Review: Star Trek: Year Four #2

Year Four #2 Cover B original artThe fourth year of the original five-year mission continues with IDW’s Star Trek: Year Four #2.

The Enterprise detours to Aarak 3 to replenish their supply of dilithium crystals. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are entertained by King Marat when terrorists attack and nearly succeed in killing the king and his guests. Kirk learns that rapid change since the Federation began buying dilithium has split Aarakaian society. Spock believes that overthrow of the government is inevitable. While Kirk decides whether or not to intervene, Scotty gets some assistance installing new dilithium crystals from a very attractive Aarakaian with more on her mind than starship engines. While the Aarakaians play out an elaborate deception, the crew of the Enterprise answers with a little deception of their own.

Artist Steve Conley brings a clean, simple, comic strip look to the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise. Nearly every panel is followed by a neatly trimmed panel exactly the same size as the previous panel, four to a page. Every character is bright-eyed, lean, and wrinkle-free. The men are all clean-shaven (or whatever they do to remove facial hair in the 23rd century). I don’t know if Arex has facial hair. Kirk’s forelock curves at precisely the correct radius whether he’s firing a phaser or tossing off a casual remark through his communicator. Everyone also speaks through their teeth, but that’s kind of a tradition in comics. This approach works for the episodic tales Conley is illustrating, but I’d like to think that the crew of the Enterprise isn’t quite so picture perfect and trim, three years into their five-year mission. But, this is the comics and I’m happy to see the original gang back in full four-color glory. Never mind that I’ve been a Trekkie since the original series was broadcast live, making me a fossil. I hope I’d look better drawn by Mr. Conley too.

she's a beauty

David Tischman tells a good, basic Trek tale, but just when we learn that the pretty gal couldn’t distract Scotty from his warp engines, I became confused, and I don’t think it’s because my brain is fossilized. Why did the Aarakaians do what they did? I still don’t know. I suppose this could simply be an allegory about the temptation of modern technology in a deeply traditional society, but I’m with McCoy on this one. I want to know what the hell is going on.

what the hell

Issue #2 has two regular covers and one retailer incentive cover. Keep in mind that IDW doesn’t always show as all the retailer incentive covers. Joe Corroney’s cover featuring Scott, Sulu, and Chekov is another keeper. The photo cover is one of the standard publicity photos of William Shatner as Kirk. In the past, I’ve ranted about multiple covers. They remain a pain simply because comic retailers don’t always have them for sale, but there’s no denying that the artists IDW has commissioned to draw the covers are doing a terrific job.

Star Trek: Year Four #2
Written by: David Tischman
Art by: Steve Conley
Cover art by: Steve Conley and Joe Corroney
In shops: the week of September 5

Year Four #2 Cover A Year Four #2 Cover B Year Four #2 Cover RI

preview available at IDW CLICK HERE

See this week’s new releases from IDW Publishing

Coming from IDW

Star Trek: The Next Generation — The Space Between TPB, ISBN 160010116X, September 12
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight #1 Gorn, September
Star Trek: Year Four #3, September
Star Trek: Year Four #4, October
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight #2 Vulcans, October
Star Trek: Year Four #5, November
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight #3 Andorians, November
Star Trek: Klingons — Blood Will Tell TPB, ISBN 1600101089, November
Star Trek: Year Four #6, December
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight #4 Orions, December
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight #5 Borg, January 2008
Star Trek: The Next Generation — Intelligence Gathering #1, January 2008
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight #6 Romulans, February 2008

Coming from Tokyopop

Star Trek: The Manga Volume 2 — Kakan ni Shinkon, ISBN 1427806208, September


Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. 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.


Comics available at Amazon

IDW Trade Paperbacks


Tokyopop Manga


Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. 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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First…love that cover design

the scotty does not look like scotty… bones is pretty bad too.

so these are like the 4th season?

sorry i aint being keeping uptodate on the comics

Interesting note at the bottom of the letters page in this issue: Gordon Purcell will being doing that artwork in the next issue.

I enjoyed this one, it was a nice parallel to the current US/oil/middle east situation. But agree it was a bit confusing why the government working with the feds would turn on the Enterprise. My take is that they were trying to implicate the terrorists to draw the Federation into the conflict and quickly crush the insurgency.

Wasnt Gordon Purcell the artist for the 2nd DC run?

thats a name i aint heard in a good while

I believe that’s him.

“a very attractive Aarakaian” ?
Sure, it got lonely in college sometimes, but I don’t think I dated any chicks that were corpse grey.

I stopped reading this series after the first issue. It suffers from the same flaws as the “Space Between” TNG books.

Terrible artwork. 40 years after Gold Key’s Trek comic, and this is the best current artists can do?


You know, I think Tischman is pretty good at recreating the characters and tone of TOS, but every issue feels super rushed, and for a buck extra comic book, I’m not sure it’s worth it. I wish there were more than four panels a page, and that it took me more than 3 minutes to read an issue.

Can’t IDW spring for some Peter David cash? That’d be nice.

#9 – I concur.

IDW: Like Gold Key did, outsource your art chores to Italy! ;-)

The artwork in these ST books is dreadful.

I think they’ve achieved a lot here — the formula of TOS is absolutely present. And I like the focus in this issue on a cold war morality play — but the resolution was CLEARLY revisionist. Kirk’s morality was that of a mid-20th century American cold warrior. He would not have walked away from all that dilithium — which the Klingons would then access by whatever means necessary.

He would’ve propped up the dictator to make sure that they didn’t get their hands on it. In several TOS episodes, he did similar (i.e., supplying the natives with flintlocks).

Kirk knocks over what looks like a *marble pillar* (I stared at the art in disbelief for about 30 seconds) to beat the rebel?!? That one panel alone says more than I possibly could about what’s wrong with this series.