STAR TREK WEEK
It is the third volume in the Star Trek: New Visions graphic novel series, this one featuring comic book issues #’s 6, 7, and 8. Author and photoplay artist/manipulator John Byrne has begun to refine the process and found ways to add new characters to the stories, broadening the scope of the stories.
The first story, “Resistance,” is the weakest of the three here. It’s an ‘internal’ story, meaning all the action takes place aboard the Enterprise with no special guests. In the story, Kirk and crew face off against a powerful, Doomsday Machine-like entity with the very strong suggestion that it is the Borg. Mostly I was a bit bored by the story and I executed an eye-roll at the end. I don’t mind when a franchise like Star Trek draws on past precedent to include storylines or characters that have gone before. It’s actually quite fun. But I do have a problem when trying to presage a storyline or characters.
We know that Picard and crew were among the first to encounter the Borg, so why do we need to have other Star Trek series’/characters have any sort of interaction with this galactic menace? Even if the encounter is only tenuous, as it is here, if this is the Borg that Kirk’s Enterprise has encountered, why wouldn’t the Borg pursue this race sooner than 100 years later?
“1971” is a much more interesting tale. This one combines Star Trek and the Star Trek starter series, Assignment: Earth with a little ‘Guardian of Forever’ thrown in. The Star Trek episode, “Assignment: Earth” was never one of my favorites, but Byrne writes a really fine time travel story here that had me interested all the way through. This was a delightful adventure and I could see this is as stand-alone episode from the original series (which is precisely what I’m looking for when I read a graphic novel like this).
“The Survival Equation” also calls upon some familiar themes and characters from the original series, this time primarily from the episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of.” When Kirk encounters an android replica of Andrea he discovers that she’s just one of many different Andrea replicas. Kirk learns that she’s just one of a large series of serving androids being delivered across the galaxy by an unknown merchant. In the course of tracking them down, the Enterprise crew uncover an android uprising plot that even brings the giant, Ruk, back.
We do discover the ‘unknown’ merchant – which won’t be a surprise to anyone who knows the series – and while this is a character I like, I do tend to think is a bit over-used. It makes sense, though, and I enjoyed the story.
Overall, we see that Byrne is improving on his process. His writing and plotting is strong, and given that he’s somewhat limited by characters in the pre-existing series, he’s done quite well in giving us interesting stories.
Looking for a good book? Star Trek: New Visions, Volume 3 is a unique graphic novel with stories that read as though they were pulled right from the television series.
I borrowed this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.
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Star Trek: New Visions, Vol 3
author: John Byrne
artist/photoplay manipulator: John Byrne
publisher: IDW Publishing
paperback, 136 pages