Trek Comics: Star Trek Special
Wildstorm's $6.95 glossy-cover one-shot has something to delight all Trek fans. From superb cover art of the four captains to a heartrending concluding story in honor of DeForest Kelley, the writers and artists have created a very nice package. Though the stories fit together awkwardly in places, the art and stories offer a smorgasbord of treats at a very reasonable price. This Star Trek Special's a keeper.
In the first story, Ian Edginton's "Bloodline," the Enterprise-A responds to a distress call from the Feynman, where Kirk's nephew Peter is now stationed. Peter has never forgiven his uncle for refusing to adopt him after his father's death, nor for the fact that Jim Kirk's legend as a womanizer outlives Sam Kirk's renown as a scientist. McCoy gets a bit out of character describing David Marcus' murder at the hands of the Klingons to bring Peter around, then Kirk comes up with his usual heroics against mechanical problems and deadly aliens. It's a bit predictable, but fans of "Operation: Annihilate" will be glad to learn what happened to Kirk's kin. The artwork has clear lines and lots of colorful background detail.
"A Rolling Stone Gathers No Nanoprobes," a Next Generation-era story in which the Borg attempt to assimilate a planet inhabited mostly by Horta, introduces a likeable group of miners but assumes that the Horta voice simulators invert most English phrases, which makes for some clunky dialogue. Oddly, the Borg sound casual in conversation with one another. It's hard in a comic to convey a collective voice. It's also hard with limited colors to make the Horta look like living rocks rather than large dung heaps. So the two great scary alien species seem a little tame, but the witty story moves quickly.
The Deep Space Nine offering, a Benny Russell story set before "Far Beyond the Stars," explains the genesis of Russell's interest in science fiction...when he begins to see Klingons and Gorn rampaging on the streets of New York, and isn't sure whether he's being given a vision or having a hallucination. He sees greedy newsmen as Ferengi, Uncle Sam as a Borg. "When the Stars Came A'Calling" has wonderful retro-style art and highly stylized narration, a little gem that works perfectly for this short format.
I will restrain myself from making any jokes about the title of Voyager tale "Exercises in Futility," in which Wonder-Borg Seven of Nine tries to come up with a way to get the ship back to Earth. The babe factor is very high, as Seven, Janeway, and Torres are featured in practically every frame -- many of which repeat, since every suggestion of Seven's leads to disaster predicted by the crew but ignored by Janeway in her pursuit of her obsession to get home. The characters look terrific and the dialogue is quite humorous. Sadly, the writers have done a fine job summarizing the series' past couple of seasons in a nutshell.
"The Legacy of Elenor Dain" brings together the crews of the original Enterprise and the Enterprise-D in the tragic story of a woman who risks her life in an attempt to preserve her artistic legacy. Only after two generations have passed does her legacy come to light. This dark, lushly illustrated story dovetails nicely with the tale of Kirk and his nephew from the beginning of the comic book, and sets a melancholy tone for the conclusion.
"The Wake" reunites an aged, suffering Dr. McCoy with some old friends, following the news of Kirk's miraculous recovery from the Nexus and subsequent loss saving a planet from a madman. Simple, spare drawings create an intimate feel. The wake is for Kirk, but it's also a beautiful elegy for the entire original cast, and left tears in my eyes.
This Star Trek Special is worth owning for the final story alone, and for the cover by John Van Fleet; Hamilton should get him to paint their collectible plates.
Trek Book Reviews