With the exception of Khan, whose life has been chronicled in several novels, we don’t usually get to learn more about Star Trek’s movie villains than what’s presented on film. This week, we visit with Captain Nero of the Romulan mining ship Narada, after a particularly bad day in a black hole, courtesy of IDW Publishing, with their first issue of the Star Trek Nero mini-series. See our early review below.
Star Trek: Nero #1
written by Mike Johnson and Tim Jones, art by David Messina
Moments after the USS Kelvin hits the Narada, Nero and his crew struggle to repair damaged systems and restore power. Nero wants to find Spock. He tells his crew that Romulus is still in danger. A few crew members are determined to go home, and Nero gives them a shuttlecraft, but makes his own determination fully understood to the rest of the crew with torpedoes. A Klingon battlegroup led by Kor uncloaks, fires on Narada, and boards the Romulan vessel. After bloody hand-to-hand combat, Nero is captured and awakens as a guest of Koth, at Rura Penthe.
The Tipton brothers began augmenting the storyline of Star Trek (2009) in the mini-series Star Trek: Spock – Reflections. Writers Mike Johnson and Tim Jones present the flipside to Spock’s tale in the first issue of a new mini-series, Star Trek: Nero, based on a story by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Johnson and Jones will be filling in the 25-year gap between Nero’s and Spock’s exits from the black hole. Issue #1 is the setup for a tale of Nero’s incarceration at Rura Penthe. We don’t learn anything significant about Nero except that his penchant for violence has no limits. I hope to learn more in the next issue. The writers have asked the artist to make their point with minimal dialogue and lots of action.
The Klingon welcome wagon arrives
If you’ve visited artist David Messina’s blog, you already know that he enjoys a bit of art with his blood spatter. He gives free reign to blood frenzy in Nero #1. I don’t recall ever seeing so many Klingons impaled with sharp pointy weapons in a Star Trek comic. It’s glorious, as all good Klingon deaths should be. Messina is clearly in his element with a dynamic and violent story like this. I don’t know what’s in store for Nero, but I’m sure that it will be painful, and the artist will make us feel every moment of the pain. I have to mention that Kor appears in a couple of panels and bares only a faint resemblance to actor John Colicos, who made Kor such a memorable character. The review copy didn’t show the name of the colorist for this issue, so if the Klingon blood isn’t sufficiently saturated for your tastes, we’ll have to wait for more information from the publisher to learn who’s responsible.
All chained up and no place to go
Messina’s cover for the first issue, features Nero, and appears to be based on the same grid design as the Star Trek (2009) film posters and IDW’s prequel mini-series, Star Trek: Countdown. Likewise, the retailer incentive photo cover, featuring Karl Urban as McCoy, follows the same motif as the prequel’s incentive covers.
In their never-ending quest to make my life miserable (yes, sometimes these comic reviews are all about me, not your Star Trek reading pleasure), IDW will also make Nero #1 available with a retailer exclusive cover for Toronto’s Fan Expo Canada which takes place the last week of August. Brother, can you spare an exclusive copy for a down-on-his-luck comic collector? And while you’re up, how about one of those San Diego Comic Con Star Trek: Countdown #1 signed exclusive comics with a preview of Nero #1? And don’t forget the hardcover edition of Star Trek: Countdown coming later this year, not to mention the limited edition of same, to be bound in genuine Targ hide, with gold-pressed latinum leaf lettering and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the President of the Federation … ¡Ay, caramba!
Star Trek: Nero #1, the ordinary edition, will be in local comic shops this Wednesday. Don’t miss it.
The first three issues of the four issue "Nero" comic can be pre-ordered now from TFAW.
Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. You can visit his website, the Star Trek Comics Checklist for more than you ever needed to know about Star Trek comics.