REVIEW: IDW Star Trek 50th Anniversary Cover Celebration

Release includes introduction by writer Mike Johnson and 50 covers for 50 years of Star Trek.

Star Trek comics covers featured in the 50th anniversary collection:
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“No writer wants to admit it, but a cover can make or break you.”

Chronicler of IDW’s Star Trek Kelvin Timeline comics, Mike Johnson opens with the aforementioned quote from his Introduction to IDW’s Star Trek 50th Anniversary Cover Celebration. It seems only fitting for a writer to emphasis the importance of grabbing a new reader’s attention with cover art to a new monthly issue. Anytime a person looks at the latest cover, they are a potential new reader and comic writers understand this more than any other, save perhaps the cover artist themselves.

Releasing its latest Star Trek jubilee offering, IDW has published 50 covers from its various Star Trek comics since 2007. Fifty of course is not an arbitrary number, as it equals the number of years Gene Roddenberry’s franchise celebrates in 2016.

While a $7.99 price tag might be a high amount for fans to pay for what essentially is an art book, the issue does offer fans an opportunity to collect some variant covers they may have missed out on over the past nine years. Besides the usual Star Trek cover artists for IDW, including Tony Shasteen, Cat Staggs and David Messina, comic and illustrating legends Jae Lee, Drew Struzan, Mike Allred and Dan Parent are also featured.

Additionally, there is a new three-variant cover for the actual issue itself by artist J.K. Woodward, whose connecting montage features characters from all versions of Star Trek over the years, including the five television shows as well as the J.J. Abrams’ universe characters. This could be an expensive proposition to track down all three covers, but they would look awesome framed together on any wall.

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While it appears to be a good mix of covers, surprisingly there appears to be a lot from more recent endeavors, including five different covers from Star Trek: Starfleet Academy as well as two from Star Trek: Manifest Destiny and Star Trek/Green Lantern: Spectrum War. Granted, among the covers included are variants that fans might not have had the opportunity to purchase at comic stories, but those 14 issues makeup almost thirty percent of the collection.

Highlights include Messina and colorist Giovanna Niro’s cover to the Star Trek Countdown collection, which took its cue from the delta shield promotional images of the 2009 film; Staggs’ Star Trek #30, featuring the gender opposites of the crew’s counterparts; a treat with Struzan’s cover to Star Trek Classics volume three, featuring Voyager’s Captain Janeway, the Doctor and Seven of Nine; Mike and Laura Allred’s Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #5 and the fun Archie Comics variant to Star Trek #52, in which Dan Parent illustrates the gang from Riverdale as members of Starfleet, including Jughead as a Vulcan (which might be worth the cost alone).

Regular series artist Shasteen has several covers included, most notably his homage to Bob Peak’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home poster for Star Trek: Manifest Destiny #4 and his final cover to the recently-completed Legacy of Spock arc, Star Trek #58, which features a tri-image of Spock’s face from the TOS, feature films and Kelvin Timeline movies.

IDW wraps up the issue with a reading checklist for all its Star Trek published comics to date.

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was wondering if it was worth picking up…might have to…

It was in my order, from my comic book shop,so I just got it, it all boils down to do you like cover art? If so great, personally I think it would of been better if they had the variants covers or had some interviews on why that style, what was the thinking behind that approach? So a page for the cover and a page for a short interview