Trek Comics Review #32: ‘I, Enterprise’ (Part 2)

Our Trek Comics editor Patrick Hayes returns with a review of this month's issue of IDW Publishing's Star Trek ongoing comic series: the conclusion of "I, Enterprise," which began in March's issue.

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Not just the usual pair of possibilities this go around; part two of "I, Enterprise" offers a trio of covers from which to choose!

Erfan Fajar provides the art (and Sakti Yuwono of Stellar Labs does the coloring) for the regular cover, focusing on the star of the story, Science Officer 0718. He looks good -- and so does the Enterprise -- but I'm split on the coloring. I like the 0718's ultra-pale skin, which stands out beautifully against the ruby-colored starfield behind him, but I'm not that thrilled with the coloring on the Enterprise, which comes across as something out of Tron: Legacy.  Grade: A.

This issue's subscription cover features the memorable scene of the Enterprise falling to Earth, from Star Trek Into Darkness -- a picture that's very applicable to this month's story.  Grade: A.

The unexpected third cover for Issue #32 will be available exclusively at the Ottawa ComicCon in mid-May. Who would have thought Canada would get another special cover? I'm a sucker for photo covers, so I'm definitely going to pick up this variant featuring Karl Urban as a solemn-looking McCoy, a character who gets some of the best lines in this issue.  Grade: A.

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This concluding part of the "I, Enterprise" story opens with the physical manifestation of the ship greeting Kirk, Spock, and McCoy; 0718 identifies itself as an avatar for the Enterprise.

The being tells the trio it came to exist soon after they first arrived at the sentient planetoid the ship is currently orbiting, then somehow alters the room they're in to show them a view of the outside of the Enterprise. The view upsets our leads, and Kirk thinks the hull has been damaged. Assured by both the avatar (and Sulu) that all is well, Kirk calms down... but Scotty is still unconscious and the ship is still stopped in the middle of a saucer separation.

The Enterprise -- by way of 0718 -- answers the captain's concerns with an interesting addition at the bottom of Page 6. This new Enterprise tries to integrate with the crew, showing how it can help them, but things go unexpectedly awry on Page 10. I was glad to see that writer Mike Johnson, along with story consultant Roberto Orci, came up with a fairly clever way to save the ship and crew, but I had a gut feeling that something close to what occurs on 16 had to happen. Clever, but expected.

The final pages offer a clean slate for 0718. I was happy to get the origin of this background character, told in a much more enjoyable way than last year's string of 'origin' tales.  Grade: A.

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Erfan Fajar does the pencils and some of the inks, with Yulian Ardhi taking care of the rest. The lead characters look good -- really good: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Chekov look particularly great throughout the issue, but the character that really has to sell the story is 0718, and his look improves as each page progresses. A pasty character always looks like a person in make-up, even in a comic book, but by the midpoint of the story he really looks his best.

The ship interiors are fairly decent, with engineering looking particularly sharp, but the Enterprise exterior just doesn't work for me at all, and this issue's "threat" didn't help with that. It's not bad, really, but it's not that great either.  Grade: B.

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I really liked the coloring by Sakti Yuwono, accompanied by Ifansya Noor of Stellar Labs. The shading of characters' faces and the muscle work on 0718 on the first page are both fantastic -- page after page, the coloring adds needed extra depth to each frame of artwork, especially on Captain Kirk.

The smooth shading on Page 6 and the bright reds of Page 10 were both real showcases, excellent highlights of this month's release.  Grade: A.

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Narration and dialogue are Neil Uyetake's bread and butter this time around, with a single red alert klaxon serving as this issue's only sound effect. To be honest, though, there's not really much need for sound effects in this half of the story; it's a very dialogue-heavy chapter, and Uyetake's lettering is done very well.  Grade: A–.

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Bottom line:
"I, Enterprise"
is an entertaining and enlightening look at the new Enterprise.  Grade: A–.

- Reviewed by Comics Editor Patrick Hayes

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  • Jeyl

    So much for the Enterprise being female.

    • markexists

      The character was shown to be gender neutral. Though the character looks otherwise male.

      • Jeyl

        And has a male voice in Star Trek Into Darkness.

  • markexists

    I thought the characters looked like their faces were photos that were traced over and pasted onto the comic bodies.