TrekInk: Review of Star Trek #42 – Five Year Mission: Behemoth Part 2 + 7-Page Preview

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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: Art by Tony Shasteen Subscription Cover: Photo

Cover by Cat Staggs – Subscription Cover: Photo

Story:

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.

Star Trek Behemoth

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?

Review:

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.

Star Trek #42 IDW Hunter

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.

star trek warp speed

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:

ST_35-pr_Part1ST_35-pr_Part2ST_35-pr_Part3 ST_35-pr_Part4ST_35-pr_Part5ST_35-pr_Part6 ST_35-pr_Part7

Coming Next:

Still to come – the third issue of Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover The Primate Directive!

Cover: Art by Tony Shasteen

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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

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JRT!

Have to say,I really do love this comic. And New Visions is pretty good too. I’m a couple of issues behind on this ongoing series,but hope to rectify that by the end of the week while in the UK on a quick visit home. Also picking up Galaxy Quest,lol!

Adolescent Nightmare

They should consider that warp effect for the movie.

Boris

So now the stardate is 2262.18, making this the third year of the five-year mission already, the first being 2260 (immediately after Kirk’s speech at the end of Star Trek Into Darkness, which he says is set a year after the main events of STID)?

Jemini

3. Boris

I noticed the same. Last time the stardates were 2261, 235 and
2261,34, now they are in 2262
I think Kirk’s speech in the end (and thus the beginning of their – finally – 5 years mission) was in 2260 and in the other comic Kirk said they were in their five years mission since some months..

Marja

Brother … I hope they don’t rush through the whole 5-year mission!

I’ve said before and continue to think that these comics would benefit GREATLY from a three- to four-issue span per “episode”. The Q story was quite good and seemed like a ninety-minute special in my mind :-)

The comics are, for the most part, well done. A longer format would serve for better, more involving, stories.

Boris

But once again they’re riffing on TOS, “The Doomsday Machine” this time around. Writers, TOS wasn’t a set of Holy Events that have happened before and will happen again. It was a set of one-off adventures, and people expect you to write about new adventures, taking advantage of new opportunities provided by a rebooted continuity.

Jemini

These issues are interesting, I can see where they took inspiration from. Unfortunately, two parts issues always have this problem that there are never enough pages to unfold the plot completely and the new character introduced in the comic reaches a resolution before you get invested into them and their motivations. It always seems like the crew finds their way out of the crisis too fast and too easily.

I have to say, I enjoy the comics but sometimes they make me think about those who would rather see the movies being a documentary of the nasa where the characters do nothing but their job and I’m like..it would be so boring to me. So sterile.
Take spock/uhura, it’s the only chance I have to get to know the characters on a different level than their jobs that, while interesting and all, cannot be everything the characters are. In the same way, I can say that it’s good to see Mccoy playing his doctor role but it’s his sarcasm and friendly, lol, banter with Kirk that makes me love him and enjoy his scenes. I loved the comics with their backstories even if they were all so short (but still effective)
So far my favorite comics had been the ones more focused on the characters, ultimately I read them to know more about them.
But still, I don’t feel like the characters are enough developed. There are so many things we don’t know about them yet and they are already in 2262 now..

Also be careful with this Spock who is not exactly the same character tos Spock was and trying to force him in the same identical role he had in the 60s reduces him to a caricature of himself. He’s more than the dude who repeats ‘logical’ over and over and semingly has to play the cold one everytime just because. The pre stid comics did his character well precisely because they took into consideration the things that make this Spock different and reading them you could never mistake those comics with the ones about the tos timeline.
I have a similar concern with Mccoy. He’s perhaps the most similar to his tos counterpart and it’s fine but I have yet to see something that makes me think ok he truly is a reimagined character from another reality. Something that makes him the Mccoy of THIS trek only that you can’t see in another. (this is not the comics’ fault because unlike spock or kirk or even uhura, the movies didn’t really, imo, show what makes this mccoy different from the other)

Jemini

5. Marja – February 25, 2015
Brother … I hope they don’t rush through the whole 5-year mission!

———–

The problem is that it doesn’t even feel like years had passed… It’s weird, also, that Kirk for example claims that in these comics it’s the first time he tries to get to know Carol after the events from the last movie and they talk about that as if her joining the crew happened only some weeks before… Lol
Maybe we shouldn’t focus on the dates too much…
(Btw, anyone knows the link from the idw site that put the comics and movies in chronological order? I lost it)

I don’t know if I did the math well but, basically, this crew will end their first five years mission together in 2264/2265 that is basically the time when the tos crew started their first mission.
It’s one of the consequences of the alt timeline and what went differently. The enterprise was made later and Pike’s own five years mission never happened and Kirk became the captain sooner.
In tos, also, at this time some of the characters were still at the academy or graduating.

Jemini

My other comment went to moderation
Noisy filters, I just wrote *pas-sed* I wasn’t describing a part of the human’s anatomy… Lol

Boris

8 – yes, I think they just keep getting the new stardates wrong, as if their target audience wouldn’t know that they’re now formatted YYYY.DOY. The actual year(s) probably won’t be made explicit until the next movie is released.

Marja

Deeper characterizations (of our dear regulars, and of our “guest stars” might result with longer story arcs too. Mike Johnson, if you see this, please consider 3-4 issues per episode.

Daoud, The Sinfonian

The interesting takeaway is that since Orci had stayed involved with the overall arc-setting, it’s very clear his script for Trek 13 clearly involved something happening in media res smack dab during the 5YM. This explains the sequencing of stardates well. I wonder if he was building around the year of WNMHGB, 2265? Would the nu5YM be ending at the time the prime 5YM began? And the nu universe then resetting as best it could such that the original 5YM could have proceeded much as it did ‘to begin with’? Guess we’ll never know, now that we’ll be getting a movie with fart jokes and zombies…

Both the artists and writers are making a good job of the Star Trek Ongoing series.