Star Trek #29-30 (Comics Review)

The only Star Trek comics I’ve read to date have been the Star Trek: Khan miniseries from last year, which tied into last year’s Star Trek: Into Darkness movie and a Winter Annual or something back in 2012 which featured the crew of the Enterprise as led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Oh and there was that photorealistic art comic last year, which was a new experiment from IDW and had a story that I rather liked. The comics have been decent, and its pretty clear that IDW has been set on exploring as much of the Star Trek universe as it can, although their focus remains on the Enterprie in most matters.

When IDW announced that it would be putting out a 2-parter arc that would feature a gender-switched crew of the Enterprise-A, I was really excited. It promised a lot of opportunities for cool narrative elements, and I was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately never got around to it as it happened. However, I just finished reading both comics and they proved to be quite a fun read. A bit too simplistic and cliched as it happens, but they were fun.

Star Trek 2930We start off with this “Parallel Lives” arc by visiting with the alternate-reality crew of the first Enterprise, led by Captain Jane Tiberia Kirk, who is Starfleet’s youngest captain, and is just as brash and impulsive as her male counterpart. Mike Johnson, who also wrote the Star Trek: Khan miniseries, does a great job of introducing us to these alternate, gender-swapped characters, and we see how alike they are to the characters we know so well. The differences appear to be rather minimal, and that’s kind of the fun part since it allows the writer to explore who these characters are without getting down into the minutiae of the whole thing, getting lost in the resultant complexities of an otherwise situation.

The first issue ends with the Enterprises of the two realities coming together and the second deals with crews of both ships as they attempt to return to their own space-time, their own reality. The interactions between the two crews are fun indeed, and nothing can top the two Spocks conferring with each other about their romantic relationships to Lts. Uhura and Uhuro in front of them! That’s quite an awesome image and something that is also totally Spock.

One thing that struck me while reading these two comics just now was that Jane Kirk appears to be someone who can easily look past the demands of the moment, unlike James Kirk. The best example of this is when the two crews confer on their situation, stuck in some kind of a reality bubble and attempting to get out of it. James Kirk wants to compare notes on how their realities are so different from each other, while Jane Kirk wants to focus on just getting back to her own space-time. Its a somewhat subtle difference between the two of them as per the story, and I like that she is more level-headed than her male counterpart.

Another great thing is that pretty much all the characters are gender-swapped in this story. The story takes place after the events of last year’s movie and as we see in these pages, even Khan has been gender-swapped, so that now she is a woman instead of a man. My only regret is that we don’t get the full name of the villain, and Khan’s name has always been a point of contention with me since Khan is always a surname, never a forename.

But, apart from that, despite the cliched nature of the story and lack of deeper exploration of the characters, I found that I enjoyed the story. It is a quick, fun read, and it presents possibilities that we may never see on-screen.

The art on these issues is by Yasmin Liang with colours by Zac Atkinson and letters by Gilberto Lazcano. In the main, I liked the artwork here. The colours are bright and the overall atmosphere is quite positive. The only criticism I have of the art is that the female crew members of the gender-swapped Enterprise all appear to be… angry all the time. Their faces are twisted into these weird expressions most of the time, as if they just smelled something really horrible or some such. Its just… weird.

However, big kudos to whoever did the covers for both issues. I loved them. Long live the gender-swapped crew!

Overall, not a bad story, although I would love to see the adventures of this gender-swapped crew in a longer arc where we aren’t burdened as such by “real” crew.

Rating: 8/10

More Star Trek: (Khan) #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.

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Posted on May 11, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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