It’s the penultimate issue in this series … and it looks like everything’s gone to Sto-vo-kor!

With Red Lantern Khan and Sinestro afoot, and the depowered Green Lanterns unable to assist Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise, Mike Johnson has managed to create a real cliffhanger with this issue.

If you haven’t been following Star Trek/Green Lantern, Volume II – Stranger Worlds, this is a collaboration between DC Comics and IDW Publishing to bring together Green Lantern and the Kelvin Timeline version of Star Trek — two unique franchises — into one combined comic adventure.

In fact, this is the second round for these two companies, which gives you a sense of how successful this book has been. Written by Mike Johnson and drawn by Angel Hernandez, issue #5 sees the various galactic factions of the 23rd Century thrown into turmoil with the sudden appearance of the wielders of rings tied to the emotional spectrum of light.

It’s a difficult task to throw these two properties together while creating a coherent and workable storyline that’s acceptable to fans of both. However, Johnson, being a seasoned comics professional and Star Trek fan manages to tie compatible threads together into a plot that DC, IDW and CBS can celebrate and he manages to make it look easy.

If there was a Star Trek character who would epitomize the blood-lusting ring of the Red Lantern, it would have to be Benedict Cumberbatch’s representation of Khan Noonien Singh. This Khan is different form the one of the classic Trek storyline in which conquest and later, revenge, was this character’s prime motivation.

The Kelvin Khan includes these attributes in his character pool as well, but they are secondary to causing as much mayhem as he can in his wake. Of course, he moves to conquer the Klingons and supplant Sinestro, the wielder of the yellow ring of fear and the current emperor of the Klingon Empire.

Sinestro is the nemesis that Hal Jordan, one of the Green Lanterns of twenty-first century Earth, typically faces. It is his ambition to take as much control of this Lantern-less galaxy as he can.

When he learns of the existence of Oa in this alternate galaxy, he makes his way to the centre of the galaxy to supplant the Guardians and destroy their main battery. And with the Enterprise caught between thwarting Sinestro and neutralizing Khan, Captain Kirk and crew face a dilemma of galactic proportions.

In fact, that’s the entire thrust of this issue. Everything that can possibly go wrong, does go wrong. Our heroes are outgunned, faced with two choices of equally bad consequences and the villains seem to have the upper hand. Johnson manages to drag the reader, kicking and screaming down this road to face the over-powered Sinestro as he lays waste to the planet, damaging the battery.

Then, as the Enterprise is about to engage the Yellow Lantern, Khan appears with an entire Klingon flotilla in his wake. This forces the Guardians to release their prototype weapon in their hour of need and… well, let’s just say you’ll have to read the issue for yourself to see what Johnson manages to pull out of his hat.

However, suffice it to say, the entire issue is devoted to presenting the worst-case scenarios that could possibly happen and the reader is given hope in the last pages. It’s an exciting story, to be sure.

  • Looking at the covers that accompany this book, we first take a glance at Angel Hernandez’s regular cover. It’s a classic split portrait of Sinestro’s half profile on the left and Spock’s on the right. It’s an interesting choice of figures as we see two characters very familiar with fear.
    Sinestro embraces fear and utilizes its power to dominate others while Spock suppresses his and is immune to it. While I can appreciate the skill in this cover, I can also recognize its thematic content. It’s the thoughtfulness behind this cover that marks it as my favourite out of the three.
  • The subscription cover by Hugo Petrus is another split portrait, divided five ways. With the late Anton Yelchin’s Chekov on the left-hand side followed by Saint Walker, Star Sapphire, Zoe Saldana’s Uhura, Kilowogg, Guy Gardiner and finally Karl Urban’s McCoy. Superimposed in front of all these characters is a menacing portrait of Sinestro.
    While I found some minor fault with the likeness of Karl Urban, I have to say that this was a stunning cover. Its stylized and sophisticated portrayal of all these secondary characters added a real sense of fan appeal to the book. It was definitely a cover I’d hang on my office wall out of an appreciation for the sheer variety of it.
  • The retailer incentive cover by Chris Mooneyham was an action cover with a picture of an embattled Kirk and Spock backed up by a victorious Green Lantern. It’s a typical comic pose and very appropriate.

All of these covers all possess a common theme of intrepidness in them, which really matches the atmosphere of the book. This is a do-or-die situation for our heroes. They are faced by overwhelming odds and with the last issues of the series coming up next month, you know that Johnson is going ot have to work some real magic in his writing to be able to explain how the crew of the Enterprise and the ringwielders are going to defeat their mutual nemeses and save the galaxy from blood-dripping tyranny and oppression.

Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds is a wonderful example of creativity and represents what two publishing houses with iconic properties can do when they want to tell a good story, and this fifth issue continues that quality.

I’m looking forward to seeing the completion of this series next month.