TrekInk: Review of Star Trek Movie Adaptation #3

Three years instead of four? Is it feasible? Green girls, apple eating cockiness, a trial, and two Spocks. It’s obviously time for the third issue of the 2009 Star Trek movie adaptation. Kirk and Spock finally meet, and it’s a total hate-on from the get-go! Read on for the review of the third issue of IDW’s adaptation of Star Trek.



Following on from the second issue last month, the third issue of IDW’s Star Trek adaptation picks up the story soon after and covers the Starfleet Academy years of young Kirk. Things start with the first meeting of McCoy and Kirk, where McCoy regales Kirk with tales of doom and woe. A quick interlude to Spock’s arrival lets the story jump forward to Kirk’s Kobayashi Maru test.

Unlike the first two issues of the series, this one does not include any scene extensions, and in fact, skips the deleted scene from the movie dealing with Gaila being tricked by Kirk to defeat Spock’s test. It also glosses over the arrival of the Prime Spock and Nero’s whereabouts since the Kelvin incident that started the story. These were covered in much more detail in the accompanying "Star Trek: Nero" series, written by the same authors, Mike Johnson and Tim Jones.

Johnson and Jones mimic the movie point for point in this issue, much more so than the prior two. This portion of the story is heavy on exposition and dialogue, and the comic reflects that, spending a lot of time on the character interactions. David Messina’s art uses the full page, at times presenting page-wide panels with the characters on either end, and at times using close-up focused images.

It’s hard to say what’s making McCoy sick… might be the proximity to Kirk, or the unfinished Enterprise… (click to enlarge)

Messina and Gaetano Carlucci (the inker) continue to present a number of the images based off what was seen on screen, which is not a bad thing, but it would also be nice to see their take on some differing angles now and then. The big reveal of the Enterprise is spread over two pages and looks good, but feels almost a bit too cartoonish when looked at closely. This is more obvious when comparing it to the other ships show in the issue, all of which look much more realistic and detailed.

Giovanna Niro’s coloring continues to evoke the film’s palette, especially the earthy tones used at Starfleet Academy and the blues out in space. Her colors when the various starships are jumping to warp speed gives them an eerie ghostly glow, suggesting that their presence is altered.

Apparently three years at the Academy cures you of throwing up… or causes you to begin… (click to enlarge)

This third issue is a lot heavier on the exposition than the first two were and begins setting the scene for the battle of Vulcan. No deleted scenes expand the story here, as it is essentially a by the numbers portion of the adaptation. The comic is not quite as strong as the first two, but does leave things on an excellent cliffhanger, one that will be resolved early in the fourth issue. The story is now at the halfway point, and yet it feels like there’s a lot more to come. The pacing of the last issues should be interesting, and it remains to be seen how much Johnson and Jones will be allowed to expand on events.

The series continues to be enjoyable, and, assuming the quality keeps up, it will make an excellent companion piece to the "Star Trek: Countdown", "Star Trek: Nero" and "Spock: Reflections" series from last year, in addition to being a fitting signoff for artist David Messina, who has moved on to work on IDW’s True Blood comics.

Covers for "Star Trek: The Movie Adaptation" issue 3
(click to enlarge)

Star Trek: The Movie Adaptation issue 3 is available in comic stores now. You can order it from TFAW.













And if you want to get the full series together, you can pre-order the trade paperback which comes out in October.


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That first scene with McCoy was SO good. I remember watching it through this site a couple of weeks before the film came out — it comfirmed my beliefs that it would be awesome.

And there were so many idiots who thought it was gonna suck!

Star Trek #3 aka Let the bickering begin.

I like David Messina’s work. Hope he does more Trek in the future.

#3 I just interviewed David at FedCon. He said he’s done with Trek for now and looking for a new challenge but he wouldn’t rule out returning to Trek in a few years for something related to the 2012 movie, should the opportunity arise.

I’m looking forward to his True Blood comics!

Enjoyable…yes. Nice artwork. Agree that the “big reveal” of the Enterprise was a let down. But the frame for frame adaptation kind of defeats the purpose of the series. There’s really nothing new here at all. Seems like the artist just freeze-framed his DVD of the movie and drew what was on the screen. (And again, very nicely, I might add.)

As I’ve (ahem!)…matured, the charm of the comic book adaptation has waned. At least for me. Back the in day, the adaptation was the only way to “own” a version of the movie. (Remember the old “photo-novels” that took still frames from movies/episodes and added the dialog in word balloons? Had a bunch of those too!) Now that we can all buy every episode and movie of our favorite shows, the comics versions are almost redundant…unless they bring something new to the experience. In this particular case, I’ll just watch the movie again.

Totally saving my money for this….

loved the scene too…is it true that Urban wrote the line ’bout “nothin’ left but my bones” and jj kept it in?

I agree that the comic adaptations were a neccessity before video and DVD,s but now, I just watch the movie again. My collecting has dropped down to just the DVDs now.

it does seem odd that they havent tried to do new shots and angles on scenes. the original movie adapations managed this just fine..(ok i know that was due to them being done from the script and a few stills but it gave a new interpritaion of the events – this CA just seems to be like a freeze frame photo novel with the stills traced over)

also missed a good selling point of drawing it with the original actors likeness – which wouldve been inspired

bet they dont put the Shatner scene in either

looks great my only concern is they seem to be moving slow- issue 3- half way through & we r just on the enterprise?