The Enterprise encounters a creature more massive and powerful than anything they’ve yet faced on their journey into deep space. Will the crew, along with a mysterious alien “Hunter,” find a way to make peace with the beast before it strikes again? Find out with a spoiler-filled review of IDW’s Star Trek #42, plus a 7-page preview, after the jump.
Star Trek #42 – Five Year Mission: Behemoth, Part 2
(available Wednesday, February 25)
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 Enterprise and the injured alien pilot are in major trouble, as the massive “Behemoth” feeds itself by sucking the dilithium crystals right out of the big E’s hull. After an emergency beam-out to get the away team and the alien back on the Enterprise, a risky warp jump whisks them to safety.
Ships overwhelmed by the Behemoth
Once escaped, the alien, who calls himself only “The Hunter,” and Kirk establish a dialogue about the Behemoth. It feeds on stars and moves at warp using pure organic energy, leaving countless dead, starless worlds in its wake.
With the Behemoth’s nature and the devastating consequences of its actions now known, will the crew of the Enterprise act against the creature, possibly the only one of its kind, to save untold lives? And can they control the actions of the Hunter, should the Behemoth turn up again?
Behemoth Part 2 is fun, great to look at, and full of action, but ends a little too neat and tidy for my liking. Writer Mike Johnson already called this story a Moby Dick homage, but it’s got plenty of Trek precedent as well. In particular, TNG’s Silicon Avatar comes to mind, with Picard and co. forced to deal with their own Behemoth-style destructive creature, the Crystalline Entity, while also harboring a visitor hell bent on revenge against it.
That episode, though, had the running time to give a more thorough exploration of the moral dilemma at hand – do you kill a singularly unique entity that killed your family and countless millions, even if it isn’t fully aware of the devastation it causes, or do you try to reason with it? Here, we’re only given a taste of that conundrum on pages 13 and 14 before the action kicks back into high gear, and (spoiler alert) the Hunter’s actions at the end of the story render the whole issue moot, anyway.
Farewell, ya big purple lug
And, speaking of, we also barely spend any time with the Hunter, which keeps his doomsday mission from having more emotional resonance. Overall, two issues just didn’t feel like enough to really dig into this story’s potential.
The art is once again provided by Cat Staggs, with Wes Hartman on colors and, oh man, do the outer space sequences pop. Nebula, warp speed, and explosions all leverage a vibrant color palette to great effect. The Behemoth itself continues to be a weird, wild creation – basically the love child of the giant amoeba from The Immunity Syndrome and a glowing space octopus – and it sure is pretty.
A helluva pretty warp speed
Staggs handled the cover for this issue as well, giving it a lovely, hand-painted look. It also much better represents the actual story to come than the last issue’s random spree of phaser fire. Likenesses are strong this issue, too, but some of the photo-scanned interior Enterprise backgrounds are noticeably dull when compared to the dynamic colors of the rest of the issue. And, lastly, Neil Uyetake again gets some fine work in on the lettering, both in action sequences, and the dialogue with the increasingly intelligible Hunter.
The story ends on another nifty cliffhanger leading into the next three-part story, an exciting prospect for those (like me) looking to satisfy their itch for a more serialized Trek adventure. Behemoth came and went too soon, but the Five Year Mission still looks to be headed to exciting places.
7 Page Preview:
Still to come – 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.