Star Trek: The Tholian Web (1 of 2)

 Star Trek: The Tholian Web #46 (Part 1 of 2)

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writer: Mike Johnson

Artist: Rachael Stott

Colorist: Davide Mastrolonardo

Letterer: Neil Uyetake

Editor: Sarah Gaydos Story Consultant: Roberto Orci

Cover: Joe Corroney and Brian Miller

Release Date: June 17, 2015 

Lieutenant’s Log: The U.S.S. Enterprise is heading home from the Delta Quadrant; having repaired the ship and replaced the dilithium crystals that they picked up from the Dark Market in ‘Eurydice’s’ conclusion, last month. 

Already behind schedule with their mission of exploration, Captain Kirk is anxious to pickup where they left off. However, as the ship nears the Alpha Quadrant, it inexplicably drops out of warp, and the crew begin to act strangely…

The Story: Mike Johnson returns us to ‘episodic’ territory, while giving this version of ‘The Tholian Web’ enough tweaks to make it into something new. Here, Kirk isn’t lost to interphasic space, there’s no mention of the U.S.S. Defiant (as in TOS) and the Tholians, themselves, aren’t seen until the end of the issue – their ships, that is. While the story did keep me reading, I wasn’t wowed, by it. 

There were some good aspects to Mike Johnson’s retelling, though. I liked that McCoy was back – and, as fiesty as ever – giving us the ‘feel’ of that iconic triad we love so. However, I wasn’t impressed by Bones’s ‘out of character’ (to me) response to the situation, that the crew find themselves in. He would be the last one to leave the crew without its CMO, and in such dire straits. And, trust me, this crew needs its doctor in this story.

Another thing that was a plus, for me, was that we get to see the Enterprise do that one thing, that we never got to see it do in an episode. That alone, makes this issue worthwhile and I’m glad to see Johnson include it here. It makes the cliffhanger all the more compelling. 

The Art: It was hit-and-miss. Rachael Stott and Davide Mastrolonardo have some great panels throughout, and-yet…I wasn’t awed by the likenesses of the crew. In her previous work on ‘The Primate Directive,’ I was left slack-jawed, at times. That isn’t the case, here. But, that’s not to say the work isn’t good, either; I just wasn’t as wowed, as I expected to be. If I had to give it a grade, I’d give it a B+.

As for this issue’s cover, Joe Corroney and Brian Miller have done a great job. Lots of good character likenesses for Kirk, Chekov and Scotty, and lots of detail and vibrant color, as we’ve come to expect. It’s a cover I’ll hang on my wall. That said: Why are we seeing Chekov in the red shirt and goggles from Into Darkness? It’s my hope, that one day we might go back to the covers having some relevance to the story being told within.

Does anyone else remember those days? For examples: DC’s ‘The Final Mission’ had all of the crew disembarking from the Enterprise, or Marvel/Paramount’s ‘The Early Voyages’ #1 represented everything that was terrific about Captain Pike’s 5-year mission. How is it, that we’ve come to having these covers being done months before the story is even written? It’s frustrating to the readers, as well as to the artists, themselves. Rant over.

My Take: I went ahead and gave ‘The Tholian Web’ four stars, because the story kept me reading and left me just curious enough to see its conclusion. And, while the crew acted a bit predictively, there were some good moments with Kirk, Bones, Scotty and Sulu. Plus, I’m anxious to see if the Tholians show their faces in the next issue. The art isn’t spectacular, but it gets a passing grade; especially for the exterior shots of Enterprise near the end. But, YOU be the judge, eh…

‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’ 

Lt. Eric Cone 


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