TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: New Visions #5: A Scent of Ghosts + 5-page Preview

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IDW’s Star Trek: New Visions photonovel series is back, this time with Captain Pike & Number One in tow. Check out our spoiler-filled review of this dual-crew tale, plus a 5-page preview, after the jump.

Star Trek: New Visions #5: ‘A Scent of Ghosts’ (available Wednesday, March 4)
Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, Edited by Chris Ryall

Cover: Art by John Byrne

Cover by John Byrne


Spock is enthusiastic in his own way for the Enterprise’s latest mission – transporting his former Number One from his days serving under Captain Christopher Pike to her new command, the Yorktown.

After giving Number One, now a Commodore, a tour of the Enterprise, the ship intercepts the Yorktown, only it’s missing every member of its crew. Kirk, Spock, Sulu, and McCoy beam over to investigate, but all except McCoy disappear almost immediately after arriving on the Yorktown’s bridge. The Commodore takes command of the Enterprise, which is subsequently attacked by Yorktown with massive firepower.

Kirk Disappears

Kirk disappears

The Enterprise returns fire and disables the Yorktown, but it’s a race against time to figure out why the Yorktown went on a rampage, and what happened to its crew. Scotty beams to the Yorktown, where he and McCoy play back the Yorktown’s logs, and find that it encountered a familiar alien ship from Scotty, Spock, and the Commodore’s past, when they served under Captain Pike.

In their original encounter, Pike, Scotty, Spock, and Number One beamed over to explore the alien ship, and Scotty briefly disappeared just like Kirk and Spock on the Yorktown. Now it’s up to Scotty and the Commodore to look to the Enterprise’s past for the answers to rescuing Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Yorktown crew.


A tale featuring both Pike’s Enterprise and Kirk’s is a welcome idea, but the results of “A Scent of Ghosts” are mixed. This is an ambitious outing in many ways, with a flashback story featuring the Pike-era crew that’s actually told in parallel with the “present day” story, and ultimately provides the solution to taming the Yorktown and finding its missing crew. But the answers behind the alien ship’s “absorption” of Pike’s away team and, years later, its effect on the Enterprise and Yorktown crew members, just aren’t interesting or exciting to the degree you’d expect out from this dual-crew adventure.

Similarly, it is a pleasure to see Number One back in action and interacting with Kirk’s crew – Byrne’s dialogue between Number One and McCoy is particularly delightful. But I also can’t help but wish we’d gotten to know her better in this story. Her appointment as commander of the Yorktown is a fine catalyst to get things moving, but she spends most of her time commanding the Enterprise from afar while Kirk is MIA, and McCoy and Scotty save the day on the Yorktown. That’s all plenty fine, but it sheds little light on an intriguing character from Trek lore, making her appearance here feel fun, but inessential.

Star Trek Number One

Number One has aged peculiarly

Of course, the New Voyages books remain an impressive technical feat, and this issue is no different. Byrne’s original creations of the interdimensional mystery ship and alien are nifty and unique, and there’s some good work here with the space battles, too. He may be the first I can recall to portray TOS-era shields, on page 17, and it’s a cool, lo-fi effect.

It’s also pretty impressive that he gets so much mileage out of the Pike-era characters, given that there has to be a fairly limited amount of legacy material to work with. I cannot, however, get behind the skunk streak of grey in the Commodore/Number One’s hair. The best I can figure is that its an All Good Things future-Data tribute look….

This one just didn’t do it for me, especially when compared to Byrne’s previous, top-notch NV outing, “Made Out of Mudd.” Fortunately, there’s another story included with this issue that’s decidedly more on point…

Short Story: “Memorium”


T’Pring Returns

Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, Edited by Chris Ryall

The five-year mission is over, and Spock is alone on Vulcan working to purge all emotion when he’s beckoned by his former betrothed, T’Pring, to fulfill a very specific request as only he can do. I won’t spoil it here, but this is a touching, somber story. Already a lovely tribute to recently deceased actress Arlene Martell, who played T’Pring in the original series, “Memorium” takes on what is surely an unexpected resonance, in light of Leonard Nimoy’s recent passing, and is not to be missed.

5-Page Preview

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Stay tuned for more comics next week with the latest issue of Star Trek – Five Year Mission!


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Fritz Kessler is a writer and editor for media and technology site He, along with the rest of the Trekkie community, really misses having Leonard Nimoy around. Quiz him on his absurd knowledge of Star Trek guest stars anytime by finding @hellofritzcom on Twitter or visiting LLAP.

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Even is this Majel is a Bad Actress!

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i got here to return the prefer?.I’m attempting to to find issues to enhance my site!I guess its ok to make
use of a few of your concepts!!

This has been my 1st disappointment in John Byrne’s photocmics series. The main story seemed to drag on, repeating the same beats. The artwork also seemed a bit sloppy – coloring wasn’t consistent, some weird ‘seams’ in varion shots. (I still can’t figure out what’s going on with Scotty’s arm on the 1st page transporter console.)
I have loved this series, especially as it had, up to now, improved each issue, which is why this one was a bit disappointing.
Note: comics fans are familiar with the John Byrne curse: stories written well in advance of the actual events ‘precicted’, among other things, the NYC blackout of 1977, and Princess Diana’s death. Interesting that this issue has a Spock story called ‘In Memorium’ (following Leonard Nimoy’s death)and a sneak peak at the next issue, which will apparently involve the Borg, following Maurice Hurley’s death.

Lens flares, danceskin unis, and skunk hair. Oh, my!

Do you suppose Byrne gave Number One the white hair swoosh because he’s fan of blues guitar-slinger Bonnie Raitt? ;-)

I wonder if Nurse Chapel makes an appearance. That would be utterly confusing for all involved. But Dr. McCoy didn’t even blink twice.

Ha, good point Mark…it’s entirely possible – I hadn’t considered the Raitt factor!

I like the lime green female wrap-around tunic variant.

RIP Harve Bennett.

Crap! Today Harve Bennett dies at 84. We lost Maurice Hurley (TNG writer/producer and ‘creator’ of the Borg) last Tuesday, and of course Mr. Nimoy last Friday. And then today Harrison Ford’s plane crashes (though it looks like he’ll be okay.) Not a good two weeks!

Rip Mr Bennett.

No! We lost Harve too?

Well he and Mr. Nimoy gave us that great Trek triology. Kind of ironic they went within a week of one another.

RIP Have Bennett.

Sadly… who’s next ? :(

Harve Bennett was the JJ of the 80’s, such a huge player, bringing Trek back from the dead. We owe him so very much. Loved Six Million dollar Man as well.
R.I.P. Harve Bennett. Those were magical times, we couldn’t have asked for a better steward of the franchise.

Nothing for Harve Bennett? Shame on you

Re: Harve Bennett, wow. What a sad, somber couple of weeks for Star Trek. Well put, Star Trackie. Nice comments.

Sadly, we’re (those of us old enough to remember) getting to that time when our heroes are starting to fade away. 84 years is a damn good run, both he and Nimoy, and if I can make it that far along myself I’ll feel lucky.

RIP. And thank you.

“John Charles” short for MORON! :-)~

#2: Um… what?

#1: She was a much better actress than you are a writer.

Are you kidding? They actually charge money for these terrible photoshop jobs?

Okay, I guess I’ll be the first to say it: The title of that nice, short second story should have been spelled “Memoriam” — with an “a” near the end, not a “u.”

By the way, from the way that second story was promoted in the solicitations a couple of months ago, I was WAYYYY off on ALL of my guesses as to who the “final farewell” character was going to be!

Also, the lead story got me wondering: Would Byrne and IDW have the rights to adapt that “Federation” hardcover novel (I think that was the one) that involved a crossover of sorts between Kirk’s crew and Picard’s?