Comics Review: Star Trek Ongoing #4

Apes! Damned dirty apes! Oh wait, wrong franchise! Stranded crewmembers, an uppity commissioner, and no Statue of Liberty. Seems like a Star Trek story to me! But apes? Just how do they play into it? Find out below in the TrekMovie review of the ongoing Star Trek comics issue #4 where the new movie crew finish up their take on "The Galileo Seven".

 

STAR TREK ONGOING #4 REVIEW

This fourth issue of IDW’s ongoing series presents the final half of "The Galileo Seven". For the first time in this series, the story has diverged significantly from the original. Is that a good thing? Hard to say for certain.

Picking up where the last issue left off, the Federation High Commissioner is insisting that Kirk abandon his crewmembers on the shuttle somewhere in the quasar-like formation, and Kirk insisting that they’re still alive. Some unspoken communication between Uhura and Kirk leads to her leaving the bridge and missing Kirk pulling a reverse of the "I’m taking command" scene.

This is the first time in the ongoing series that we actually get to see any really significant changes to the original stories. The first story had a slightly different denouement, but nothing major, but the ending of this story is vastly altered. The care that Kirk has for his crew shows in the way he stands up to the Commissioner and quotes regulations at him. His insistence on referring to Spock in the present tense and noting his qualities as an officer stand out too, as do his final actions in the story.


Kirk and Uhura share some weird eye staring. For a whole page. A. Whole. Page. (click to enlarge)

The fact that this issue has begun presenting what feels like an original story helps and gives hope that future issues will diverge even further, never mind the upcoming original tales expected in the new year. The best sequence in the entire issue is the way Kirk reacts to Commissioner Ferris and his demands. It shows an honest respect for his crew and his growth as a commanding officer. Tales along this line are what the original Trek was all about, and this series is finally starting to gain that footing.

Artists Stephen Molnar and Joe Phillips continue to work together, but their roles are more defined this go-around: Molnar provides the layouts, while Phillips provides the pencils and inks. The faces continue to be recognizable, but some of the exterior views of the shuttles look odd. As most of the issue takes place on the planet or onboard one of the ships, there isn’t much opportunity to give any large scale visuals, but the interiors do look sharp. The only really disappointing panel for me was the final one, as it looked too cartoonish for my tastes.


If it was made more clear what the penalties for violating the Prime Directive were, I’m sure more people would follow the rules… (click to enlarge)

John Rauch and Neil Uyetake continue to do the colors and letters, as they have for every issue in the series thus far. There isn’t much to do for either of them in this issue as the majority of the issue takes place inside a white Enterprise or shuttle Gallileo, with only a few panels on the planet. Uyetake uses four sound effects in the entire issue, but could have possibly used more during the early ape attack.

The primary cover is once again provided by Tim Bradstreet, in the same style as the prior covers, all based around the Starfleet delta. This is his darkest cover of the lot, almost feeling like it would suit a forensics TV series such as Bones. The alternate cover is done by Joe Corroney, and is another in his Starleet propaganda series. Not as fun as the one on the last issue, but the giant venus fly-traps are a nice touch. The retailer incentive covers feature a black and white version of Bradstreet’s main cover and a photo of Chekov.


Covers for "Star Trek Ongoing #4"
(click to enlarge)

Star Trek Ongoing #4 available now

Star Trek Ongoing #4 is available in comic stores now. You can order it from TFAW, along with picking up some back issues and pre-ordering future issues. (Note: Issues 1 & 2 are in their second printing).

Star Trek Ongoing
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Star Trek Ongoing
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If you can wait, the first volume compiling the first individual issues will be released on March 13th. You can pre-order it at Amazon.

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