TrekInk: Review of Star Trek Movie Adaptation #1

It’s stardate 2230.08, and a new life comes into being, with the cutest little pointy ears. Three years later, everything changes when a lightning storm  in space strikes the USS Kelvin. Today IDW Publishing begins their version of the story of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek movie, presented in six parts. Every epic story must begin somewhere. Check out the TrekMovie review of Star Trek Movie Adaptation #1 below.



Movie adaptations are always tricky beasts, both for the creators and the readers. As a creator, you cannot stick slavishly to what has been put up on screen, the story has to be able to stand on its own in a different medium; there has to be something that sets it apart from the other presentations. As a reader, the story has to be taken in the context of what it is adapting, but still stand alone on its own merit. Alan Dean Foster managed to set his novelization apart from the movie by expanding on some of the scenes, giving some more back story, and using some of the material from deleted scenes where it would not slow the story down.

For the comic adaptation, Mike Johnson & Tim Jones of the Countdown and Nero series have returned to take a crack at finishing the story begun in those two titles by adapting the movie itself. When all is said and done, Spock Prime and Nero’s entire saga will have been presented in comic form. The question stands though, after what they managed to do to expand and fill out the story in the previous titles, can they do the same with the movie itself?

Things start off in a promising way by immediately integrating the deleted scene about Spock’s birth three years before the Kelvin incident. This scene plays out almost identically to the filmed material (available on the DVD), compressed to a single two-page spread. The story then jumps forward to the appearance of Nero’s ship, the Narada, amidst a lightning storm in space being investigated by Captain Robau’s USS Kelvin. From there, the story plays out much like the movie, with no major changes in dialogue or scenery. The first chapter of the story covers the Kelvin incident and ends once the encounter is complete.

Why do people always talk about a baby’s eyes when they are always closed… (click to enlarge)

David Messina returns to finish Star Trek movie tie-in “trilogy” of stories with his artwork, but this time only provides the pencil art. The inking is done by Gaetano Carlucci, another member of his Italian art studio. Carlucci has been doing inking for a number of Messina issues since late 2009, beginning with the "Angel: Only Human" series. His style is very like Messina’s, and it is difficult to see any big differences between them. The two bring the visuals of the film to life, especially when given a large layout to work with, such as the four full page illustrations in the issue. Like Nero and Countdown before it, the first page has a heavy border with the title and a small scene-setting image in the center.

Giovanna Niro fills in Messina and Carlucci’s artwork with the colors that bring it to life. The time spent on Vulcan has a dusty and dry feel to it, the sections in space feel expansive, and the colors on board the ships feel cramped and dull, the Kelvin leaning to the blue spectrum and the Narada to a darker red. The computer coloring can feel a bit bland at times, but the sheen of the pages really stands out and works very well for the space imagery and the scenes aboard the Kelvin. It will be interesting to see what the bridge of the Enterprise looks like compared to its appearance on the big screen.

As strong as the Kelvin may be, it is no match for the red space around it… (click to enlarge)

Messina provides one cover, which is almost an artistic rendition of the publicity photo of George Kirk that graces the retailer incentive. Messina’s cover seems to be set during an action sequence as sparks fly during the red alert status around Kirk.

Covers for "Star Trek: The Movie Adaptation"
(click to enlarge)

It’s a good start to the adaptation, bringing one deleted scene to the story to expand things, and it remains to be seen how good the entire series will be overall. The story is pretty well defined and sticks to the dialogue and events of the movie, but the second issue, coming next month, is really where things should pick up and set the tone for the final four issues. With that issue, we will see the true extent of how much Johnson and Jones are able to fill in the gaps and add onto the story.

Star Trek: The Movie Adaptation #1 is available in comic stores now. You can order it and other upcoming issues from TFAW.













UPDATE: TFAW only have photo cover, regular cover sold out

The six issues will eventually be collected as a trade paperback, but that has not yet been officially announced (and so is not yet available for pre-order).

Also This Week: TNG Ghosts #4 & Romulans TPB

Also due in stores this week is TNG: Ghosts #4 (see TrekMovie Review), and the trade paperback for John Byrne’s Romulan series (review coming soon).

battle  battle


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Looks good but I think I’ll wait for the paperback.

Been said before but one way it couldve been made more interesting than just looking at recreated stills/footage from the film is if theyd used the original actors likeness – the artists couldve used stuff like Twilight Zone/Judgement at NB for Shatner, Gun Fight at OK Corral for Kelly, The Cage for Nimoy and Hunter etc etc

(that is if they havent done it like that)

How’s this for an idea?

We take the Countdown, Nero and Star Trek movie comics and make them all one book? One coherent story from end to beginning (time travel reference for anyone who thinks I made a mistake). That’d be awesome

Is that a Phaser beam coming from the Kelvin Bridge?

4 – yep thats the deleted scene of G Kirk firing his hand phaser out the window gangsta style

#3: I’d actually be surprised if that isn’t the plan for the long run, maybe just in time for this year’s Christmas season, after they’ve sold a stack of the standalone versions. I really do think that comics in this format have become “the Trade Paperback for People Who Just Can’t Wait for the Trade Paperback.” :)

I may yet pick up a Countdown TPB myself (I’ve picked one up, put it down, picked it up, put it down …) Countdown was the final tip of the scales that led me to see the movie in hopes, and I still think it’s the better story overall (even if Nero’s behavioral arc reminds me of that Taxi episode where they gave Reverend Jim an origin story).

#2 …seriously??? thats like someone asking for tos comics to be re-drawn with the likeness of the trek09 cast. i love the tos actors too but c’mon.

Yeah, #2 is missing the point. Kirk looks as much like Shatner as Batman looks like Adam West.

#8: “Kirk looks as much like Shatner as Batman looks like Adam West.”

In fairness, other actors played Batman before Adam West did, and Batman is a comic book character that predates his dramatized appearances. That’s two big differences, IMO.

I think it’s more accurate (if more bizarre) to say that Kirk looks as much like Shatner as Daisy Duke looks like Catherine Bach. :)

I’m wrong or they are using TOS shuttles in the comic…?

Wasn’t Spock quite a bit older than Kirk in the original timeline? Only three years difference now. Anyone know?

Prime Spock was born in 2230. Prime Kirk was born in 2233. They kept that the same for this movie.

In response to #11
This IS a different timeline so who’s to say Spock’s parents did not meet latter then the original timeline?

#11. I’ve argued this point a lot.
If it’s an alternative “timeline” only the people should change NOT their age. Spock served under Pike for a few years and The Menagerie stated it was 13 years ago (the time they visited Talos 4).

I was under the impression that Spock (prime) was 20-30 older than Kirk (prime).
If so, shouldn’t the new Chekov be just a sperm?!?!

13/14 – the timeline dosnt change until Nero appears

Spock was always 3 years older than JTK

i believe Checkov is the only one affected by the timeline ages wise

#14 You should invest in a copy of the long-running Star Trek Encyclopedia. Spock’s and Kirk’s birthdates have been set since the timeline “stabilized” in the 1980’s with the 2283 reference in Wrath of Khan, and the 2364 dating of the first year of TNG. So, that’s about 22 years since Kirk’s and Spock’s birthdates were nailed down. Nothing suddenly new. And in 2258, Chekov being 17, means he was born about 2241 rather than 2244. No *tremendous* difference.

Chekov’s parents obviously were affected by the Kelvin incident, one presumes. They probably married younger, had Pavel at an earlier age. I just hope that in the alt timeline, he now DOES have a little brother Piotr, who was killed in a Klingon attack. (Tying in with TOS, of course when Chekov was driven by the Beta XIIA creature in Day of the Dove.) Now if only this were to happen in the sequel with a Federation fleet leaving the Laurentian System to take on Klingons near Axanar… (and the Chekov family is on a colony near Axanar….)

@16: “Chekov’s parents obviously were affected by the Kelvin incident, one presumes. They probably married younger, had Pavel at an earlier age.”

Well shoot. This would have been a good chance to legitimately make a female Chekov. The Enterprise needs more capable women gawd dangit. :P

Yah, I have Countdown in floppy single issues, Nero in TPB, and I’m not sure what to do with this one. I think a collected, oversize hardcover edition of all 3 in “chronological” order: Countdown, Issue #1 of movie adaptation, Nero, the rest of the movie adaptation with maybe the final Nero issue overlapped with the 2nd & 3rd issue of the movie adaptation.

Discussions and debates concerning alternate
realities, parallel timelines, and red matter can
give one a migraine.

The comic book looks good. Better than the
majority of others that have existed up ’til now.

Wonderful. Nero scratched the paint.

#9 – Spot on! My point, though, was that these characters are modern myths, now larger than any one telling/portrayal.

I hope they add the Shatner cameo. In the comic it would look great.

#18: If they want to really tug at the fannish buying impulse, they could weave the Nero and movie adaptation stuff together with a few all-new exclusive-to-the-hardcover-edition bridging pages :)

We’re assuming Chekov Prime (that’s fun to say) was 21 when he graduated the academy. That’s only an assumption, with nothing but conjecture to back it up. Maybe he stayed at home a little longer in the Prime timeline, and in the new one joined the Academy earlier. No change in birthdate, just a change in service date… just like Kirk.

first, please excuse, my english is not so good. my two favorite lines in star trek is when admiral akbar says “i want you to concentrate all of your firepower on the ‘superstar’ destroyer”, and also when admiral ackbar say “we cannot repel firepower of this magnitude”. greetings frome france

they should do a graphic novel of the Prime universe origin ..i know theres been various novels and comics that contain elements of the various prime backstories and origins but never everything encompassed in one complete graphic novel – as if it were adapting a movie. All drawn with the original actors likeness

Speaking of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, I wonder if they’ll ever update it. Please, please, please update it. I’ll buy the updated version even though I already have two copies of previous versions (both of which have since been placed in storage (and therefore essentially misplaced)).

There’s so much that has happened since the last update. In addition to the obvious updates (ST2009, for example), it should have sections on Trek literature, Trek comics, and Trek fan productions.

I wonder if these comics will add in that Shatner ending…

@25: Greetings from America!

About the ST’09 Comic Adaptation:

Speaking as a classically trained comic book artist with a degree in said field, I have to say I’m on the fence with this book.

I find Dave Messina to be very ‘Hit-or-Miss’ with his work and I often find his depictions of some of the elements a little ‘wonky’ at times. Don;t get me wrong, I know how hard it is to depict actors’ likenesses, so I give him credit for the attempt. Although, there is no excuse for ‘wacky’ starship renderings. If John Byrne can pull off BE-U-T-FULL shots of the TOS Enterprise, then any artist can.

But that’s just me.

28 – i hope so but they probably wont

@27: No fan wank in the encyclopedia. :)

@28: I’m curious to see how much leeway they are allowed with the expansion. Since that scene was scripted, maybe they’ll put a portion of it in. Why save it for just those people who read TrekMovie after all!? :)

#27: I agree with #31 that the Encyclopedia probably isn’t the right place to reference the fan material, but if someone could point me to a good encyclopedia _of_ the fan material, that would be frickin’ awesome and I’d be grabbing for my wallet and chasing out the moths :/

@32: I don’t know how well this site covers fan material, but the Star Trek Expanded Universe wiki at “was created to collect information on fan-made Star Trek projects, such as RPGs, fan fiction and fan films” and the moths won’t have to be evicted from your wallet.

#33: An excellent resource, absolutely! But the EU Wiki also includes officially licensed Star Trek material … not canon, true, but also not really fan material, since it was for commercial purposes and vetted by approvals processes (I could tell you some funny stories about that …)

But I’d love to see an encyclopedic resource devoted entirely to stuff that’s made by the fans, without formal license and without passing through the hands of any Paramount or CBS approvals department. The raw, from-the-hip, from-the-heart Star Trek universe that exists entirely in the hands of fandom. I think that’d be a worthy book.

But yes, absolutely, the EU wiki is fantastic and deserves any mentions we can squeeze in for it.

I’m considering charging the moths _rent._ Maybe that would work.