It’s a new beginning for IDW’s nu-Trek comics, but when the Enterprise finds a massive new threat in uncharted space, will the five-year mission end before it even begins? Find out with a spoiler-filled review, plus a 7-page preview, after the jump.
Star Trek #41: Behemoth, Part 1
(available Wednesday, February 11)
Written by Mike Johnson, story consultant Roberto Orci, art by Cat Staggs, colors by Wes Hartman, letters by Neil Uyetake, edits by Sarah Gaydos.
Cover by Cat Staggs – Subscription Cover: Photo
The crew of the Enterprise is, at last, on their five-year mission into uncharted regions of space. Enjoying the view of a vast field of stars, Chekov meets a woman from his past in the observation lounge, while Kirk and Carol Marcus reflect on the still-recent devastation in San Francisco.
Chekov meets an old friend.
Both conversations are interrupted by the receipt of a mysterious distress signal. Following the signal to its origins, the Enterprise finds an alien vessel, badly damaged and dead in space. Uhura and Science Officer 0718 do their best to decipher the alien transmission, which offers little except a vague, ominous warning about a “behemoth.”
Kirk, Marcus, McCoy, and Uhura beam over to the damaged vessel to investigate, where a large, injured alien awaits. The universal translator begins to facilitate meaningful communication and the alien shares tragic memories of its home planet, just before a massive new threat arrives on the scene…
The Alien vessel, in trouble.
It’s the beginning of a whole new mission for Trek comics, with the Q Gambit over, and the Enterprise at the outset of spending five-years in deep, unexplored space. It’s probably no surprise, then, that this issue definitely feels like a fresh start, and, sets up some pieces that appear as though they’ll resonate both in the Behemoth two-parter and, hopefully, beyond.
Writer Mike Johnson said in a recent interview that he wanted to show a “wider slice of life” on the Enterprise in the upcoming comics, and that focus is a nice addition to this first issue. We’re introduced to the nu-verse Irina Galliulin (only time will tell if she joins the nu-Trek space hippie movement), and spend some much needed time with Carol Marcus. Lest we forget, she had to watch Khan crush her dad’s head in the last movie, so it’s good to see the trauma of STID acknowledged in her heart-to-heart with Kirk, even if only for a moment.
Kirk and Carol catch-up on old times….
Johnson also said that “Behemoth” is an unabashed Trek-style take on Moby Dick. It’s easy enough to see it heading in that direction; the rest of the issue proceeds at a brisk clip, amping up the intrigue of the mysterious alien vessel and its inhabitant, and peaking just in time for a cliffhanger with the introduction of this tale’s “white whale.”
Cat Staggs handled the art and the cover for this issue, and there’s lots of nice work throughout. A story featuring a “behemoth” actually starts with what one might call the smallest character in the main cast, Pavel Chekov, reflecting on a dense, beautiful star-scape on the observation deck. There’s nice restraint from Wes Hartman on the colors in the early outer space panels that makes the vibrant color scheme of the Behemoth really pop by story’s end.
It’s also worth pointing out the great job Staggs, Hartman, and Neil Uyetake on lettering, do with rendering the the giant creature on the damaged ship and its nearly indecipherable language. It’s ever refreshing to have Trek aliens in uncharted space actually feel so, you know, alien. And the aforementioned Behemoth itself, with its introduction in the final pages, is an absolute beaut. Likenesses are more inconsistent, though, with Kirk, in particular, oscillating between spot-on Chris Pine and generic pretty boy. The cover by Staggs is also plenty cool, though it seems a bit out of place with the actual story, which has nary a phaser fired the entire time.
A very alien alien
Behemoth is a fine introduction to the new five-year mission, and ends just as it really gets cooking. From the interviews with Johnson, it sounds like there’s exciting stuff to come for the nu-Trek comics, and I look forward to seeing how it continues to play out in part 2.
7 Page Preview:
Next up for February – stay tuned for the third issue of Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover The Primate Directive!
AVAILABLE AT THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD All the Star Trek comics can be pre-ordered at Thing From Another World. Click the banner below.
Fritz Kessler is a writer and editor for media and technology site FliptheMedia.com. He’s actually pretty damn excited about Justin Lin-Trek. Quiz him on his absurd knowledge of Star Trek guest stars anytime by finding @hellofritzcom on Twitter or visiting fritzkessler.com.