TrekInk: Review of “Spock Reflections” & “Nero” Comic Collections

spockneroTwo trade paperback collections illuminating the lives of characters from the feature film Star Trek (2009) arrived in comic shops recently ("Star Trek: Nero" and "Spock: Reflections"), giving readers an opportunity to revisit lessons learned about Vulcans, Romulans, humans, loyalty, logic and revenge. We have a summary review of both below


New comic collections bring together Star Trek 2009 movie backstory

In late January IDW released the trade paperback for "Star Trek: Spock – Reflections" and just this past week they released the trade paperback for "Star Trek: Nero". Both are collections of the issues from series originally published in 2009, and both offer backstory related to the 2009 Star Trek movie. Neither collection has new material, but they include all the covers from the series (and of course there is no advertising).

Star Trek: Spock – Reflections trade paperback
written by Scott and David Tipton, layouts by by David Messina, inks by Elena Casagrande, Federica Manfredi and Arianna Florean, finishes by Federica Manfredi, colors by Ilaria Traversi, color assists by Chiara Cinabro and 2B Studios, lettering by Chris Mowry, Robbie Robbins and Neil Uyetake

Looking back at IDW Publishing’s Star Trek comics for 2009, the most appealing mini-series for an original series junkie like myself, was "Spock – Reflections", the four-issue examination of Spock’s past, his family and friends, and what might have been. Using a clever framing story of Spock in the TNG era (set after Star Trek: Generations) on a journey from Romulus to Earth, we have Spock ‘reflecting back’ on various times in his life, starting with his childhood through to TOS movie era. Along the way we see Spock with his father Sarek, the original series crew, Capt. Harriman and even Capt. Picard.

Home, sweet home?

It was a pleasure to read the story again in trade paperback. David Messina orchestrated the art and together with a poignant story arc by the Tipton brothers, created a portrait of Spock that every Trekkie should read. The story meshes nicely with the character of the older ‘Spock Prime’ from the feature film, as intended by the writers, and can inspire you to watch the movie again to see the connections.

For more details on the the individual issues contained within "Star Trek: Spock – Reflections", see the TrekMovie reviews: Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, Issue #4

Cover art by David Messina

Spock Reflections was released January 20th, and is available now at comic shops and bookstores. (If you have difficulty finding it, IDW has already ordered a second printing) It can also be ordered from Amazon.

Star Trek: Nero trade paperback
story by Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, written by Mike Johnson and Tim Jones, art by David Messina, colors by Giovanna Niro, letters by Neil Uyetake

Before the film, Star Trek (2009), there was the comic book prequel "Star Trek: Countdown," which introduced us to Nero. The same creative team is responsible for "Star Trek: Nero," which tells the story of Nero’s Nero’s lost years. It is a bloody tale of rage and vengeance against Spock after dropping down a black hole in the film, set in the years between the Narada’s attack on the USS Kelvin and when Nero captures Spock. In "Star Trek: Nero" we see the story of Nero’s time in Klingon prison, much of which was based on the scenes from the movie which were deleted.

All chained up and no place to go

Writers Johnson and Jones take us deep into Nero’s madness and throw in an a big original series era surprise along the way. Meanwhile, David Messina has a glorious field day with edged weapons and Klingon blood spatter, throwing in an epic space battle for good measure. This trade is just fun to read.

Cover art by David Messina

For more details on the the individual issues contained within "Star Trek: Nero", see the TrekMovie reviews:  Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, Issue #4

"Star Trek" Nero" was released this week, and is available now at comic shops and bookstores. It can also be ordered from Amazon.

Comics vs. Trades?
Reading Spock – Reflections and Nero in trade after buying and reading the individual comics, my usual course of action, made me think about the eternal debate – comics versus trades. In comic book forums around the net and in comments here at Trekmovie, two basic types of comic book fans emerge, the "longboxers" who buy individual issues, read’em, bag’em, board’em and box’em, and the "bookshelvers" who tend to prefer the trades, read’em then line’em up neatly on a shelf and lord have mercy on publishers whose spines don’t coordinate.

The longboxers often remind the bookshelvers that not buying individual issues could mean no trade published for lack of interest. To date, IDW has published a trade for every one of their Star Trek comic series. But I was curious if this is a policy, so I asked IDW’s spokesperson to clarify. Here is the response I got:

Q: If orders for individual issues of a Star Trek mini-series were really low, would IDW think twice about publishing the mini-series in trade paperback?

A: We choose our series carefully, doing our best to make sure we’re creating stories that fans want to read. And while we might not hit the mark every time, we do always collect our series in trade paperbacks. Trades help expand the audience reach of a series by appealing more to certain fans more than single issues, as you pointed out. Also, they are available in comic and book stores, while single issues are almost exclusively sold in comic stores.

I also had a question about IDW’s digital comics.

Q: Now that IDW is publishing digital comics, might we someday see digital only individual issues followed by a trade paperback collection?

A: That’s an interesting idea. The digital field is still very new, and constantly expanding. It’s definitely helping to bring a new audience into comics. However, there’s no denying the appeal of paper-and-ink comics, so I don’t think we’ll see an end of single issues any time soon.

So, did you buy the individual issues as they were published or did you procrastinate and wait for the trades to come out?


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.


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I like the fact that they decided to fill in Nero’s time on Rura Penthe, but if it is suppose to be canon (or semi canon) why wasn’t it in the movie? I know there were the deleted scenes, but they didn’t say much.

I would consider Nero’s Rura Penthe 25 year prison stint as canon… I makes more sense then him waiting aroung in space for the whole time… plus thats where he got his scar and centaur slugs.

P.S. Although I am a “Bookshelver” sometimes I buy some of the individual issues of the new Trek comics. Just read Reflections, which was great and Nero is in the mail from Amazon. I love IDW’s stuff so far!

the nero comics were a bit disappointing. i was expecting more to happen than actually did. the story was too predictable – nero goes to rura penthe, escapes, and then finds spock prime – but the artwork never ceased to be amazing. i found spock reflections more interesting.

i hope they have another comic series similar to Countdown to cover the time between st’09 and st’12; assuming the sequel doesn’t take place directly after…

I think I must have broke the mould with my comic collecting then; I buy all the individual issues, but once each miniseries is complete I make it a custom sized slipcase to contain the whole series together and neatly line those up on my bookshelf!

personally, I wait until its collected in a trade paperback.
I used to buy individual issues, but I missed one WAY back when the JLA/Avengers crossover occured and couldn’t find it anywhere.

I managed to get 3 out of the 4 Nero digital comics… But was 9 pence short of credit to get the last issue. :((

Did they manage to fix Spock Prime’s red blood thingie in the trade version of Star Trek Nero? It kind of bothered us in issue #4.

#7–no, #7… since it was explained by JJ as being in-canon…namely the fact that Spock Prime fell thru the black hole, that changed his blood from green to red (presumably that also is how they explain the fact that there can be 2 Spocks in one timeframe simultaneously; because one had his biology altered by the trip back in time)

I read Spock: Reflections a couple of weeks ago. Really liked it! I only ever read the trade paperbacks, to be honest. I’m not one for collecting comicbooks as and when they show up, preferring to read them in one fell swoop, particularly as single issues of comics rarely stand on their own anymore. I’ll doubtless pick up Nero to go with Reflections and Countdown!

Re: #8 post’s about the ‘official’ explanation for the red blood gaffe in the graphic novel; uh… that was a joke from JJ, right?
Otherwise, that is patently ridiculous, even for Star Trek ‘pseudo-science.’

Apart from that, the graphic novels are still a great read; I just think the artists may want to reconsider their color choices during editing! (:

I loved Countdown; need to check these other books out as well.

I’m a “bookshelver” myself. I guess the reason is because I’m not a big comic collector. I prefer prose novels much more than comics.

I got the trade for Countdown which was brilliant and will be getting the trade for Nero as well.

IDW is killer for me personally because they are the company that publishes the only comics I really bother to get which are Star Trek and 30 Days of Night, which I only get trades for as well.

Nero’s time at Rura Penthe IS canon because of Uhura’s report about a Romulan ship breaking out of a Klingon prison planet. AND, theres a brief shot of Nero on Rura Penthe during Spock Prime/Kirk’s mindmeld scene.

my local comic dealer told me that the star trek movie omnibus is cancelled,what a pitty…it would have perfectly fit with the nero and movie 09 collection

the WIRED insert comic of Spock Prime just abandoned on Vulcan Delta Vega… did that appear in the Spock Reflections compilation?

If it wasn’t filmed, it isn’t canon. Deleted scenes on the blu ray, are arguably canon though–especially if nothing contradicts them.

#15 The deleted scenes aren’t neccessarily canon either. For them to be canon, they would have had to have been included in either the theatrical version or included as a part of a director’s cut.

i used to buy seperate issues but then i would buy the trades- i got the idw issues at first not sure they would do trades now i wait for the trades
they take up less room…