TrekInk: Review of Star Trek Crew #4 & #5

Today John Byrne’s story of Number One came to a close with the release of "Star Trek Crew" #5. There are deaths, loose ends, familiar faces, and of course, the Enterprise. How do they all fit together? Read on! We have a review of #5 (and #4 since we skipped that one last month).



It’s taken us three issues, but we’re back to the USS Enterprise, the final known home of Number One. "Shadows of the Past", the title of this issue gives a nice foreshadow of what’s coming… if you can figure out the reference of course. At the start of the issue, the shuttle holding the future Number One arrives on board the ship and who is the first person she meets, but Lieutenant Commander Pike.

The story starts with a re-introduction to the Enterprise and eventually her current captain, Robert April. As per usual, when Number One is around, something goes wrong. Catastrophically wrong in fact. In this case, the ship has crossed an incredibly powerful energy trail from a transporter beam. This leads them to a planet with a series of man-made bases and constant fights going on between them.

Byrne takes the opportunity to revisit moments from past stories and fill out some more details and tie off some ends that we never really realized were loose to begin with. Combined with his use of panels, the story ticks along with some good speed. Lovern Kindzierski, a Canadian veteran of DC Comics returns as the colorist for this issue after his excellent work on issue #3, and continues to bring out the best of Byrne’s work. Thus far, this series is getting better issue by issue,

No wonder Pike needed to bring Spock aboard as a science officer! (click to enlarge)


And then we come to the end… "The Ends of Eternity" in fact. This is the final story in the prequel story that John Byrne is presenting studying the life of Number One before she took the job. In this final issue, we are once again on the Enterprise, and Captain April is taking our heroine to task for declining another promotion, something that she has repeatedly done over the course of the three years that she has been a member of the Enterprise crew. They are rudely interrupted as the starship encounters strange time dilation issues, specifically ones that speed up the chronometers on the ship.

Seeing that this story is the closest to the events of "The Cage" chronologically, the terminology is in line with that episode, including speaking about lithium crystals, and Spock is introduced as the science officer. This doesn’t quite fit in with what was previously presented in the "Alien Spotlight" focusing on Vulcans published almost two years ago, but does not really harm the overall story.

Byrne uses pages of black and shades of white to throw the Enterprise crew into a strange reality, one where Spock is rendered incapacitated due to his Vulcan heritage. The shading of colors by Kindzierski adds to the alien feel of the issue, and brings out the aging effects shown throughout the story. The ending has a bit of a feel of Deux Ex Machina or something similar, but with a 22 page story, it is sometimes hard to avoid that.

It’s full of stars… oh wait. Wrong science-fiction story, and it certainly isn’t full of them! (click to enlarge)

Overall "Star Trek Crew" has been a fun one, visiting a time we had not seen much of previously in the comic realm. The stories finish before the events of the Vulcan alien spotlight, and thus also the Early Voyages series from Marvel, recently reprinted by IDW in their "Star Trek Omnibus volume 2". Each story finishes with a clever reference or line at the end, and the final panel of the series is no different as it features a moment between Christopher Pike, Captain April’s “Number One”, and our heroine – possibly the last time we will see her in print for the forseeable future. This series is not one of Byrne’s best, but for fans of Majel Barrett Roddenberry, this is a fitting eulogy for ths character.

Regular and dealer incentive covers for "Crew" #4 and "Crew" #5
(click to enlarge)

Star Trek Crew #4 and #5 are available in comic stores now. You can order both covers from TFAW.


#4 (RI)







You can also pick up the previous three issues.








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New TV series? Pike’s Enterprise :) Paramount – creat one or we will! ;)

I reach!

If I remember correctly Pike only used the united space ship enterprise and the ship only had some 203 members for a crew. And I recall nothing about a size or volume change is size of the ship. So either Pikes ship had plenty of free space not in use or things were big a bulky in size and the reduction of cubic volume used by the new tools allows 430 crew members to fit in the same space. That is like going from Tube electronics of a palm sized AM radio to Ear bud sized Am Radio. With a Capt. Pike series they better make thing big and bulky to have it keep the story line on the same tracks.

Enterprise did this some what, but the shop people are from the 21st century not the mid 20th century that Roddenberry is from. So they better educate the set designers correctly about the time/size factors. Enterprise was some what correct but some what making things look techie of the 80’s style. For Pike they need 50’s style which was curves and forget right angles and pastel not netalic like colorings.

But those are ideas based in the Prime universe not the new altered JJ universe, but they still need to keep that stuff in mind. I was born in the 60’s but remember the old 7″ round B&W RCA TV/AM radio with the record player that was about half the size of my 42″ DLP HDTV. And the power cord looked the size of the climbing rope you had in Junior High. Those were 3″ compared to head phone wires now they have similar scaling factors.

All in All they better have good researchers and set design crew that has changes is size understandings on how big or small things change via time.

The sad part is that this is the closest thing to a female leading character in Star Trek for a long time.

1 Pah Wraith: Yep! That’s the spirit!

IDW books, like Crew #5, didn’t ship in my state of Michigan this week. Apparently other parts of the U.S. didn’t receive them either. Hopefully next week we’ll get them!

Yeah, my LCS didn’t have it either. Hopefully next week along with the new Spock story!

I think two more Trek movies from J.J. and we should be primed for an intelligent, well written Star Trek TV show again. They’ve been hit and miss, but I think it’s coming up on about that time. And I would have no objections to a “continuing adventures of TOS” kind of thing.

#4 – I’m not sure that’s a fair statement. Voyager went off the air in 2001, the only Trek series on air for an entire year, followed by a single 4 year series and one film. Then nothing until this year. So, there really hasn’t been that much mainstream Trek since Captain Janeway went off the air. DS9 also had several strong women running along side VOY for several years by themselves too.

I don’t really read the comics or novels, but considering how long it took to get Janeway, over 30 years, it hasn’t been that long at all. Here’s hoping that they take the seeds they planted with Uhura and turn her into an equally strong character, or introduce a new one equal to Number One’s (and use her). Sadly, ST09 has really dropped the ball in depicting women in strong roles. From the short skirts, to Uhura’s role as “the girlfriend” – questionably leveraging her relationship with Spock to get ahead, does not bode well for the roles women are likely to hold in this Trek.

All-Round-Trekkie (that’s me) says , “I like it all ! I read the comics and novels as well the series and films . This comic series looks interesting!”

Ah , Janeway !! Well Janeway was the female equivalent of Picard ! In DS9 , there were many strong women – Kira Nerys , Jadzia Dax , Kasidy Yates etc , but in Enterprise , T’Pol was the sexpot ! So it would be nice to have another leader with strong qualities (Like Kirk) but the female kind , like Number One , with someone very much in the Majel Barrett cast or look ! Impulsive and sexy ! Confident and capable I would love it !


Yay, brother!

And I’ve just been alerted by a new friend that issue number for even has a kind of Assignment: Earth reference. You go Byrne. Makes you believe in dreaming again. I shall pick up this series now.