Star Trek: The Spectrum War (1 of 6)

  Space… The final frontier…in brightest day, in blackest night…two beloved classics will test their might…

When I first heard about IDW’s StarTrek/GreenLantern crossover with DC Comics, I was like: ‘What the hell!! You’ve got to be joking!’ Especially, as I wasn’t impressed with any of the cover-art I was seeing. For example: the cover shown above – while, well-thought out and vividly-colored – is a poor showing for this opening issue; the likenesses of the crew are not great, and they resemble those cardboard standup cut-outs that you see of celebrities, and the like. 

Oh, but – ye of little faith; I should never underestimate the talent and imagination of Mike Johnson. That said, I confess: I like Green Lantern; however, I’ve just never followed that line of the DC Universe all that closely – I’m more of a Batman guy, at heart. My knowledge of GL comes from various crossovers within DC, as well as the 2011 movie – that everyone (except me) seems to hate. I loved Green Lantern; I loathed Man of Steel! Go figure. The fact is, I wasn’t even going to bother reading this ‘new’ venture – I just couldn’t see the point; (which, is ridiculous, considering how I loved the Star Trek/X-Men crossovers from Marvel/Paramount, in the 90’s, and Johnson’s ‘The Q Gambit,’ last summer). Then, I started seeing people’s comments and reviews, raving about this team-up, so I plunked my money down and downloaded a copy… I’m so glad I did. 

 

Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War (1 of 6)

Publisher(s): IDW Publishing and DC Comics

Writer: Mike Johnson

Art: Angel Hernandez Colors: Alejandro Sanchez Letters: Neil Utetake 

Covers: There are 24… No, wait – I counted 26 covers, for issue 1..? Needless to say, there are a slew of them – too many, in my opinion.

Edits: Sarah Gaydos (IDW) and Jim Chadwick (DC Entertainment)

Release: July 15, 2015 

Lieutenant’s Log: Before: On the planet Mogo, Ganthet (one of the Guardians of the Universe) is being pursued by an unknown evil entity, who is vowing to wipe out the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps forever; meanwhile, the rings of the Corps follow Ganthet ‘like obedient servants.’ Ganthet uses their power to displace himself – going somewhere where he can ‘preserve life in all its forms…’

Now: The Enterprise finds an unusual planet – a rogue, with no atmosphere, no life; but something has been detected and Captain Kirk dispatches an away team to investigate. Upon arrival, the team finds a skeleton (Ganthet) and 6 rings of unknown origin and made of before-unseen material. Kirk orders that everything be beamed back to the ship for further study.

As Bones, Scotty and Keenser work to find answers, a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaks off the Enterprise’s starboard bow. An eye-patched commander named General Chang fills the screen, and he informs Captain Kirk that he is taking him, the crew and the ship back to Kronos, where Kirk is to stand trial for crimes against the empire…

…there is an explosion in engineering. The rings – having regained power – fly out in all directions and take possession of a select few… As Chang orders that the Enterprise be ‘crippled,’ the Enterprise finds itself being ‘protected’ by a masked, green-suited human male – floating in space, outside of the ship! 

 
My Take: Star Trek legend David Gerrold (‘The Trouble With Tribbles’) says a reviewer should answer three questions, to satisfy readers’ expectatations.

1) What was the writer trying to do? In this case, Mike Johnson was trying to bring together two much-beloved franchises – Star Trek and Green Lantern – for the first time in their combined 125 year history: ST debuted in Sept. 1966; Green Lantern first-appeared in All-American Comics #16, in July 1940. Both share many of the same ideals and themes in sci-fi genre; both share storied-pasts in comics; both are sharing renewed interest with a new generation of readers, so this is a great time to bring them together. 

2) How well did they do it? Well, [they’ve] impressed the hell out of me (and, as I pretty-much stated, I was highly-suspect), so I would say they’ve done a terrific job. Between Johnson’s story and Angel Hernandez/Alejandro Sanchez’s brilliant art, I think they’ve created a new summer hit; one comparable to IDW’s Johnson/Shasteen awesome team-up in ‘The Q Gambit ‘ – (which debuted last July). Plus, I am very pleased with Hernandez and Sanchez’s collaboration, here, on ‘The Spectrum War.’

3) Was it worth doing in the first place? I would have to say: “Yes.” Readers are clamoring for anything new and ‘out of the box’ in regards to Star Trek, and superheroes, in general, so this is a good fit. Given the limitations of alloted pages Johnson is allowed, he gives just enough background on the GL side of the story to familiarize readers with what is taking place, while introducing the iconic General Chang to fans who are familiar with Star Trek lore; pairing the two franchises in grand style. And, Hernandez/Sanchez have really outdone themselves on every level. 

Overall: I’m in! I’m pleasantly surprised, yet – again, by Mike Johnson’s storytelling, his knowledge of both of these universal favorites, and by his ability to leave me anxious to read the next chapter! This is a fantastic new mini-series!

And… Did I mention General Chang?! I cannot wait to see how this series unfolds!

‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’ 

Lt. Eric Cone 

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