TrekInk: Star Trek Burden of Knowledge Review #3 + Khan Ruling In Hell Previews

Stardates 7099.4 and 7101.6. The year: 2270. The Horta have not been seen by Kirk and his crew for three years. Andorians, Tellarites, and telepathy? What do all of these have in common? Read on for the review of the second issue (from last month) and third issue (released this week) of IDW’s Burden of Knowledge. Plus we have some news of Khan and his plushy future.

NOTE: As we didn’t review last month’s issue of Burden of Knowledge (#2), this review covers that issue and issue #3 which came out this week.


Credited as “Tipton Tipton”, the brothers Scott and David have provided us with two more issues in the "Burden of Knowledge" series in the last couple of weeks. The first picks up shortly after the events of issue 1 and has the Enterprise headed to the Waasertla system for a First Contact situation.

It so seems that the denizens of the planet have communications implanted in their heads and communicate by methods similar to telepathy. It also seems that the Waasertlans are going out of their way to impress the crew from the Federation. That suggests that there’s something going on under the visible surface. And, being that it’s Star Trek, of course there is!

The third issue, titled "A Matter of Perspective" like the TNG episode, picks up from the end of the Waasertlan mission as the Enterprise arrives at Starbase 17 for some repairs. Starbase 17 is manned by Andorians, and they have some maintenance to do on Scotty’s engines, something he’s quite rather apprehensive about. After that, on their way to revisit the Horta/Human interaction on Janus VI, the Enterprise is called away to investigate a missing luxury cruiser and encounters some Tellarites.

Apparently flash mobs are the “in” thing on Waasertla… (click to enlarge)

Federica Manfredi continues to provide the artwork and it still has the weaknesses of the first issue. The figures and scenery evoke the television series comfortably, but the faces still leave a lot to be desired. There are improvements since the first issue, and the faces continue to improve into the third issue. The best sequences in these two issues are the paintings shown to the landing party and the near hit by a proton torpedo. Looking closely at the first shows that watercolors (or something similar) were used in the panels, and the brush-strokes are actually visible under magnification. In the latter instance, the panels are blurred, and feel like a moving image from the show.

Manfredi does the inking in addition to her pencils, and Nicola Zanni provides some ink assists on the third issue, but it is hard to tell where Manfredi ends and Zanni’s work begins. This is definitely a good thing. Some of the old DC issues had multiple inkers and it was often jarring when the second inker’s work began. That is not the case here.

Andrea Priorini continues the color work, and has assistance from Arianna Florean and Chiara Cinabro. The work on the second issue is fairly standard but the third issue takes place entirely in space and this allows the trio of colorists to play with the colors in space. Chris Mowry is tapped to do the lettering in both issues after Neil Uyetake’s work in the first. The word balloons continue to be clean and easy to read. There are fewer sound effects to trouble him, and most of those that exist are unobtrusive and become part of the scenery.

Two Kirks? Huh? (click to enlarge)

Each issue comes with two cover variants, the main cover portraying a classic pose done by Joe Corroney, and a retailer incentive presenting the bare artwork from the A cover. The second issue’s cover focuses on Uhura, while Spock fills in the background. The third issue focuses on Scotty while portraying a Tellarite, two Andorians, and Chekov (although Chekov appears to be a bit “out of it” for some reason).

The first issue presented a single one-off story that could stand alone, and both of these stories can serve as stand-alone stories too, but glimmers of a larger story are beginning to make themselves known. In some ways, this series is reminiscent of the first IDW miniseries, "The Space Between". Quite where the story is going is not obvious, and with one more issue to come and an excellent cliffhanger at the end of the third issue, things should be quite interesting to start that issue off.

Covers for "Star Trek: Burden of Knowledge" issues 2 and 3
(click to enlarge)


Star Trek: Burden of Knowledge #2 and #3 are available in comic stores now. You can order them from TFAW.









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


PREVIEW: Khan: Ruling in Hell

Last month TrekMovie first reported that IDW was working on Khan: Ruling in Hell, a four issue comic series that will tell the tale of Khan Noonien Singh while he lived in exile on Ceti Alpha V (see previous article for covers & details on issue 1 coming in October). Now IDW Publisher Chris Ryall has revealed an interior Issue 1 page of art by Fabio Mantovani. 

Khan Ruling in Hell #1 – interior page

Khan: Ruling in Hell #1 can be pre-ordered now from TFAW, with a special discount.

Khan: Ruling in Hell #1


Ryall also showed off the special dealer incentive Khan plush doll, which is also coming in October. If you want to get the doll Ryall says to inquire at your local comic shop).

Khan plush dealer incentive coming in October

And IDW has just released the cover and summary for Issue 2

Star Trek: Khan: Ruling in Hell #2 (of 4)
Scott Tipton, David Tipton (w) • Fabio Mantovani (A) • Michael Stribling (c)
What was once a paradise begins to crumble between Khan’s fingers. Following a planetary cataclysm, Khan must contend with the rapid deterioration of his formerly ripe and bountiful new home on Ceti Alpha V. In the face of dwindling resources and the beginnings of a revolt from within, Khan continues to hold out hope for rescue and the eventual salvation of his people. But for how long?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

And finally the Issue 2 cover

Khan: Ruling in Hell #2 cover

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I cant wait for more Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

Some weakness in the artwork, especially in the physicality. That one guy’s guitar case looks like it’s being used to torture him. Also, in the color inset, McGivers looks like an inflatable sex doll.

Still, it looks like geeky fun.

Sounds looks awesome. However the kute kuddly khan would make a great chew toy my grankids dog LOL!

Are those plush pecs real or plastic??

#2: You mean she wasn’t?

Is IDW taking into account the work done on this period of Khan’s life that was done in Greg Cox’s novel To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh?

#6, I doubt it, and aside from the odd exception, the novels and comics have always followed their own continuities.

The sequence from Ruling in Hell is absolutely congenial with Space Seed.

hahahaha!!! XD I wast a Khan plushie so I can scream, KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!!!! to it!

I really like seeing the two sets of Andorians. One with the antenae in front as Enterprise did and the other classic ones with them in the back (which I prefer – and a tip the new movie makers could learn from on other points…instead of saying they’re reinventing it. Seemed fine to begin with to me). I think that’s smart, observes what has been done, and is cool. Can’t help but think John Byrne had something to do with putting that concept out there.

@ 6

I thought I’d read the answer is no on that one. Looks like they are drawing on it from that sample page though.

Is that a JJ Abrams lens flare next to kirk in the middle of that Khan interior preview page??

I find it kind of distasteful that IDW would do something so similar to Greg Cox’s novel so soon after he sent it out, but like it’s been mentioned, the novels and comics typically follow separate continuities…

11. “I find it kind of distasteful that IDW would do something so similar to Greg Cox’s novel so soon after he sent it out”

er wasnt Coxs novel released in 2005? i dunno about you but id classify 5 years as quite a while…

in the novel i think its Chekhov who says goodbye to Khan and also hands over the Starfleet A insigna medialion to Marlena which Khan wears in TWOK

that Khan comic series is gonna be amazing…like a prequel to the Star Trek II adaptation IDW did a year or so ago…

btw any news on if the final ST09 adaptation issue contains the Holo-Shatner scene?

#13 IDIC. In my view, we find a way to merge them both. Kirk gives the official goodbye, Chekov takes one last supply mission. And I know you mean Marla McGivers (portrayed by Madlyn Rhue), as opposed to Marlena Moreau (BarBara Luna). Hadn’t thought about both of these M.M. femme fatales in that context before though!

“I find it kind of distasteful that IDW would do something so similar to Greg Cox’s novel”

Why? Greg Cox doesn’t own the characters.

Two Kirks? What about Sulu and Chekov being siamese twins?

Looking at the panel above, I don’t know if Kirk would be shaking hands with Khan as they parted ways on Ceti Alpha 5.

If a guy tried to kill me by suffocating me and my friends, AND tossing me in a decompression chamber (hell of a way to go, too), I don’t know if I’d be shaking hands with him afterwards.

But hey, that’s me. I guess James T. is a bigger man than I.


Fair point, of course. It’s just that the same exact story was done just a couple of years ago with, IIRC, the same exact subtitle. It seems a bit silly.

The writers need to get over themselves & realise we- the audiance are what matters most & not give us conflicting stories that stop us from expeiriancing a coherant Fictional Universe.

It would be interesting to see if the Khan comics follow a similar course to Greg Cox’s book. He had made a comment on another thread indicating he did not believe it would. For my own purposes, I generally follow the continuity of the novels and do not follow the comic stories as a general rule. I agree with #19 though. You basically have 4 Star Trek continuities–first you have canon (anything on screen), then you have the novels by Pocketbooks, then you have the comic books and finally the new continuity established by the online game (which does follow some elements of the novels up to the Destiny series). You either follow all of them and have to split your brain in 4, or you have to pick and choose what plotline you will follow.

One thing George Lucas has over Star Trek is that he has final say on all things Star Wars. Therefore all the various plotlines of Star Wars follow a single thread, more or less. There are times I wish there was some sort of arbiter who makes sure all the Star Trek stories follow one continuity.

#20–5 continuities actually, since you must separate Trek 1964-2005 (I count the original pilot The Cage in there as of when it should’ve aired) and Trek 09 as well into 2 separate continuities

I wish they would fo a mini series of Khan from the time he Left Enterprise and was put on Ceti Alpha 5 to the time he made it abord the U.S.S Reliant.

“I wish they would fo a mini series of Khan from the time he Left Enterprise and was put on Ceti Alpha 5 to the time he made it abord the U.S.S Reliant.”

Isn’t that what IDW is doing with Khan: Ruling in Hell? It’s starts directly after the ending of Space Seed. We all know that from the art work above. When it ends, I’m assuming when Khan and his gang finally meet up with Chekhov and Terrell 18 years later (episode: 2267- film: 2285).

#23. I meant a Tv Miniseries.

@16 Ummm, it’s two separate panels that aren’t delineated well enought with white space.

@16 Ummm, it’s two separate panels that aren’t delineated well enough with white space.

#22 I agree Mike a live miniseries would be great to watch. I just wish the origanal actors Ricardo M Madlnyn Rhue were alive. And age regressed. For me there is only one Khan!aaaaaaaan,

Lot’s of Khan out there lately…maybe a pattern developing?….I believe we shall have more KHANNNNNNNNN! in the future, particularily on th ebig screen!……like it or not………

27 i agree Star Trek ‘2’ due around the 30th anniversary of Star Trek II

maybe the stars are aligning….seems like it was meant to be

There are so many good stories waiting to be told…now if we could just find the right producers to get it back on television.

It’s nice to see Kirk and Khan shaking hands. In the original series Khan wasn’t considered to be equivalent to Hitler like post-TNG references imply.

“Also, in the color inset, McGivers looks like an inflatable sex doll.”

Unfortunately that’s basically what her character was. I’ve never really understood why she was such a pushover.

32: Well, no. Her character had some depth. A historian dreaming of former times when men were heroic conquerors. And when she actually meets one she’s torn between her sense of duty and her deepest personal feelings. Surely, she’s a 1960s female character, dependent on a man etc. But she’s quite an exception to the many one-dimensional sex-doll characters TOS has to offer.
It’s just that the gender model from 1966 is so outdated already in 2010 that the McGivers character from the year 2266 just isn’t credible anymore. Not only because of real life women nowadays, but also, and maybe more so, because of the female SF characters we have seen in the meantime: Ripley, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, Aeon Flux (animation!!), Sarah Connor, Ro Laren, Servalan, Martha Jones, …

um Holger there are still plenty of traditionaly feminine women around in 2010 who would follow a man like khan, its just not the popular type of woman to portray onscreen since the ones you mentioned came out but she still exists somewhere…

Damian CBS/Paramount has a job for you- lol

Re 34: Yes. But I don’t think it’s likely you would find her in Starfleet, or today in NASA or the Navy.

The faces frmo Burden of Knowledge are horrible.

Why does Khan have reptile eyes for the last cover?


I can add a fifth one, the FASA RPG game.

35–That would be such a cool job. You know, even the books contradict one another (with the exception of the relaunches).

For example, I recently finished the Errand of Vengeance/Fury books by Kevin Ryan, which were excellent. One of the characters was Karel, first officer of Koloth’s ship, who would later become Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI. I also am now reading the Vanguard books which takes place before Ryan’s books and Gorkon is already on the High Council. Also the first Vanguard book, Harbinger, has the Enterprise making a stop there after “Where No Man Has Gone Before” for repairs before going to Earth for a refit. Now I am reading the Crucible series and the first book on Spock has the Enterprise stopping at an entirely new starbase on their way to an entirely different shipyard for refit. The thing that really drives me nuts about this is all these books I am reading were written in the last few books (some have come out months from each other). Really, one of the editors at Pocketbooks should have caught these glaring inconsistencies and had the writers adjusted their stories accordingly. Certainly there would have been no harm in having Crucible: Spock adjusted to match the storyline of Vanguard. It would have had no affect on the story. Kevin Ryan wrote the background on Gorkon for his books before David Mack did for Vanguard. Gorkon’s character appears to be a minor part in his Vanguard books and should have been changed to another. You also have inconsistencies in the Crucible: Spock book with the Sherman’s books about Vulcan. In the Sherman’s books, Spock becomes Captain of the new Intrepid after Kirk’s “death” on the Enterprise-B, and no mention is made of that in the Crucible books.

Now I don’t expect the individual writers to remember every little detail of each other’s books. But there should be some editor in charge who serves to keep the various threads consistent with one another. It makes it difficulty to read the various novels and try to garner some coherent timeline out of them. Many times, an inconsistency would take a simple rewrite of perhaps a paragraph to align it with other stories (i.e. the Enterprise going to Vanguard for repairs after the Delta Vega incident). Some stories would need more extensive adjusting. But Pocketbooks wants us to buy and read the novels, they should at least make an effort to not have 5 different things going on at the same time.

Correction to my last post, “some of the books have been written in the last few years” (not books). I was typing too fast and got my words jumbled.

Why does the Burden of Knowledge Kirk look like a bad morph of Shatner Kirk and Pine Kirk.