TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #3

khan While sandstorms scour the surface of Ceti Alpha V, Khan and his peeps move into a lowrise container, meet their new neighbors, and square off against each other in the penultimate issue of Ruling in Hell from IDW Publishing. Spoilers ahead.


Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #3
written by Scott & David Tipton, art and color by Fabio Mantovani, cover art by Michael Stribling, letters by Neil Uyetake, edits by Scott Dunbier

Khan realizes that no one is coming to help. To survive the sandstorms, cargo containers become their new home. Some of Khan’s followers are unhappy and move against him, using his sole vulnerability, Marla McGivers. In early stages, the parasitic eel larvae that have been discovered infecting and killing the colonists, leave their hosts susceptible to suggestion. McGivers is taken, infected, and a war begins.


The brothers Tipton, Scott and David, shift their tale of Khan’s reign in hell, into high gear. After setting the stage for a confrontation in the second issue of this mini-series, The Tiptons let loose the malcontents among Khan’s followers, who do something that’s really pretty horrific to Marla McGivers. Combined with the desperate circumstances on Ceti Alpha V, it comes as no surprise to feel some sympathy for Khan and develop an understanding of what drives him mad. Some really good storytelling going on here, even though we all know how the story turns out.

Yes, it is.

I grumbled about some of Fabio Mantovani’s portraiture in my review of issue #2. I’m basically a grump, so grumbling is what I do. However, like the writers, Mantovani has done an outstanding job with this issue, easily his best work in the Trek universe so far. McGivers, Khan and Joachim all come alive this issue. So do those nasty little eels. The backgrounds and cavern scenes give some credibility to the story as well, looking more like an epic than an episode. Well done Mr. Mantovani.

khanhell3_tn khanhell3ri_tn
Cover by Michael Stribling, Retailer Incentive Photo Cover

Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell #3 ships with a cover illustrated by Michael Stribling, featuring Khan and his new pal, Momma Ceti Eel. I’m a fan of creature covers and Stribling’s work is nicely done. Khan and his Space Seed trademark predatory smile grace the retailer incentive photo cover. Both covers have a teaser for IDW’s Infestation event coming January 2011. Do you suppose that’s what Khan is smiling about?

Speaking of Khan covers, for the variant cover junkies (we know who we are) out there on the intertubes who couldn’t attend New York Comic Khan last month, IDW is selling copies of the Khan plush variant of Ruling in Hell #1 at their online store. IDW is also in the middle of celebrating the holidays with a 12 Days of Comics Sale right now. About that Khan plush toy. Apparently it’s shipping this week, just a bit late, and I still don’t know how to acquire one. It tasks me.

New York Comic Con Exclusive

Ok, enough about cuddly tyrants, run down to your local comic shop to pick up a copy of Ruling in Hell #3. It’s a good one. 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)

The trade paperback collection of Star Trek: Khan Ruling in Hell is scheduled for publication April 2011. You can preorder from Amazon.

Burden TPB & Infestation Preview

The only other Star Trek comics release for December is the trade paperback collection for Star Trek Burden of Knowledge, the TOS era story from the Tipton brothers. The story is about a routine Federation diplomatic visit which turns suddenly and unexpectedly violent, and Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy find themselves kidnapped and halfway across the galaxy. It is due in shops next week an you can pre-order it now. 

One last thing. Two weeks ago IDW published a free ashcan preview of their 2011 Infestation event. If you missed it, go back to your local comic shop and ask if they have any copies left. There isn’t much artwork in the preview. What you’ll find is character dialogue discussing the forthcoming infestation and a publication schedule.

Classified Secrets of Infestation ashcan

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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To be honest I’ve never actually read a Trek Comic but these look really good. Of all the bad guys in the Trek Universe, he was possibly the most three dimensional along with Dukat and Chang (c’mon you saw that coming).

I like when Star Trek fills the gap on stuff like this, it was one of the few bright moments in Enterprise when they explained the Klingons changing apperance. And explaining the motivations of Trek’s bad guys adds to their status. We see what drove Khan to this point after the relatively happy ending in TOS. I might actually look into this.

i agree with well no1, dukat is the full flegde charactor khan is mainly due to the 2nd season episode space speeds.its nice to see the bad guys with added depth i might get this as a tradepaper back

This just goes to show that if they ever DO redo Khan, they need to make it a mini-series. His is the superior story.

Khan again??!! Talk about beating a dead horse!

No, wait, I take that back……..even a dead horse has meat to it!

“Excellant” these writers have been most cooperative. Heading down to my comic store, asap! PoorMarla I hate seeing what is going to happen to her. So far the comic is living up to the novel. And I have to agree to the saying about being 2 sides to every story.

y’know its a pity they didnt do this story for Star Trek V…

Basically it couldve gone like this – instead of camping at Yosemite, Kirk, Spock and Bones have some downtime to return to Ceti Alpha V to investigate the place which caused all the events of the previous 3 films to kick off and there they find Khans diary (as in the Greg Cox novel) – then we flashback to the end of the Eugenic Wars and Khans escape….then we skip Space Seed (as we seen that) then pick up with Khan on Ceti Alpha and all that stuff upuntil Terrel and Chekov find him. then we go back to K/S/B who get beamed up to the obiting Enterprise ready for Trek VI.

Couldve recast Khan some younger dude for about half of the movie – then had Montoban for the remainder.

Couldve called it something like ‘Star Trek V – The Genesis of Khan.’ Meyer could have directed…the movie couldve won oscars and we would have all been spared Indiana Shatner and the Quest for God

#6 you have a point. Using this storyline would have been great! And yes I think an award or 2 would have been bestowed. Its a great story. Sybok being Spock’s Bro just does not fit in logicaly. And I’m sorry but Luckinbill is no Vulcan. Montiban (God rest his soul) was…is Khan

This is a great idea for a story. Would make a good telemovie.

I think it should be agreed, treks 5 and 7 never happened.

@7 Sarek had Sybok with another woman. (Who I’ve always presumed was another Romulan agent–ST: Enterprise confirmed the Romulans have been attempting to infiltrate Vulcan for two centuries.) So Sybok, Spock’s half brother, was also a halfling: half Vulcan, half Romulan. Perhaps this is why Spock took a firsthand interest in Saavik.

@5 Well, it would still be an interesting novel: however those novels have been written! I highly recommend them!

@8 Some argue that Trek 5 is a campfire tale: the only parts that really happen are the campfire scenes? But if any of the movies calls for some revisioning, CGI-adding, re-cutting…. it’s that one. The scenes with Spock’s birth, and McCoy’s father are some of the strongest Trek ever. And comments Spock makes later about having a brother: which by he means Jim Kirk.

I think Khan should be done again. Heard that Boborci?


Agree. Ultimately, despite all the setbacks, a lot of Star Trek V’s problems were production and execution. There was a good concept there, but a combination of an untried director, weak studio support and meddling conspired to take it down. If you cut out some of the goofy moments and the slapstick, added some good effects to complement the story, it would have been a much better film. Still no STII, but much better.

On topic: Art’s better this ish, wonder why. I think a mini-series on Khan would be great. Honestly, a series of miniseries on TV would IMO be better than a full series right now. Something like “Strange New Worlds” or “Captain’s Table”…

@1 Agreed, Khan is definitely one of the most three-dimensional villains Trek has offered us.

But luckily for Kirk, he had that whole two-dimensional thinking problem. ;)

Looks damn good.

I wouldn’t pre-order through Amazon though if you live outside the states.

I pre-ordered the Haynes manual months in advance with them, only to be told there were not enough copies 2 weeks before the release and they had canceled the order for me.



9–In the novel for Star Trek V, Sybok’s mother was a Vulcan high priestess who Sarek was married to before Amanda Grayson.

I read the novel before I saw the movie. This is one of the few cases in Star Trek where the novel was superior to the movie. I was a bit dissappointed when I saw it. I still enjoyed the movie as much as it was still a Star Trek movie, but it could have been so much better with less comedy and better effects (damn you Paramount for that).

I have not read the comic books. I usually find that all the different Star Trek continuities get too confusing. I generally follow the stories as established in the novels. This comic book series does look interesting, and it seems to have similar themes to those established in Greg Cox’s novels, though the specifics appear to be vastly different. His novel, To Reign In Hell, is definitly worth a look, even if you’re someone who does not usually read the books.

@14 Right, but my suspicion is the Vulcan *princess* (not priestess) was a Romulan impostor.

I don’t mind the different ‘continuities’, but sometimes I wish it had been less Hydra-like with all the novels. I think the Star Wars Expanded Universe has been handled very nicely, and the novels there and the comics and everything else are marvelous. (Except for that Phantasmagorical Dennis the Menace episode, of course, meesa think.)

15–I also wish there was more continuity in Star Trek. As it is, you have to decide if you prefer the comics or the books, because they are vastly different. Even the books aren’t consistent (though they are doing a much better job with the relaunches). I remember reading the Crucible books and there were huge continuity problems with other books, but then I read the foreward in the McCoy novel and they made a concious decision to ignore the prior novels. Still, you had the Vanguard books that noted the Enterprise stopped at Vanguard after “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and in Crucible it was somewhere else entirely.

It makes it difficult to establish any sort of back story. I mean do you follow the continuity for Spock established by Crucible:Spock, or do you follow that established in Vulcan’s Forge, Vulcan’s Soul, etc. which are hugely different from one another. There is no way to reconcile them together.

Can ANYONE tell me what the device with wires Khan wears on his arm is for?

17. Bob

As Nick Meyer said, we don’t know and we don’t need to know! It’s more fun to discuss theories. My view of why Khan’s followers look so young in STII is that, snake-like, they slough off their skin every so often, so Khan is wearing a glove to protect his arm which has started to peel.

Greg Cox went for a more pedestrian phaser burn, IIRC. Someone else might have a different opinion! It’s fun!