While everyone is going out of their minds over Star Wars: Episode VII – with damn good reason, mind you – I’m sitting back and enjoying another galaxy; one that’s closer to home, but in a future that’s far, far ahead…
Yes, I’m talking about Star Trek. As this revitalized franchise warps towards its 50th Anniversary in 2016 – did you know there’s a new movie coming out next July? – we’re just-now beginning to see some hints of things Beyond; locations, uniforms, cast, etc, and I’m getting very excited! It’s going to be a fantastic trek! I know we’re in good hands with Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the script – in a big damn hurry! – and director Justin Lin, and it sounds like this enterprise is going to try to heal some of the butthurt some of the fans felt after Into Darkness. I don’t want to rile anyone up, but I like JJ Abrams take on things; and – I just don’t understand the hate he’s received. As I write this, Zachary Quinto (who just wrapped shooting) said, “…filming ST:B was an incredible experience.” I’m going to take that as a good sign.
Next year is going to be a blowout celebration for Star Trek; the anniversary, the movie Star Trek: Beyond; then, there’s Star Trek Las Vegas (in August) and I’m sure, many other Trek-themed cons around the globe. Plus – there will be tie-in merchandise, and some sure-to-be-awesome literature is being penned by the likes of David R. George III, Dayton Ward and David Mack (just to name a few); and, finally – we’ll be getting more incredible comic books from IDW, as well.
Speaking of which, I just picked up an historic issue: Star Trek #50!! (Shown above) Today, marks a pretty cool milestone for IDW – (and, no…I’m not referring to Back to the Future Day; but that’s damn-fine timing for this to happen today) – because in the 48-year history of Star Trek comics, only two previous publishers have reached the 50 mark: they’re Gold Key Comics and DC Comics! And, man – what a helluva-comic it is, too! I’m going to have a tough time reviewing this issue without spoiling it, but I’ll do my best…
…but, here’s a hint.
Star Trek #50: Live^Evil is an IDW Publishing 3-part miniseries, set in the ongoing storyline. It’s written by the amazingly-talented Mike Johnson, penciled and colored by the phenomenal team of Tony Shasteen (that’s his cover, above) and Davide Mastrolonardo, lettered by Neil Uyetake, with Sarah Gaydos editing.
Lieutenant’s Log: The U.S.S. Enterprise is about halfway through its 5-year mission, charting unknown space; continuing to explore strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations… Everything is shipshape and smooth sailing – “…But, it wouldn’t be deep space exploration if the seas didn’t occasionally get rough…” – Kirk’s Captain’s Log.
My Take: Oh boy! Issue 50 is a real treat! Can anyone say ‘Mirror Mirror’ – on crack?! Previously, IDW put out a mirror universe 2-parter (#’s 15 & 16), but that story was a ‘what if’ scenario, that dealt primarily with our crew’s twisted counterparts – and, it was a deliciously-warped tale, to be sure. However, the fallout from those events continues in this storyline, as well. I’d suggest that you read ‘Mirrored,’ before proceeding – it’s not required, but it will give you a better understanding of what’s going down.
I’m not going to give any spoilers away, but I will tell you that Mike Johnson is on-course to outdo himself, yet-again. In ‘Live^Evil’ these diversely-different crews meet, and it isn’t pretty for our beloved crew, this time. Plus – you’re going to freak, when you see who’s guest-starring in this shattered-mirror adventure! This is most-definitely not your grandpa’s Star Trek.
As for the art… Wow! Shasteen just makes it look so easy and Mastrolonardo compliments him perfectly with his coloring and shading; both, moving Johnson’s story along with great pacing. ‘Live^Evil’ has everything I’ve come to expect from these guys; the likenesses are dead-on, the panels are rife with details and imagery that the JJ films are known for, the colors just pop from panel to panel, and the storytelling flows seamlessly. Of course, Neil Uyetake’s lettering is always exceptional, too; and this issue is no exception
I have a couple of slight grumbles about the cover, though… To me, Kirk seems a bit off, almost sickly-looking; and, when I posted it, other fans noticed this, too. Also, the Enterprise doesn’t ‘gel’ with the rest of the cover; it seems dull and flat. But, it’s still a beautiful wraparound, and I am in no way trying to undermine these folks’ skills and talents. This cover is already on my wall…
‘Live^Evil’ has a slew of bonus-materials, too. My friend Joe Berenato (New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics) has a great essay on the history of ST comics; plus – IDW gives us loads of other extras. Of course, the price went up for this 50th issue, to $4.99; but well-worth every penny!
Overall: This is damn-good Trek, folks! Great story, realistic blending of universes, plenty of action and surprises, sensational art; this awesome 50th issue is an excellent beginning, to what is sure to be an epic miniseries. I mean, come on…it’s that green-blooded, inhuman, goateed Mirror Spock, for God’s sake! If you’re a *hater*, well…you’re in the wrong universe! I’m giving ‘Live^Evil’ 4 1/2 stars!
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone