Promising readers an extra-length tale that reinterprets and adapts the original Star Trek pilot, “The Cage”, what readers are truly left with is an oversized fotonovel like the original Bantam Books from the late 1970’s. The only new part of this adaptation is the fact that “The Cage” had never been published as a fotonovel previously. Now it has.
Star Trek New Visions Special: The Cage
This issue is currently available for preview at IDW
Considering the $7.99 price point and promises of a reinterpretation, Star Trek New Visions Special The Cage falls spectacularly flat and appears to be nothing more than a money grab. Sadly, this adaptation is even more disappointing considering the success and uniqueness in the storytelling format from legendary comic creator John Byrne, who has released 12 previous New Visions stories, culling photos from original series episodes to create brand-new lost episodes of the show.
Little changes appear in the adaptation, although Byrne does omit quite a few scenes and lines of dialogue, while also attaching other dialogue to different moments. To be fair, Byrne does include some new dialogue, however none of it really adds to the story. If anything, the new dialogue might just be more in his actual writing style than anything else.
New Visions The Cage does the actual episode a disservice as readers lose the nuanced performances given by the actors in the delivery of certain lines, as well as the way the story was told and shown given 1964 standards and effects.
One item to consider when deciding on purchasing “The Cage” is the purpose behind publishing the original Bantam Books fotonovels in the late 1970s. Although the episodes were in syndication at this point, the fotonovels offered fans a more permanent way to enjoy the episodes at any given time and not be at the mercy of their local television affiliates. Today, with streaming services that is generally not the case, although “The Cage” can only be streamed on Amazon Prime.
Honestly, unless one is a Star Trek completist that needs to own all Star Trek comics or publications, skip Star Trek New Visions Special The Cage, and rewatch the episode itself (including paying the $2 to watch it on Amazon Prime if not a member), which is a much better experience.