Following closely on the heels of the classic Original Series episode "The Enterprise Incident" comes "Star Trek: The Enterprise Experiment," a comic book sequel by the same writer, D.C. Fontana. This week we review the first of the five issue mini-series telling the story of the experiment with the Romulan cloaking device stolen "The Enterprise Incident." Plus we have news and previews on upcoming comics
The story begins with some call backs (forwards?) to Carol and David Marcus, two characters that would not make their first (canon) appearance for several years in the second Star Trek movie, Wrath of Khan. We also see a glimpse of the cloaking device and the Guardian of Forever, foreshadowing a possible appearance later in the series. With the start of the story proper, Kirk and Spock are discussing how to arrive at a peaceful mind with Spock noting that while Vulcans appreciate peace through silence and isolation, Humans seem to tend to the opposite extreme. Kirk takes this comment as Spock prying into his private affairs, a rather Human trait.
Kirk cuts the conversation short by noting that they cannot find Scotty or the Enterprise anywhere on their scanners, and that the experiment appears to be working… until they realize that they cannot raise it on the communication channels either, noting that "Our little experiment just became interesting."
Most of the dialogue reads as if it could be spoken on screen, and D.C. Fontana and her co-author Derek Chester pepper their story with Star Trek trivia, including McCoy’s preference of a traditional mint julep over a classic Scotch. They also find uses for members of the crew from The Animated Series, using their alien talents to good effect.
The story is strengthened by Gordon Purcell’s pencil and inks. United once again with Terry Pallot, Purcell continues his strong pencil art, last seen in the Year Four series. This story, concentrating on the fallout from an incident with the Romulans, appears to be a good follow-up to that one for his talents. Purcell, a veteran of the days when DC Comics held the Star Trek license in the 1980s has not lost his ability to make the characters seem photo-realistic, yet comic-like, all at the same time. Combining this with Pallot’s inking skills, once again, the feel of the classic Trek comics has returned.
This issue, like many of the recent IDW outings, features three covers, two provided by the Sharp Brothers, last seen doing the interior art on the prior Year Four series. Word has it that the brothers, Rob and Joe, have provided artwork for all five issues in the series. Based on the classic imagery on their covers for this issue, it was a good choice.
Unlike the last Year Four outing from IDW Comics, this issue does not feature a self-contained single story. In fact, this one ends on a nice cliffhanger with a shot reminiscent of the first appearance of another character on an Original Series episode. Same framing, same stance, same facial expression. Almost a perfect likeness too. This seems to be a trait carried through the two IDW ‘Second Stage’ releases thus far, as the New Frontier story ended in almost the same manner, and that is designed to be one story across several issues. Leaving the reading wanting more of Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment.
UPCOMING IDW RELEASE NEWS + PREVIEWS
Recently IDW has quietly announced (or alluded to ) a number of new series and releases.
David and Borg Archives
First off, there are two reprint trade paperback ‘Archives.’ The first is a set of Peter David Trek comics stories from past publishers and the second is spotlighting Borg comics.
Secondly, in a recent posting on TrekBBS, Keith DeCandido stated that he is doing an upcoming Alien Spotlight about the Klingons titled “Four Thousand Throats”. Other species seen will include the Tholians, Betazoids, and Ferengi, with writing from Andrew Steven Harris, the Tiptons, James Patrick, and Mike W. Barr. And in a posting on his own forum, John Byrne stated that he is working on several "sequels" to his Romulans Alien Spotlight, starting with a two parter, and then more.
Star Trek Year 4 Enterprise Experiment #4 and #5 (at Comics Continuum & Chris Ryall’s blog)
Mirror Images #2 (at Comics Continuum)
Next week: More! More! More! Covers and comics, oh my!