TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #2 + 5-page preview

khanCeti Alpha V isn’t a paradise anymore and Khan’s new empire begins to unravel. His story continues in the second of four issues of "Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell" from IDW Publishing arriving in comic shops this week. Spoilers in our review ahead. Plus we have a 5-page preview.


Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #2
written by Scott & David Tipton, art by Fabio Mantovani, colors by Fabio Mantovani & Chiara Cinabro, cover art by Michael Stribling, letters by Neil Uyetake, edits by Scott Dunbier

Holding Out Hope
Khan has to remind his people that they have nothing to fear following the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI. Nevertheless, the environment of their new home deteriorates. Crops fail, game animals disappear, debris strikes near home and people become ill with some sort of paralysis. The younger colonists conclude that the planet’s orbit has shifted and is dying. They demand that Khan take action. Khan is certain of two things, his people can thrive on adversity and Kirk will come.

Khan’s story takes an interesting turn that I didn’t expect, but should’ve expected. Looking back at his rage in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, I see the threads picked up by the Tipton brothers. Khan assumes that Starfleet will learn about the cataclysm. He assumes that Kirk will come to help. As time passes, his people want action, but their resources are severely limited. What can he do but hope for help? His madness in the film makes sense in a somewhat disturbing way. What the hell was Kirk thinking? He dumps these folks on Ceti Alpha V and doesn’t follow up? What a dunsel! Sorry, got carried away for a moment. A tip of the hat to the Tipton brothers for their storytelling skills.

Second thoughts.

I thought the artwork and coloring in issue #1 was pretty spectacular. The second issue doesn’t have the same impact for me and I’m not certain that I can properly articulate why this might be. The colors by Fabio Mantovani and Chiara Cinabro are still pretty amazing. They give a real feel to the disaster going on around the characters. I’m a little disappointed with the characters. There’s a whole lot of snarling going on. Not unreasonable, given their circumstances, but Mantovani has a tendency to draw the same snarl on every character. I saw this snarl on Sisko and other Deep Space Nine characters in his last outing for IDW. It’s a feature of his artwork that might not bother everyone, but I notice it and find it distracting. That said, it’s probably just me, so don’t let this stop you from picking up this issue and rest of the series.

Kirk’s da man, or is he?

Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #2 ships with a cover illustrated by Michael Stribling, featuring Khan aboard the Botany Bay, beginning to look a little worse for the wear. Stribling seems to have a flair for capturing Khan’s mood changes as the story plays out. The retailer incentive version of issue #2 has a photo cover of Khan and Kirk glaring at each other, taken from the original series television episode Space Seed. Note: the Stribling cover image provided by IDW is marked CVR A, suggesting that more covers were planned, but the published cover doesn’t have a letter.

khanhell2a_tn khanhell2ri_tn
Cover by Michael Stribling, Retailer Incentive Photo Cover

As you round the Moons of Nibia, and before you get to the Antares Maelstrom, stop by your local comic shop and pick up a copy of Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #2. IDW Star Trek comics can also be purchased online at TFAW.

Ruling in Hell

Ruling in Hell

Ruling in Hell

Ruling in Hell




(Jan 2011)

Publication of the trade paperback collection of Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell hasn’t been scheduled yet, but look for it Spring 2011.

5-page preview

To get you started on "Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #2" here is a preview of the first five pages.

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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Wow, thought McGivers was nude in that one shot.

This series looks interesting. Got to pick this up. I’ll be glad when I can get it in digital format. No comic store anywhere near me…

I read Greg Cox’s book on this a couple of weeks ago. A great read! This looks equally interesting, though probably not as in-depth…

I want the chair Khan’s sitting in………………………….!!!

Star trek is cool, I really like the way Khan defeated the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact, that was a cool movie

Looks really good!


The first issue was good but I think Greg Cox’s book fleshed it out more.

But the comic is still a good read.

@1 McGivers was wearing that gold mesh that Kahn’s people had on in suspended animation. Pretty awesome though.

I have read the first two issues, it is really interesting that they landed the Botany Bay, along with the cargo carriers we saw on Wrath of Khan. They even pick up the thread from Wrath, that Khan figured Kirk would check in on them from time to time, while others felt that no one was coming back, and that Khan was showing a weakness in his leadership through the opening of the crisis.

How come this isn’t available on the IDW Star Trek app? I don’t have real access to comic books.

I will wait for the Trade Paperback, but I’m sure going to pick it up. Rereading Greg Cox’s book now.

Ouch. It’s like Waiting for Godot, if Godot was a forgetful starship captain. Kind of feeling sad for Khan now…. :(

Well, it IS a bit of a lapse that no Starfleet or Federation reps checked up on Kahn and his folks. A big one. But not shocking, when as McCoy once said the “bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe.” You can fall through the government cracks even in the 23rd century. But didn’t they ever cross Kirk’s mind?

It’s too bad that Kahn’s followers didn’t have a bit of an intervention on the Reliant, when it became obvious that the boss was nuts. They could have taken off with that ship and started over somewhere.

Of course, that would have made for a pretty boring Star Trek II: The Intervention Of Kahn.

Why would Starfleet check up on Khan. Didn’t Kirk put Khan there without Starfleet approval? That’s how I saw it. Kirk did it on his own.

It would make for a dicey situation rescueing or checking on Khan. As good as it would have been to do so. We’re not all geneticaly created people placed in camps of sort. And isolated from the general populace?. They were internment camps. I’m not sure Khan would stick around. The humuliation of such he would not put up with. Relocation with federation approval might have worked. IDr conigulas “the infinite vulcan”. TAS. Was. Alowed to live and work under Federation supervision. But again Khan was considered a criminal and history judged him dangerous. Its a hard call to make. But perhaps a 2nd chance with proper monituring may have worked

Of course Khan’s location could have been classified, so it general knowledge within starfleet that a bunch of supermen were stranded on a planet. However the real slip up is why Reliant had approval to search the Ceti Alpha system, some flag should have gone off somewhere saying the system was off limits.

Maybe Kirk did report it in his log, but maybe Section 31 covered it up? That would make for an interesting book?

#8 – Yeah, I realized that in the second shot. It was a nice touch. In every sense. :)

#16, 17, 18

I don’t know about this comic, but Greg Cox’s book “To Reign in Hell” addresses pretty much every question you might have about Khan’s exile and the reasons for the Reliant’s confusion about the Ceti Alpha system, and the author explains it in some interesting and creative ways. He even gives a reason for Khan’s gloved hand and why so many of Khan’s followers are so much younger than him in the movie—and, of course, the infamous Chekov-Khan question!

I am assuming that the marooning (maroonment?) of Khan on CA V would have been a top secret matter. It would be an interesting story to tell how Section 31 took over responsibility for Khan . . . and made a deliberate choice to allow him to die on Ceti Alpha V.

I’ve always thought that someone else would have assumed responsibility for Khan and dropped the ball. First, Kirk had other fish to fry, and second, it is just out of character for Kirk to have failed to monitor or check up on Khan unless he knew someone had some official responsibility. Kirk was a pretty big humanitarian, at least until his son died.

On the other hand, one could view it as the deal that Kirk and Khan made. Khan had his freedom, but on the condition that he was at the mercy of the elements. Otherwise, why wouldn’t Khan have had a subspace radio?

So many possibilities.

Maybe section 31 actually blew up Ceti Alpha Six because they knew Khan would die a slow death on Ceti Alpha Five? That would be cool.

#17 that is a good thought. Section 31 involved you never know with that bunch

Khan’s world may have been quarented just like Skalos was. However quarented is not the same as forgottoned.s someone said there are always possibilities. The oversite had to be deliberate. That disaster. Could not. Have been overlooked. Not evan by the klingon empire. Hhmmm! Another possibility. Oh well wrath of Khan was a n aasome movie and story. We’ll’l leave it at that. Hoever to see the slow. Spiriling downhill deterioation of Khan’s. Group. Was sad to see. But an interesting scenerio of degrading hopelessness and madness. Via this catastrophic disaster. Especialy Marlaks death. Which I think was the final straw. Had she lived the most Kirk would have gotton was dirty looks and a cussing out by Khan. Perhaps

As for the above responses…Reliant searched the Ceti system, but they may have been warned from a planet that they didn’t realizied no longer existed…d/t it blowing up.

Believe Starfleet knew nothing of Khan on Ceti Alpha 5…seems like Kirk was going it alone with that decision!….besides who’d guess it would go to the big screen 15 yrs later!…still the best on the big screen by the way!


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so why do it?

Maybe the Reliant was deliberately sent to Ceti Alpha, like a canary in a mine!

This story would make a nice television miniseries. Starting at the point of being marooned and then picking up days before ST:2.


Except that fans will get up in arms over the fact that Khan would be recast. Many fans equate Khan with the late Ricardo Montalban, which I agree with, but I think most fans would want the character of Khan to be retired permanently.

Kirk’s decision to let Khan (one of the most corrupt figures in Earth history) just walk after he attempted to take over a Federation starship and give him his own planet, should have landed Kirk in prison and stripped of his rank.

Just think of the historical significance Khan would have had. It would be like Adolph Hitler showing up alive and well and some military figure letting him walk w/out being held accountable for his crimes without advising anyone.

Stupid choice by Kirk and one that never really sat well with me. I always thought his decision was out of character…Granted it gave us a great movie years later and I am probably putting too much thought into this, but I always thought it was odd.

Re: #30

“Khan (one of the most corrupt figures in Earth history)”

Not according to Star Trek canon. Not even remotely. Khan was certainly blinded by his lust for power, but he was also explicitly described as the most benevolent of the genetically-augmented autocrats who seized power on Earth. During his reign over a quarter of the planet, there were no atrocities or bloodshed within his territory. In the original TOS episode, Kirk even admits to having a sneaking admiration for Khan, although he obviously doesn’t condone Khan’s ambition-driven actions during the latter’s original life on Earth.

Khan clearly has both negative and positive traits, but he was not depicted as some kind of monstrous incarnation of evil. Khan’s closest historical counterparts were Alexander the Great and (especially) Julius Caesar, not Adolf Hitler.

In that sense, Kirk’s actions therefore make perfect sense and were very much in character for him.

31 Thank you for being a voice of reason and knowledge. I think Scotty was more fond of Khan as I recall however.

Absolutely 1990’s Khan has been misrepresented as Hitler-like in licensed works post STII