After retiring from Starfleet, Dr. Leonard McCoy follows a friend’s advice and gets himself out of the house by signing up with the Federation’s Frontier Medics. This week, John Byrne and IDW Publishing began the narrative of McCoy’s adventures in the first issue of "Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor". Spoilers ahead in our review.
Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor #1 ("Weeds")
written and illustrated by John Byrne, colors by Lovern Kindzierski
While overseeing a refit of the Enterprise, Admiral James T. Kirk receives a handwritten letter that can only have come from one person. Dr. Leonard McCoy has joined Frontier Medics, a Federation program that provides medical care wherever its needed. With a stowaway aboard, McCoy and his partner, Dr. Jon Mikael Duncan, fly their antique shuttle, named Joanna, from an Andorian outpost to Ophiucus III, a human agricultural colony struggling with an outbreak of infectious disease. As the disease mutates and spreads, McCoy has to rely on his medical instincts and Theela, a bratty and well-armed Andorian girl, to find a cure. Much to his chagrin, McCoy learns that he and Duncan will be babysitting Theela for some time to come.
John Byrne has already demonstrated a talent for telling original series tales in his previous work for IDW Publishing. Weeds, an appealing opening chapter to a new mini-series, is no exception. Byrne tackles Leonard McCoy’s story prior to his return to the Enterprise for events told in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. With considerably more facial hair and perhaps a bit more curmudgeonly, McCoy’s decision to treat patients on the Federation’s frontier is completely in character. There aren’t any surprises in Byrne’s script, just a believable story with a few grace notes that I expect from someone who seems to enjoy original series Star Trek as much as I do. It looks like there may be a continuing thread related to Theela, with McCoy as a father figure. We’ll have to wait and see.
McCoy’s ride (proof artwork)
Byrne and colorist Lovern Kindzierski are a seasoned team when it comes to Star Trek comics. I expect clean lines and a light touch to the coloring, which is exactly what they’ve given. A very nice job. The characters in issue #1 are mostly humanoid, except for one very large, very angry shrub, but Byrne has quite a bit of fun with the cover art, which features numerous alien species. I’m looking forward to the remaining three issues in this series.
Byrne frequently discusses the comics he creates on his website. There is a Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor forum thread if you’re interested.
Under the knife! (proof artwork)
Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor #1 has three covers, all drawn by Byrne, who never met an alien species he wasn’t ready and willing to sketch. Cover A features a crowd of injured and ailing aliens waiting for the doctor. Cover B is a keyhole cover featuring McCoy giving medical advice to a patient. I don’t know the species of the patient, but this motif will be used for all of the B covers in the mini-series. A retailer incentive cover features the black & white B cover artwork. Byrne’s cover illustrations are amusing and fitting for a story about McCoy.
Cover A: John Byrne, Cover B: John Byrne, colors by Lovern Kindzierski
Retailer Incentive Cover: John Byrne (proof artwork)
Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor #1 arrived in local comic shops this past week. Run, don’t walk, and most certainly, don’t use a transporter, to get your copy. You can also shop online at TFAW.
The trade paperback collection of Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor is scheduled for publication October 2010 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.
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.
I like this idea. McCoy has a streak of stubbornness in him that would serve him well in a frontier environment. Great premise.
Believe it or not evan at my age I enjoy reading a comic or 2. My kids and grandkids can keep me well supplied. This McCoy Frontier Dr. Series looks absolutely too cool. From what I’ve seen, all seems to be in character. For our good Dr. I’m putting in my reqeust for mom’s day. That. Andorian girl should put a little viniger in the good Dr’s geens. I’m waiting for my 1st issue.
Cool, man. Mine is on the way.
Makes sense. Pre-Trek, DeForest Kelly appeared in quite a few westerns — Death Valley Days, Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, Bat Masterson, among many others.
McCoy is the best. I’d love to get this, but I’m in China. Will there be an iPod version like with Countdown?
John Byrne is very talented n enjoys doing trek tos based stories–Why does that Andorian remind me of someone—Cmdr. Tahryn perhaps? She looks feisty heheh
Thought Bones was retired back home in the South before a certain Admiral had him ‘reactivated?’
@8: There was a fair amount of time between the end of TOS and the start of TMP, I imagine there’s plenty of time for various adventures. Also, didn’t he promise to meet up with Natira?
I know this is kind of an odd thing to focus on, but there have been some really nice spaceship designs in Trek comics lately, especially the John Byrne-penned ones. He really has an eye for the TOS era.
@ thebiggfrogg: there are 2 American comics books shops in Hong Kong, if you are not too far away from the border. They are in the basement of Causeway Bay Center 15 – 23 Sugar Street, Causeway Bay. Hong Kong.
Very very close to Victoria Park if you need to find your way fast.
John Byrne is the greatest!
I like the Joanna (CRN-1841).
Re 11: Yep!
I like it. Sounds like Bones will have some great adventures.
@5: The latest IDW digital comics seem to be running at least two months behind print publication. IDW has started posting press releases about digital releases on their website, so you might keep an out there for more information.
At Carl G- You should check out the novel EX MACHINA. It’s set about a month after V’ger and answers that whole question about Bones meeting up with Natira again.
no offense to anything but his beard makes him look like jesus or something.
“no offense to anything but his beard makes him look like jesus or something.”
Dammit, Lazarus! I’m a Doctor, not the Messiah!
@9: You might also wanna try the “Lost Years” saga (TOS books set between TOS and TMP).
Read it – Enjoyed it. Story is appropriate for Star Trek.
Wait no I got it wrong, not “jesus or something” more like rabid jesus or something, looking at his face expressions…
….acually rabid jesus kind of scares me so I’m gonna go lock the windows and doors now….
Although I’m a christian, you still made laugh #17. HE does look a lot like the stereotypical jesus doesn’t he
Dr. McCoy is such a great character and it’s great that he is getting to forge into his own adventure. John Byrne is a talent and it is great that he should be telling this tale…I’m looking forward to reading it!
As long as at the end of #4 he says the hell with all that and goes home to Earth to sip mint juleps in Georgia, it’s all good.
And a tease about nothing short of that Reserve Activation clause getting him to leave Plains, Georgia ever again.
In that first pic why does McCoy look like Obi Wan Kenobi from episode III,lol.
Got mind today. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
I notice how Byrne shows Andorians with antenae on the back, as traditionally seen, and in from as Enterprise showed…implying that there are two variations. I guess I can accept that if he does it.