Barely a week into their time journey, Spock is traumatized, Kirk is spellbound, their relationship is strained, and Beckwith is nowhere in sight. The third issue of Harlan Ellison’s The City of the Edge of Forever makes its way to your local comic shop this week. Read TrekMovie’s review (with spoilers) and a preview after the break.
Star Trek: Harlan Ellison®’s Original The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay #3
written by Harlan Ellison, Scott Tipton and David Tipton, art by J.K. Woodward, letters by Neil Uyetake, edits by Chris Ryall, covers by Juan Ortiz and Paul Shipper
Finding refuge from the angry crowd in a dusty basement, Kirk and Spock take stock of their circumstances. A friendly building manager lends a hand with a job offer. With food and shelter in hand, Kirk instructs Spock to program his tricorder to find the focal point that Beckwith will be drawn to, in spite of warnings that the calculations will damage the circuitry. On the way home from his dishwashing job, Spock sees the words of the Guardians come to life in the person of Sister Edith Keeler. There’s still no sign of Beckwith, so they keep watch on Keeler.
See Kirk and Spock Stalk.
As predicted, the tricorder’s circuitry burns out. While Spock worries about repairs, Kirk finds them a room in the same boarding house with Keeler and awkwardly strikes up an acquaintance. Spock notes Kirk’s fascination with the charismatic woman.
See Kirk Bedazzled.
Wow! Spock is severely pissy and pedantic in this installment of Ellison’s story. And AARGH!#$@%&! The dialogue includes one of my literary pet peeves. Discussing the probablility of Beckwith’s arrival, Spock says “… until he is drawn to the Keeler woman“. What is with the Spock vulcan and the last-name-of-a-woman woman reference? I realize this is common English language usage, but it makes my teeth hurt. I guess it’s not that big a deal in comics, but I still occasionally see it in present day articles where it simply doesn’t belong. I don’t recall if this line is in the broadcast episode. Anyone remember? No matter. As in previous issues, the story closely follows the original teleplay and we get a less congenial, potentially fragile version of the Kirk/Spock relationship. Spock seems rattled and Kirk is caught off guard by Keeler. Well, ok, Kirk is caught off guard by any attractive woman, but Spock is definitely off-kilter, and haven’t we’ve learned to expect that when he travels in time? Anyway, the Tiptons are keeping the story moving along and I like the edginess in the relationship between the Captain and his first officer. A shout-out to letterer Neil Uyetake. He’s doing a good job handling a lot of dialogue.
I can’t speak highly enough of J.K. Woodward’s artwork on this mini-series. His muted color palette for the depression-era setting is very important to the story being told. When Edith Keeler appears in her sky blue cape, she stands out like an angel. No wonder Kirk is spellbound. I don’t recall this kind of reaction to her on-screen appearance. Equally important is his treatment of Kirk and Spock, featured together in most of the panels. I’m looking forward to what he’ll do when the malevolent Beckwith enters the timeline. I’m also impressed with Paul Shipper’s subscription covers. He’s doing a fine job presenting the iconic characters featured in each episode. As is appropriate for this installment, Juan Ortiz features Kirk meeting Keeler on his stylized cover. I like his covers, but more and more, I’m drawn to Shipper’s work. As I’ve said before, everyone involved is doing an outstanding job and the critical moments are still to come.
City on the Edge of Forever #3 will be at your local comic shop Wednesday, August 27, and available in digital format too.
Preview of City on the Edge of Forever #3
But wait, there’s more for you to read!
A while back, Know It All Joe posted some interesting reading. Joe discusses Ellison’s teleplay and provides copies of a writer’s work draft of the script, a shooting script, and just for kicks, the entire fotonovel of The City on the Edge of Forever for comparison. Disclaimer: I have no idea who Joe is. I found the post while looking for information about Ellison’s script.
Star Trek comics coming in September
Next up from IDW Publishing are Star Trek #37 and City on the Edge of Forever #4. You can pre-order Star Trek comics at a discount from Things From Another World, just click on the banner below.
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.