Star Trek #1
It's stardate 2378 and Benjamin Sisko has finally returned from the Bajoran Wormhole - omnipotent - but with every minute, his godhood is failing. Sent by the Prophets on a mission to the deepest parts of space aboard the U.S.S. Theseus, he witnesses the unthinkable-Someone is killing the gods. And only Sisko and his motley crew of Starfleet members from every era of Trek can stop them. From Star Trek: Year Five duo Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (Batman Beyond, Captain America) comes IDW's brand-new, flagship Star Trek ongoing series that goes where no one has gone before!
One of the advantages comic adaptations have over the television series they’re based on is the ability to do what the television series cannot–whether that’s visiting exotic locations or staging elaborate action sequences or combining characters across many series who wouldn’t otherwise interact. Or, as is the case with Star Trek #1, doing all three.
IDW’s newest Star Trek series takes place the year following the U.S.S. Voyager’s return to Earth (as seen in Star Trek: Voyager “Endgame”). Star Trek #1 begins with Benjamin Sisko’s return from the Celestial Temple/Wormhole. The Prophets have sent him on a mission to stop something that they cannot. From here Sisko takes command of the experimental starship U.S.S. Theseus and assembles a crew including The Next Generation’s Data and Beverly Crusher, Voyager’s Tom Paris, Star Trek’s Montgomery Scott, and the apparent descendant of Enterprise’s Hoshi Sato.
The plot introduced in Star Trek #1 is that something or someone is killing “gods”–the Prophets, Crystalline Entities, and Q are named by Sisko as potentially being in danger. This is an interesting story idea for Star Trek, a franchise that focuses on the perfectibility and advancement of humanity (and by extension all other species by using humanity as glue to bring them together). It opens the door to potential themes built off of the idea that mortals must use their ingenuity to protect beings of ostensibly limitless power.
There is also a mythic quality to a story about mortals being commanded to defend their gods. This quality aligns with certain story components such as the first salvo in this fight taking place in the Hephaestus Nebula, named for the Greek god of fire. And Sisko’s ship is a literal Ship of Theseus–built in a modular fashion so compartments and technology can be easily swapped out. In some ways it’s a reflection of Sisko himself who went from a corporeal being limited to a temporarily linear existence to incorporeal and non-linear and then back again, and Kelly and Lanzing do a good job exploring some aspects of this as the story advances.
The one thing that doesn’t quite work out is the introduction of the other series’ characters. Almost all of them feel rushed and somewhat obligatory. And Beverly and Scotty’s introductions in particular feel a little bit like the writers winking at the reader. This is a relatively minor criticism and certainly there could be room in future issues to explore these characters’ inclusion in the mission, but for now it was a little too much like a roll call of stunt casting.
With all of these well established characters it wouldn’t be surprising if this new Star Trek series used a photo realistic art style–it’s something that has been done in some past IDW series. But Rosanas sticks to a more traditional comic book art style, and it’s quite effective. Not every character is entirely perfect (if Paris, who is in the issue very briefly, had not been identified by name I would not have known it was him) but he captured the general appearance and mannerisms of the actor’s performances.
The issue’s vaguely mythic quality is further reinforced by Loughridge’s coloring. The interstellar vistas are rich (especially the scene involving the Crystalline Entities which is very vibrant). Loughridge is also able to use color to give Sisko a connection to something godlike in his initial return from the Celestial Temple in the beginning of the issue and later a connection to something almost hellish when he realizes the danger posed to the “gods.”
Star Trek #1 is a solid introduction to what looks to be an ambitious story. Sisko is the perfect character to use to explore a story involving advanced godlike beings. And the crew around him, based on the characters’ development in their various series, should offer a variety of viewpoints. It’s a great starting point from which to boldly go.
Star Trek #1: To Boldly Go…Again
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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