STAR TREK WEEK
Author/artist John Byrne just keeps getting better and better with these Star Trek photomontage graphic novels! For those who haven’t seen any of my other reviews of the Star Trek: New Visions series, the idea is that the author writes new stories featuring Kirk, Spock, and the crew of the Enterprise, and uses stills from the series, manipulated and photoshopped, sometimes with people and items never seen on the television show, and sometimes bringing a guest actor back. When done well, it definitely gives the sense of seeing/reading a new story right from the television screen. And it is being done well. This is perhaps the best of the series to date.
This book features the following stories:
“The Hollow Man” – Spock gets a private message and takes off in a shuttle, loaned from a nearby space station. He visits Tau Beta IV where he encounters Leila (from “This Side of Paradise”). There she introduces Spock to her husband, Alan Becker. But once Becker is out of ear-shot, Spock asks why she called for him and she tells him that the man he just met is NOT Alan Becker. Spock will have to find the unknown to save himself and his one-time love.
“Mister Chekov” – monkey-mopped hair-do’ed Ensign Chekov is new aboard the Enterprise, wearing his engineering-red tunic, and his direct supervisor, Scotty, is working him hard. A space anomaly causes some problems for the Enterprise, and hence, for Scotty as well. Scotty keeps Chekov close by as they look to get the ship in top shape. This includes a trip to the bridge, where navigator DePaul gets hit by an electrical discharge. Kirk needs a highly skilled navigator to attempt the maneuver they’ve come up with to escape the anomaly. Chekov steps up to tell the captain that he can do. Sulu announces that he’s been working with Pavel in their off hours and he believes Chekov knows the controls well enough. Sure enough, he navigates them out of a tight space and Captain Kirk announces he will remember the young ensign and a short time later, Chekov is handed his next assignment … along with a gold tunic.
“Of Woman Born” – this story starts with some of the familiar story from the episode “Who Mourns For Adonis” then takes it to the next level with Carolyn Palamas back aboard the Enterprise but now pregnant with Apollo’s child. Apollo – god or not – was not human, and Palamas is not aware that she was pregnant when the energy that is the child leaves her and becomes one with the ship. It will be up to Spock to bring this energy infant, and Carolyn Palamas back from a different reality and save the ship.
The book finishes with a one-page tribute to the animated series with a short, short titled: “I Sing of Arms and Heroes”
While I was never a huge fan of the Star Trek episode “Who Mourns for Adonis” – this story is really powerful. It is easy to imagine this as an actual episode.
Chekov in a red shirt was fun. This was definitely a bit light-hearted, despite the danger to the ship. I’ve always liked the Chekov character and I liked this story.
Byrne’s work in “The Hollow Man” is outstanding. It’s one thing to bring a guest character back, it’s another to put that person in a completely different environment than the one they appeared in. A different outfit … a different environment … different extra characters. Really amazing work. I love the nod to the very early episodes with some seriously 60’s costumes for some of the background characters.
Looking for a good book? If you are a fan of Star Trek, you really should pick up this graphic novel Star Trek: New Visions, Vol. 4 by John Byrne. It will feel like old home week.
I borrowed this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.
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Star Trek: New Visions, Vol. 4
author: John Byrne
artist: John Byrne
publisher: IDW Publishing
paperback, 128 pages