Star Trek Comics Reviews by Aric (minor Spoilers possible)
Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:35 AM
This forum will feature minor spoilers for the comics however I am a spoiler-avoider myself so I won't reveal the end of an issue or, especially, the end of a story arc or major surprises during an issue. Keep in mind, though, that the nature of most comics mini-series is that the "reveal" at the end of one issue is the main focus of the next issue so it will be difficult for me to make that balance. All I can say is, "I'll try."
I hope everyone enjoys this tread. First up, Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment.
With the upcoming movie, updated TV show Star Trek: Remastered, and even fan productions like New Voyages, Star Trek has gone "The Original Series." And few know TOS better than D.C. Fontana. The writer and script editor worked on some of the most popular episodes of Captain Kirk's original mission including "Journey to Babal," the animated episode "Yesteryear," and the aclaimed novel "Vulcan's Glory." Now, for the first time, Fontana writes Star Trek for the medium of comics with Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment.
The Enterprise Experiment is a five-issue comic series that features references to several TOS episodes and includes Characters and McGuffins from those episodes, including Captain Kor, Sarak, Arex (with Chekov too), the obelisk from ""The Paradise Syndrome," the captured cloaking device, and more. The first two issues could be considered a sequel to "The Enterprise Incident" and as such the story revolves around the cloaking device aquired in "The Enterprise Incident."
Enterprise Experiment has been, for me, the most satisfying Star Trek comic IDW has produced so far. "Enterprise Expriment" features spot-on characterizations of the crew, appearances by fan favorite baddies Romulans and Klingons, and a rollercoaster plot that rivals the best of televised sci-fi. A subplot, through the use of flashbacks, focuses on the families of the crew, shedding light on Kirk's relationship with his son and Carol Marcus, and the day McCoy's daughter graduated from Starfleet Medical.
Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment - Written by D.C. Fontana and Derek Chester; Pencils by Gordon Purcell: Inks by Terry Pallot, Bob Almond, Gordon Purcell, and others; Colors by John Hunt and Mario Boon with Fason Jenson; Letters by Chris Mowry, Robbie Robbins, and Neil Uyetake; Edits by Andrew Steven Harris and Scott Dunier.
All images from Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment unless other wise noted.
Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:46 AM
Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment Issue 1 finds Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in the shuttlecraft Galileo attempting to detect the Enterprise in a test of the cloaking device stolen in the television episode "The Enterprise Incident." After 10 hours of searching for the cloaked Enterprise, Kirk and Spock declare the test a success but the Enterprise will not respond to their hails.
Kirk and Spock gain entry to the Enterprise through the shuttle bay but the crew is nowhere to be seen. The cloaking device has phased the crew to the point that they can not even interact with the ship. However, through their shared telepathic abilites, and a nasty feedback from the cloaking device, Spock can sense Arex and attempts to open Kirk's perceptions so that he can also communicate with the Edosian navigator.
They must finish Mr. Scott's modifications to the transporter, begun before the chief engineer phased to the point that he could no longer hold tools, and rematerialize the crew before they completely phase out of existence. And before they can even get a handle on that situation the ship's sensors detect the approach of an old advisary who has deadly intentions.
My thoughts: It's going to be hard for me to critize much in "Enterprise Expriment." It's a sci-fi mystery with all the classic Star Trek characterizations intact from the original series. The comic reads like an episode of a contemperary sci-fi TV show, and I think it reminds me most of the best episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. Coming from someone who is a big 'gate fan as well as a trekkie, that is high praise.
Posted 04 September 2008 - 04:40 AM
... My thoughts: It's going to be hard for me to critize much in "Enterprise Expriment." It's a sci-fi mystery with all the classic Star Trek characterizations intact from the original series. The comic reads like an episode of a contemperary sci-fi TV show, and I think it reminds me most of the best episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. Coming from someone who is a big 'gate fan as well as a trekkie, that is high praise.
The Enterprise Incident was always a loose end in Canon - what happened to the cloaking device and why was it never used? That diplomatic agreement guff never sat really well - the Federation would have to be saints to hold to an agreement to hamstring themselves by not using it when the Romulans are notoriously shifty customers!
Looks good - thanks for the review!
Kirok of L'Stok - Director of Media ..... "I love deadlines! I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by!" - Douglas Adams
Posted 04 September 2008 - 05:20 PM
I think that's what Fontana was thinking. I don't want to give anything away but [color=#ff0011;background:#ff0011]let's just say that there are quite a few Federation ships equiped with cloaking devices in the last issue of the mini-series. There's also an obvious setup for a sequel which, I assume, will eventually explain why the Federation doesn't use cloaks in the future.[/color]
Roddenberry had said that the 'good guys' shouldn't be sneaking around. The Federation, in his eyes, were upfront and honorable and traveled in the open (I tried to find his exact quote, that I just read a couple of days ago, but no luck. ). Obviously, creators of later series *coughDS9cough* have, as is thier right, amended the Federation's cloaking policies.
I'll put up the review of Enterprise Experiment issue #2 later tonight.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:30 AM
Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment Issue 2. The crew of the Enterprise must repel a Romulan boarding party while the out-of-control cloaking device threatens to phase the ship completely out of existence. However, the phase is the only thing preventing a waiting Romulan Bird of Prey from blasting the Enterprise into scrap.
In a bold move Kirk escapes the first Romulan ship only to run head on into another one. The Enterprise is trapped between a dangerous pulsar and a Romulan D7 Battleship. Can Captain Kirk escape the Romulans with the experimental cloaking device, and his ship, intact?
My thoughts: I'm gonna start jabbering if I'm not careful, I love this series so much. Battling Romulans in zero-gravity. An interphase cloak that is both helpful and deadly. Both a Romulan Bird of Prey and a Romulan D-7 Cruiser. How fun is that?
The female Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident" also stars in this issue. I love the subplot where her Sub-Commader volunteers to lead the boarding party because, if he is successful, he will be able to "be bound to" a noble woman, the Commander. I liked that bit of Roman-style Romulan politics and customs.
I have to say that some of the zero-gravity panels don't look quite convincing. However, I'm willing to chalk that up to the fact that even astronauts don't look entirerly convincing in zero-G.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:55 PM
Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment Issue 3 introduces Captain Kor and the Klingons to the "Enterprise Experiment" and begins the second main story arc. Kor has been constaintly testing the Orgainian imposed peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire for the past three years. Now, finally, Kor has found the Orgainians unwilling or unable to enforce the treaty and he moves to regain the glory of his house.
Dispatched to investigate the sudden silence of Space Station K-22, the Enterprise arrives to discover the station has been destroyed. Just as the crew begins to investigate the Enterprise recieves a command from Starfleet to investigate a Klingon fleet approching a Federation colony which is also the home of a valuable dylithium mine.
The Enterprise arrives at the colony to discover a Klingon ground assault force attacking the surviving colonist. War with the Klingon Empire seams inevitible. Additionally, the earlier Klingon bombardment of the planet has unearthed an even more startling discovery, one that could shift the balance of power in the Galaxy.
My Thoughts: You gotta love Kor's tenacity by constaintly testing the Orgainian's resolve and finally getting the result he wants. Kor's not messing around in this issue and one doesn't get much more hardcore than the orbital bombardment of a whole settlement.
There's a great subplot about Kirk's relationship with his son (or lack thereof) but it's much too short. Maybe Kirk could have discussed it with another estranged father on the ship or something. I just wanted more out of that particular thread.
Posted 10 September 2008 - 10:44 PM
Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment Issue 4. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock explore an advanced city unearthed by the earlier Klingon bombardment of the colony planet. They find an obilisk that must have been made by the Preservers, the protectors of the Amerind (ST: TOS "The Paradise Syndrome"). However, the Klingons have taken one of the neural interfaces, a device similar to the one that made Kirk lose his memory on Amerind.
In the character flashback for this issue, Dr. McCoy recalls the day his daughter graduated from Starfleet Medical. Regrets of the past and hopes for the furture mark the transition from a father/daughter relationship to the status of mature equals.
In a bid to recover the neural interface Sulu disguises himself as a Klingon and infiltrates the Klingon base by handing Kirk and Spock over to Kor's troops. Kor interogates Kirk and Spock while Sulu races to find the repository of Preserver knowledge. Even if they are successful the Enterprise must still deal with a fleet of Klingon battleships.
My Thoughts: I got major Forbidden Planet vibes from the abandoned city in this issue of "Enterprise Experiment." I half expected a physic monster to attack but luckily Fontana isn't that obvious. I do love how she's tying in elements from so many episodes of TOS. It's creating a stronger mythology and more cohesive universe for Star Trek. In many ways it reminds me of Stargate SG-1. The protagonists find technology that transfers the accumulated knowledge of an ancient society directly into the brain of a character is very similar to the Ancient repositories in SG-1. There is also similarities with the idea of an ancient species that protects the unencumbered progress of less developed societies.
My first real critisism of this series is that the end of issue 4 falls a little flat and feels very rushed. There's no tension, just quickly wrapping up dangling story theads and getting ready for issue 5. The final land and space battles are squashed into the last two pages. There's just not enough space to properly handle all the action in the last two pages.
Sulu as an undercover Klingon sounds good (and makes a compelling cover image) but the execution is clumsy and full of cliches. Kirk and Spock hand themselves over to the Klingons to be beat up and possibly killed. I can't imagine anyone taking that kind of risk just to get a spy into a base, esspecially when the spy could just walk in the front door. The interogation scene adds nothing to the story, neither Kirk, Spock, nor Kor learn anything from the encounter. To reset the status quo for the next issue Kirk and Spock have to be rescued, however that sequence adds to the mashed up feeling at the end of the issue. The end the story could have been much more effective had it concentrated on Sulu in the Klingon base and then switched to the battle between the Enterprise and Klingon ships and just left out the whole "Kirk and Spock captured" subplot.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:32 AM
I'm looking for all sorts of Star Trek Comics, in which Romulans play a major role. I don't wanna buy them but search for information about the topics and if possible a scan from the Romulans portrayed there. I already have found a lot of comics, but I'm sure, some are missing. THANKS for all little advises !!!
PLEASE take a look first on this site to know which I already have:
Visit Romulan Legacy
Posted 01 March 2010 - 04:53 PM