TrekInk: Early Review of Star Trek: Nero #2

spock After years in prison, Nero still has Spock on his mind. We learn all about the recreational facilities at Rura Penthe and more Klingon blood is spilled in the second issue of Star Trek: Nero from IDW Publishing. Does it get any better than this? Spoilers ahead.

StarTrek: Nero #2
written by Mike Johnson and Tim Jones, art by David Messina

Nero has silently accepted a brutal existence in Rura Penthe, the object of his guard’s gambling habits, routine and pointless interrogations, drugs, a personal revelation, and along with his crew, mining enough to turn a profit for his captors. Nevertheless, he hasn’t forgotten what he wants most, Spock. Another prisoner, a human stellar cartographer, offers to help with Nero’s little physics problem. Given access to data about Narada and the black hole, the human is certain that Spock hasn’t arrived through the black hole yet. The ship, still in orbit above Rura Penthe, hasn’t yielded its secrets to the Klingons. Narada powers up on its own, attacks the prison, giving Nero and his crew the opportunity to escape. Back aboard his ship, Nero discovers that Narada has more secrets.

The last time we visited Rura Penthe, Kirk and McCoy were working in the mines alongside a shapely shapeshifter and trading quips. No such light-hearted banter this time. Writers Mike Johnson and Tim Jones take us deeper into the bowels of the Klingon prison planet where heavily armed and armored guards pit prisoners against animals, drugs to combat the misery flow freely, and time-traveling Romulans bide their time at hard labor. Although Nero’s story is being told within the confines of a comic, Johnson and Jones are providing us with a rich tapestry of influences on his life. I don’t know if Clavell, the human stellar cartographer, has appeared in some previous Star Trek tale, maybe someone will recognize him and comment. I’m pleased with the way this story is evolving. We’re getting backstory and another mystery. Nice job.

Been thinking about you, and there’s no rest …

Having sated much of his bloodlust in the last issue, artist David Messina, with help from colorist Giovanna Niro, seems content, initially, to show us the violence and misery of prison life. Nero’s match with a dog of some kind is particularly brutal. Messina may get in trouble with PETA over this fight, because no beast or biped was unharmed during the creation of this artwork. There was so much blood spilled in the last issue that I missed something in Messina’s layout that puzzles me a bit. Here and there a panel is outlined in red against the black background of the page. In this issue, which has less red blood sprayed around to distract the eye, it has the effect of focusing the reader’s attention on the panel. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean, if anything. Before this issue ends, though, the red panel outlines give way to more Klingon blood when the Romulans make their escape. The bottom line is that Messina continues to give us spectacular artwork to go along with an intriguing story.

Fly me to the moon, let me sing among those stars …

Star Trek: Nero #2 has two covers. The regular cover for this issue features an appropriately blood red Nero, continuing the color scheme used for the Star Trek (2009) movie posters and Star Trek: Countdown covers. The retailer incentive photo cover features Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott, who has nothing to do with this story, but still looks like he’s up to something. Since the retailer incentive covers for this series seem to be featuring the secondary characters from Star Trek (2009), my not very surprising guess is that we’ll see Chekov and Sulu covers for the last two issues of Nero.

Cover: David Messina, Cover RI: Photo cover

Star Trek: Nero #2 will be in local comic shops this Wednesday. Anyone wearing full Rura Penthe prison guard dusters, armor, and disrupter rifles, might be able to convince comic shop owners that they deserve a discount. No duster needed to get a discount from TFAW.









A trade paperback collection of Star Trek: Nero will be published May 2010, and you can pre-order from Amazon for $12.23 (discounted from $17.99).

Nero TPB coming in May

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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sweet! Still waiting for mine.

Normally, I’d be like “Dude, they’re COMICS. LAAAME” — I wasn’t even gonna get Countdown but after the awesome reviews I decided it was worth a try.
But now, seeing these freakn epic images…


Love of god… make an animated DVD movie of this!

#2 –

I draw comics professionally. Ha. They’re not lame. =)

Out of stock already? How on Earth am I going to get it?

These comics are an amusing diversion but they are not canon. Orci made that abundantly clear when he dismissed events that occured in the Countdown series last winter-spring. Therefore, there’s no point linking the events to the film.

@6 – But some of what happens in Nero IS canon since it is based on the deleted scenes from the movie, at least with the Klingons, if you can consider deleted scenes that way.

Besides, this whole Star Trek thing is “an amusing diversion” from life so we can enjoy what little bits come our way.

Are you sure Star Trek is the amusing diversion? What if we’re all just charicters in some Holodeck program somewhere? What if WE’RE the amusing diversion…

#6 I presume the “story by K/O” a/k/a Kurtzman and Orci means nothing to you? We realize it isn’t filmed prime Trek, ergo “Prime canon”, but in this new Alternate Trekverse, Boborci has already said they’d stay consistent in all the materials they produce.

With the Countdown series, the Nero series, the Spock Reflections series, and the Spock piece in WIRED, all of these create a common shared tableau with the movie.

As long as they continue painting on the same canvas, and intend to do the same with the sequel and any other materials, I’d argue this new alternate tableau, this new canvas, creates a new form of canon. I think truly clever people would agree.

Prime canon rules are intact. I think with ST-Alternate we can afford to let fandom have in the alternate universe, the same EU rules that work so well for Star Wars. “If it’s authorized material, it’s alt-canon, unless something onscreen directly conflicts.”

#6 Oh, and if you search the archives here, one would find you’ve misrepresented what Boborci said here to us. He did not dismiss any events. He said he’d leave it up to fandom to decide what we considered canon.

Canon or not, IDW’s Trek comics are awesome!

I was delighted with Countdown, and as soon as my budget allows, I’ll be getting into the Nero series.

It covers a gap in the story that the film could not cover, and I for one would consider Countdown to be at least semi-canon.


In fact, my post was meant to be facetious and a jab at all of the canon freaks around here. I purchased and enjoyed the original set of Countdown comics and I will purchase and enjoy this set which focuses on Nero.

However, you are in error concerning Boborci’s view of the comics with regard to canon. In a Q&A session with Boborci in this very forum, I asked him about an inconsistency in the Star Trek film in relation to the Countdown “prequel” comics, and instead of giving a thoughtful answer which would explain the discrepency, he curtly said “Countdown is not canon”. Therefore, he was essentially saying that there is not necessarily a connection between the non-canon comics and the canon film.

The question I posed was to explain, if the Narada could quickly wipe out an entire fleet of 24th century Klingon warships and cripple the Enterprise-E; how is it that the Kelvin could survive for at least 15 minutes in a firefight with it and even succeed in causing significant damage (by ramming). I expected him to take the question seriously and reply along the lines of the Narada was damaged by it’s transition through the black hole and therefore vulnerable. Instead, he gave the surprising answer that the comics “are not canon”.

The problem with Countdown is that it doesn’t match up with what is actually said in the movie. Spock doesn’t seem to have met Nero until after he created the black hole, nowhere is it indicated that Narada is anything other than a standard Romulan mining vessel, the Vulcans are said to have built the Jellyfish, etc., etc…and to top it all off, the comic isn’t even that good. I was excited about it at first too, but I know now that it isn’t any more canon than the Shatner novels or the Gold Key comics.


None of those plot points are directly contradicted in the film. Most of them occur during the mind meld sequence, and that’s essentially a truncated version of the comic that catches the movie audience up with why Nero is doing what he’s doing. The only one that might directly contradict something in the comic is the computer identification of the Jellyfish being built on Vulcan, but even so, the comic merely says LaForge is the pilot and designer, not that he didn’t perhaps work with the Vulcans to create it. After all, he says he’s long retired from Starfleet. So that’s not necessarily a contradiction, either.

Never really got inti Nero, but is is interesting to get to know about him and his revenge hatred. Like to learn how he went back from the 24th to 23rd century. It would even make a side movie or TV show episode.


Orci’s response is actually. “Easy, the comic is not canon?” That’s ambiguous. Take it however you want.


Also, Spock’s specific line from the movie is “His name was Nero” which doesn’t specifically imply if Spock knew him beforehand in the Prime Reality either way. It’s possible the mind-meld narrative was simplifed for Kirk.

Technically, wasn’t the last time we visited Rura Penthe when Archer and his lawyer got sent there?

^ Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! I remember some people were up in arms that Archer escaped when the warden said that no one had ever escaped from Rura Penthe, but I think you can get away with it because Klingons tend to exaggerate.

A friend and I have been plugging away at our own Trek novel, and this really throws a wrench in it, how canon is this supposed to be? Will we lose our credibility now if we stick with our story?

Please e-mail me if you know, anyone! Thank you.

#13: Up the page where Bob says “The comic isn’t canon” he answers someone else by saying (somthing along the lines of) “that’s answered in Countdown!”. You’re bieng played by Mr. Orci. Lose the canon obsession.

You do know George and Winona Kirk are based on charcters from “non canon” novels, right?

For get my post above (sorry #13!).

That’s what I get for only skim-reading.

@ 14 and 18, it just get to the point where I feel like it’s not even worth keeping Countdown in mind any more.

The Jellyfish craft is a good example; in Countdown it’s brought to Vulcan by LaForge, who is said to have personally designed and built the thing, and is generously lending it to the Vulcans. At the time, this *sounded* awesome, but in the movie we have Spock saying something like “WE readied OUR fastest ship”, the computer states that it was commissioned for the Vulcans, and to top it all off, the cockpit even looks exactly like the IDIC symbol. No “LaForge” reference via the dialogue or an Okudagram, no Burton cameo, or even any non-Vulcan engineers, for that matter.

It just seems like an attempt to shoehorn the Next Generation stuff in without any foundation laid in the movie itself. Ditto for the Narada’s nonexistant Borg hypertech, the casual resurrection of Data, and the Spock/Nero backstory that isn’t even hinted at in the film.

I suppose one *can* keep the events of Countdown in mind, just as one *can* accept the old D.C. comics that backpedaled the storyline for the opening of Star Trek IV, but it’s such a stretch that it just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Hey! The last time we saw Rura Penthe, it was when Jonathan Archer was imprisoned there with his Klingon lawyer, for humiliating one Cpt. Duras and giving Archer a proper defense, respectively.

His escape is one of the things that starts the Klingon Empire and Earth on the path to war.

Anyone have a link to download this?

I go to my local comic shop after work last night to pick up my retailer’s exclusive cover and the regular one …. they had one regular one left and it had been read and pawed through, all the pages had greasy fingerprints all over them (people are such pigs) .. got my retailer’s exclusive cover tho … gonna have to hit up some other shops to scoop the reg cover .. I find it hard to believe they sold so many of the new issue when they STILL had tons of Nero #1 from the day they got them

Anyone remember the respect the team behind Batman Begins showed to fans by including the little comic book, which had the various origin story tales, inside the 2-disc DVD case? No extra cost. Just respect.

Those were the days.

So, what about this Clavell guy in the comic? Is he from some previous Trek incarnation?