Blood Will Tell is scripted by brothers Scott Tipton and David Tipton. Interior artwork is by David Messina. Cover art is provided by Messina and Joe Corroney.

Issue #1 introduces the reader to Kahnrah, a member of the Klingon High Council, who must decide if he should follow Chancellor Gorkon’s lead and accept help from the Federation in the wake of the Praxis disaster (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). Discussing the matter with his granddaughter, K’Ahlynn, he reminds her of their QuchHa’ ancestry and their family history, beginning with the death of cousin Kagh at the hands of Starfleet and the incident at Organia (TOS: Errand of Mercy). Kor and his first officer, Kahlor, another kinsman, assume control of a mudball named Organia, where they find a population of sheep and a man named Baroner. Kor is intrigued by the angry young man and appoints him as his liasion. Baroner and his friend, a Vulcan trader, turn out to be troublesome Starfleet officers. When a Federation fleet arrives, Kor doesn’t get the glorious battle he wanted, just a distasteful peace treaty and grudging respect for a Starfleet captain. Following the incident, the High Council decides that guile may succeed where force of arms has failed.

Kahnrah and K’Ahlynn continue their discussion in issue #2. Klingon guile and human distrust are the subtext for the tale of distant cousin Gralmek, small in stature and strength, who volunteers for surgery and covert placement as Arne Darvin, assistant to Nilz Baris, a Federation administrator on Station K-7 responsible for development of Sherman’s Planet (TOS: The Trouble With Tribbles). Unfortunately for Gralmek, visiting Captain Koloth and his crew, and the Klingon age of espionage, fuzzy vermin are formidable adversaries. Gralmek’s service is rewarded with discommendation, but his story suggests that Klingons and humans may have something in common.

Are humans all that different? 

For their first venture into the Star Trek universe, the brothers Tipton have come up with a terrific angle — examining classic encounters between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire from the Klingon perspective. This approach has its dangers. Klingons are arguably the most popular of all Trek characters. There are more Klingons per capita than any other alien race currently visiting Earth. Ok, I made that up, but how many other alien species have an educational institution on Earth, dedicated to studying and teaching their language? Staff from the Klingon Language Institute provided an English translation of the Klingon issue #1 for provincial Earthers like myself.

The framing device of a grandfather and granddaughter discussing Klingon history is a nice touch. We see it in both of the issues published so far and I imagine it will be used throughout. This is the same sort of family interplay that I enjoyed between Ben and Jake Sisko. By the way, Sisko makes a cameo appearance in #2, an event chronicled in DS9 episode Trials and Tribble-ations.

Sisko cameo

David Messina brings a sharp-edged stroke to interior and cover artwork which is appropriate for Klingon tales. The black background adds a suitably dark frame for the interior art panels. Joe Corroney provides photorealistic covers for issues #1 and #2, featuring Kor and Koloth, two of the most memorable Klingon commanders, and a couple of familiar Earthers. Corroney’s cover art for #1 was used for a poster and a postcard distributed to comic shops by IDW. Messina, Corroney and the Tiptons are a fine team for a very entertaining series that shouldn’t be missed. My only complaints? Not enough K’Ahlynn and multiple covers.

The English language edition of issue #1 was published with five covers. The Klingon language edition of #1 has two covers. I’ll try to refrain from ranting about multiple covers.
Klingons - Blood Will Tell #1 AKlingons - Blood Will Tell #1 BKlingons - Blood Will Tell #1 RI AKlingons - Blood Will Tell #1 RI BKlingons - Blood Will Tell #1 ExclusiveKlingons - Blood Will Tell #1 KL AKlingons - Blood Will Tell #1 KL RI

By comparison, issue #2 has a mere four covers and was published only in English. Don’t get me started on multiple covers.
Klingons - Blood Will Tell #2 AKlingons - Blood Will Tell #2 BKlingons - Blood Will Tell #2 RI AKlingons - Blood Will Tell #2 RI B

Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. Multiple covers make his life miserable. He also reads the occasional Star Trek novel and wonders why they don’t have any pictures. You can visit his website, the Star Trek Comics Checklist for more than you ever needed to know about Star Trek comics.



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Thanks for the great review and I look forward to future reviews Mark. For those who have not had a chance, Mark’s site Star Trek Comics Checklist is the essential site for any trek comic fan. It is great to have him here as our new comics editor

I have both of these.
Rather enjoyed them. Looking forward to the rest. Reading the story from a different perspective puts a HELL of a lot more depth in it all!


Mark, your website is an an invaluable reference for my collection. Thank you for your efforts and fastidiousness with every publication detail. I look forward to further comic reviews.

I’d be quite interested in hearing the rant on multiple covers actually.

I imagine they’re a bane of collectors and bit confusing on the shelves, but it’s nice to have a choice.

Oh but there isn’t that much choice, half the covers are rather limited in availability.

Nice review, I’ve really enjoyed this series so far, much more than TNG: The Space Between, I’m not really a big Klingon fan but this series makes me love them a little more.

The last issue is going to be entirely in The Undiscovered Country setting so I’m looking forward to seeing what else is set up for that in issues 3 and 4.

I’ve read both TNG: The Space Between and Blood Will Tell, and Blood WIll Tell is definitely my favorite. The writing is sharp and the writers do a great job weaving elements of Klingon “culture” that we know from the TNG era into the framework of the classic series. Well done.

Astounding! Looks exactly like the process I used on my “Comic” art, several years ago, when I posted at Trekbbs and Trekpulse.

Immitation is the sincerest form a flatery, but I want some cash!

Awesome! I still have some of the Gold Key Trek comics from the 70’s, still fun to read once and awhile since I didn’t understand the plots as a kid :)

Woah, James Quirk! I remember your work! Hmm.. that wasn’t supposed to rhyme… Do you still post your work or have a website anywhere?

9. JohnnyMoo – June 15, 2007
Woah, James Quirk! I remember your work! Hmm.. that wasn’t supposed to rhyme… Do you still post your work or have a website anywhere?

Yes, yes I do. If you look in this thread, you’ll see some of my work. I have a website, but I haven’t posted any art there, yet. I’ve been off on another bent.

Drop me a line and I’ll show you some of the old stuff and more recent stuff. You wont see my work at trekbbs any more. I’m not politically correct enough for that site. I’m a little more right to Karl Marx than that crowd.

I’ve also been building a certain starship, but you wont see that there either, it’s not CGI……. LOL!

10 –
Kowabunga, dude! Rand and Uhura!!

3. Excalbian: I’m glad that you find the checklist useful and now I’m
feeling guilty because I haven’t updated the IDW pages recently. I’ll
get to it as soon as I can.

4. JohnnyMoo: I left out the multiple cover rant because it involves a
long-winded explanation of arcane comics business details like retailer
incentives, pricing, and market size. Whew!. Gives me a headache just
thinking about. But 8of5 gives the short answer. The variant covers just
aren’t easy to find.

I’m so glad they didn’t retcon the Klingons to look more like their modern counterparts, while retaining elements of the culture introduced in TNG. Very good decision on their part. Besides, their appearance is part of canon now anyways… (BLEH, I thought that was so unnecessary :| )

I might add, the classic Trek script being used for the title was a stroke of genius. Really gives it the retro feel.