bg3-coverOrder Boldly Go #3

I’m really impressed by Mike Johnson and Tony Shasteen’s work on IDW’s Star Trek: Boldly Go. As a die-hard fan of the franchise love so much, it’s clear they given me new reason to love the cinematic version of Star Trek.

No, I mean it – they’ve taken on the sensitive ground of extending the Kelvin Timeline into a something that actually grows on me. They’ve instilled within this version of Trek a natural sense of progression, and this organic growth works.

Johnson has created a real sense of relationship among all the crew members. The first movie didn’t have this sense as the characters and the audience were all being re-introduced to them.

We had to go through this artificiality of pretending that we didn’t know these characters and had to affect a degree of surprise at mannerisms or behaviour that we knew all too well, or were to accept any changes with a sense of acceptance.

The last two films did little to reinforce those bonds, which is a disadvantage to cinema. If ‘the-powers-that-be’ wanted to really reboot TOS, then a new television show would have given them the chance to introduce the natural, transitional changes that Shasteen and Johnson are able to bring to bear in their book.

In a way, this comic is doing it right.

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  • George Caltsoudas’s primary cover is a stylized version of the Borg rather than a more exact one that we are used to. It’s not my cup of tea, but there’s no doubt that he manages to convey the dark sense of foreboding and terror that this race represents. Let’s face it: the Borg are probably the most fearsome and memorable foe that has ever been created for this franchise.Though Johnson might be criticized for “jumping the gun” a little in introducing them to this renewed version of the original series, I do enjoy how he manages to route that back to the original timeline anomaly that started this diverted version of Star Trek. If we can understand that, then there’s room for Caltsoudas’s interpretation of the Borg.
  • Tony Shasteen’s B-variant cover is another in the series of profile pieces of the command crew’s transfer orders to the USS Endeavour; this time, it’s Leonard McCoy. I love these. They’re solid works of art but they’re also a subtle manifestation of the story line of this book. I really want to see the complete piece as a whole. I think I’ll be sending Mr. Shasteen some of my wife’s orange-flavoured, chocolate tipped shortbread cookies this holiday season as a bribe.

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  • The third in the cover variants is a gorgeous shot of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, played by Zoe Saldana. It’s a lovely piece of photography, and while I appreciate the skill that went into this shot – as well as the subject – I just feel that a comic cover should be drawn. I want to see more of Shasteen’s work or J.K. Woodward – another excellent Trek artist.For that matter, why can’t John Byrne draw some more excellent Trek work? IDW as some awesome talent at its disposal for this franchise.
  • The final cover variant is the paper doll series and it’s of Lieutenant Uhura as well. While I’m not usually disposed to playing dress-up dolls, I think this is an area that I could probably investigate more, in the interests of spending some valuable playtime with my youngest daughter. I could also kindle an interest in Star Trek… yeah, that’s why my wife is rolling her eyes at me.

Johnson has gifted the crew of the Enterprise – now the Endeavour, with a real sense of team identity. They have a closer sense of relationship – Nyota Uhura jokes with Kirk about Spock’s lack of surprise at Kirk’s decision-making; they feel Sulu’s pain at his missing family members, and Shasteen even manages to pencil relaxed expressions on their face, visibly reinforcing this notion.

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Unlike their cinematic counterparts, there’s a real sense of unity in this crew. I think that’s why I like Johnson and Shasteen’s rendition of the Kelvin Timeline better than the actual film.

In short, Johnson and Shasteen are doing a wonderful job with this extension into the franchise. They have taken the traditional elements of Trek and successfully merged them into the Kelvin Timeline. Sarah Gaydos has a good team here and this is a book with controversial fan emotions (ie: the Trek purists vs. Trek evolutionists) and synthesized something that all lovers of Trek can get behind.

If there’s a way for the Kelvin Timeline to work, IDW has definitely made it work under these folks.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
"Star Trek: Boldly Go" #3
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  • DangerousDac

    So, I left a comment on io9 about 3 years ago with a Star Trek movie pitch which is almost exactly this comic book story.

    Makes me kinda sour the more it resembles it.

  • M33
    • Michael

      No Blu-Ray HD update like Next Gen, no sale. Who in their right mind would settle for 480p in 2016?

      • Zarm

        Someone who actually wants to own the series on physical media – yes, there are those of us who still prefer it to digital – and wants a better quality rendition than the interlaced, somewhat-blotchy copies that we get over a standard Netflix or other streaming service, but doesn’t want to pay the outrageously high prices that the 12-year-old sets fetch? 🙂

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to get these remastered – but I’d also just love to have a complete set of Star Trek discs. And an affordable option for this (especially for those that still haven’t made the switch to Blu-ray or aren’t as concerned about the newest technology as they are with simply having a watchable copy) makes a lot of sense- especially when this is the only format that it’s really available in. I think the phrase ‘better than nothing’ applies for many. And there are simply some great shows and movies of the past that have not received the HD upgrade. It doesn’t make them any less valuable to watch; modern resolutions are nice, but the content can transcend its format when only one format is available.

      • GIBBS v2

        You can’t even properly view it thats what confuses me. Do people watch it in a little tiny square or are people still holding on to tube tvs?

    • M33

      Hey TrekCore, how come you haven’t put up the purchase links yet?

      This is referral money you guys would get from every purchase.
      I’ve tweeted and emailed but have heard nothing.

  • Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Not the first, actually. “The Delta Anomaly” also hinted at Borg checking out Earth in the alternate reality.

  • discsolo

    Disagree completely with your appraisal of the relationships and sense of teamwork among Jim Kirk’s crew, and friends in the Kelvin Timeline movies. There’s a moment in BEYOND (which I enjoy more with each viewing but I still think is the lesser of the three films to date), around the transition from Act II to Act III, where the Enterprise officers aboard the now functional USS Franklin are brainstorming (some from different locations on the ship, over the comm) the tricky solution to a problem in stopping or destroying Krall’s swarm, and as they reach that solution, with writing , performances, cutting and scoring all bouncing along with an energetic snap, the characters basically finish each others’ sentences until they arrive at the right decision. Its a terrific moment that solidifies how the troubles, disasters and terrors endured and overcome in STAR TREK, ST INTO DARKNESS and the destruction of their starship have made them akin to their Prime counterpoints in terms of friendship, loyalty, dependability and getting the job done.

  • Michael

    I LOVE the stylized Borg cover! Best Star Trek comic book cover illustration I ahve seen in a veeeery long time. Nice!

  • madmadia85

    I agree with you about the comics getting it right in ways the last movie didn’t in terms of the relationships, especially those unique of the kelvin timeline and that aren’t just here for tos nostalgia (e.g., old trio)
    not only they respect the Spock/Uhura and Kirk/Bones dynamics more but also the Kirk/Uhura one. Even that Sulu/Uhura interaction, as well as the rest of his friends being caring with him, was everything Beyond failed to give in its obvious nostalgia for the old stuff that made the movie go backwards with the characters. The movie simply did ‘not too bad’ and barely enough in my book. The comics make me bitter because I’m glad to have them but they remind me about how wasted the reboots potential was in the movies after the first and I’m just sad.