This week there were no new issues of Star Trek comics, but IDW has recently released two trade paperback collections of comic series from earlier in the year. Today we take a look these two series collections, "Mission’s End" and "Crew", each of which takes a look at a different end of the Original Series era.
MISSION’S END TPB QUICK REVIEW
Ty Templeton and Stephen Molnar took a look at the USS Enterprise’s final mission in their Mission’s End mini-series. The story begins on stardate 1136.2 on one of the first missions in Kirk’s five years before jumping forward to the final mission. As per usual with Star Trek comics, things inevitably go wrong. In this case, i’s a revolution. This quickly leads to some impressive destruction and some hand-to-hand combat, Kirk-style. The story starts off a bit slow, but picks up rapidly. There are a few leaps in this story that force the reader to write parts of the tale on his or her own, but most of them play out like a television episode, there are only one or two that stand out as awkward. Ty Templeton brings his story to a close early, allowing for an elongated epilogue that reads like the last 10 minutes of Deep Space Nine’s final episode, “What You Leave Behind”. In a sense, this is what the last episode of the original Star Trek could have played out like at the end… if it had been given the chance.
The art ranges from excellent to decent, dropping in quality toward the middle of the story, but the colors pop off the page, bringing the TV series to mind as they do. In fact, one of the covers in the gallery, by Kevin Maguire, captures the gist of the series synopsis in one clean image of Kirk, McCoy, and Spock walking in three separate directions as the Starfleet emblem shatters behind them. Some of the dialogue is a bit difficult to read due to the font used, but as with anything, repetition makes things easier. This is not the best of the original series comic stories to date, but the epilogue stands comfortably with the best of IDW’s Star Trek works.
Back in stardock, just in time for the Motion Picture to start (click to enlarge)
The "Mission’s End" Trade Paperback is available now.
CREW TPB QUICK REVIEW
John Byrne returns to the Star Trek universe, this time focusing on one of the most underutilized characters in the Star Trek television universe, Number One. No matter how you look at it, this series is John Byrne’s love letter to Majel Barrett and her Number One character, even to the point where each issue was dedicated to her. The character grows through each issue, and hints as to why she is in the position during Pike’s tenure on the Enterprise in “The Cage” are apparent throughout.
Most of the five chapters in this collection play out like classic original series episodes, and it is obvious that Byrne has a good feeling for the pacing and style of the series. Number One finally joins the Enterprise crew by the fourth chapter, and once she arrives on board the ship, who is the first person she meets, but Lieutenant Commander Pike. It is moments like this that make this story a can’t-miss for big fans of the original series. The final issue is set three years later, not long before the events of “The Cage”, and the look and feel of the story reflect that.
As usual, Byrne handles both the writing and art tasks with aplomb. The likenesses of Number One resemble the actress, and the ships and technology pictured perfectly fit the era. The covers presented in the gallery follow the theme of showing the starship in the story as a silhouette with an image from the chapter within. This love letter to a dearly departed beacon in the Star Trek universe is worth adding to any fan’s collection.
This could be the starting plot point from one of those classic beach movies Elvis used to make… (click to enlarge)
The "Crew" Trade Paperback is available now.
More IDW Trek Collections
IDW has been doing Star Trek comics for over a couple of years now and all of the comics they have put out have been put out in trade paperback collections (or soon will be). Each one is like a graphic novel, compiling the whole series.
Previously released collections
|The Space Between [TNG]|
|Klingons Blood Will Tell [TOS]|
|Star Trek Year Four – The Enterprise Experiment [TOS]|
|Alien Spotlight Vol 1 [TOS/TNG]|
|New Frontier: Turnaround [NF]|
|Assignment Earth [TOS (Gary Seven)]|
|Mirror Images [TOS (Mirror Universe)]|
|The Last Generation [TNG (Myriad Universe)]|
|Star Trek: Countdown [TNG/ST09]||Paperback:
|Spock Reflections [TOS/ST09]
|Alien Spotlight [TOS/TNG]
|Fool’s Gold [DS9]
These look good.
ive only just starting buying comics again after a break of 3-4 or so and it was to get countdown now i am looking forward to getting both the above tbp
“Crew” is a love letter indeed… enjoying it muchly! =)
DC did a TOS “final mission” as an annual back in the mid-80’s – it brought them back to Talos IV. It was good – I’ll check out the IDW version and see what they cook up.
Ahhh, wish the next Trek would go to Talos 4. Has Pike already been there?
#5 – That’s a good question about Pike. I would guess not, but I haven’t done the math. He certainly wasn’t there with the Enterprise, we know that – but that’s all.
We need the Reeves-Stevenses to get goin’ on a 3-book miniseries in the Abramsverse and get some of these loose ends tied up before I go mad!!!
…Number One character, even to the point where each issue was dedicated to her. The character grows through each issue, and hints as to why she is in the position during Pike’s tenure on the Enterprise in “The Cage”…
Her affair with Gene Roddenberry is chronicled?
I have both of them, have read both front to to back. Mission’s End is very good, fine story – only the main characters are not drawn very faithfully sometimes. I don’t think it’s a matter of artistic license, the faces simply seem to me carelessly executed in some panels. In particular Kirk.
But Crew really blew me out of my chair. What a collection of great Trek, great SF stories. Already the introduction of Number One on the very first page… WOW! Totally dig her and wanna see more of her adventures.
I hope JJ reads Crew, too.
I really liked the end of Mission’s End. The last scene between McCoy, Spock and Kirk really set up where TMP started with the characters, and why they were sort of cold toward eachother.
Highly inappropriate now that they’re both dead. tsk tsk
” …Number One character, even to the point where each issue was dedicated to her. The character grows through each issue, and hints as to why she is in the position during Pike’s tenure on the Enterprise in “The Cage”…
Her affair with Gene Roddenberry is chronicled?”
Younger readers wont understand and Older readers wont care
“Mission’s End” did very little for me. I didn’t care for most of the art, and the story didn’t strike the right chord with me. I would prefer a story about the end of the five year mission be bigger in scope, a bit more epic, and something that focused more on our family of characters, instead of yet another heretofore unseen potential love interest for Kirk and an alien race that had never been seen before and thus had no gravitas in the Star Trek universe. An “end of the five year mission” story, for me, should be a little bigger, weightier, and deeper than just another episode of bug-eyed monsters and stuff blowing up.
But John Byrne’s “Crew” was excellent from start to finish: fun to read and a pelasure to look at.
I picked up “Crew” as a lark last month and wasn’t disappointed. This is one of the few Trek comics that stands by the occasionally cornball TOS and not just captures its unique tone and flavor but furthers it. For the canon purists, you’ll get your fill of time warp and laser weapons, for sure! :)
#7, #10 – actually this “older reader’ found that kind of humorous.
What’s ‘inappropriate’ to you may be just fine to others, thanks.
With both of these collections, we truly are in a golden age of Star Trek comics.
Holger, I hear the trade paperback of the Romulan/Klingon alliance during TOS coming out soon has more of Number One now as a Commodore and commanding the Lexington?
I just wish I had the extra cash to put down for all these. They look great!
15 Eli: I think it’s due up in January.