In Review: Star Trek: New Visions #21

The continuing adventures of the starship Enterprise are in fine form as Kirk and Pike have new tales.

The cover: Within an alien vessel bathed in reds, Kirk and Kor look upon their five unseen foes who are have their weapons pointed at them. Great cover by John Byrne to tease what lies within this book. Kor is one of my favorite Star Trek characters and having him paired with Kirk is like a dream come true. Take note how each views their situation differently: Kirk appears to be thinking of a way to get out of this predicament, while Kor squints his eyes at the arrogance of any creature that would dare to better him. Overall grade: A

The stories: There are two stories in this issue from John Byrne: The Enemy of My Enemy” is twenty-nine pages and “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” is eleven pages. The first tales opens with Kirk and Kor making their way through a corridor as tight as a Jeffries tube. Kirk tells the Klingon to hurry before they are discovered and Kor says if he had anything to do with it, Kirk wouldn’t be with him. Once out of their tight space, Kirk is knocked unconscious by a large alien. Spying an oversized wrench, Kor grabs it and hammers the alien until it is out as well. Seeing that Kirk is out, Kor decides to do something. The action then moves to the Enterprise where its crew has made a sad discovery. Having Kirk and Kor forced to work together is a terrific way to examine both characters, revealing the strengths and weaknesses of each. The dialogue between both is outstanding and is enough to justify purchasing this book. However, don’t think that the crew of the Enterprise is just sulking about; they, too, have some strong moments as they learn about those that have their captain. Highlights in this tale included any time Kirk and Kor spoke, Spock’s decision on Page 15, the surprising action on 23, the timing on 27 and 28, and Kirk’s final words. The second tale involves a discovery by Captain Pike and his crew that relates to a tale by H.G. Wells. I’m always a fan of stories that feature characters out of time and my hat is off to Byrne for putting a new spin on this. The new character is fun, the science and its justification neat, and the conclusion pure Trek. Overall grade: A

The images: John Byrne creates his stories by using images from the original series and those of his own creation. In doing so these stories look like stills from lost episodes. They are extremely enjoyable to look upon. It’s always neat to see Byrne manipulate the images to get unexpected angles for his photoplays, such as the final panel on the opening page and the third panel on Page 20. Seeing Kirk and Kor, and the rest of the cast, doing things they never did on the television show is fantastic. I especially love Kor’s deadly smile, making me miss John Colicos tremendously. The antagonistic aliens that Byrne has created look outstanding. Nothing like them was ever on the series, but they fit in with the characters and the settings seamlessly. The detail put into them is great, with even their feet looking exquisite (Yes, I just completed alien feet. So what?). There’s are new ships created for these aliens to fly and they, too, look great. They go through quite a bit of abuse in this issue and what’s done to them is fun. The settings are also enormously impressive. Ship interiors, bases’ interiors and exteriors, and the bridge of the Enterprise are just plain cool. I was pleased beyond measure to see some very familiar rock formations for a few panels, as they are iconic Star Trek locations. I also have to give praise to the action scenes created, involving ships and individuals. There’s some excellent ship to ship action and the battles involving weapons, most often with Kirk and Kor, are flat out cool. Nothing is more awesome than Shatner’s Kirk firing a phaser or blaster. The second tale is just as delightful due to it being set in Pike’s term as captain of the Enterprise. Seeing the characters in a new adventure is a joy and a heartbreaker, since Pike and his team never got past the pilot (Okay, okay…and “The Menagerie”). Just having these characters walk down a corridor is fantastic, but having them interact with a new character and his ship is wonderful. I like the design of the new character and am really in love with his choice of clothing by the tale’s end. Overall grade: A

The preview: The first five pages of next issue’s “An Unexpected Yesterday” are in this issue, but I’ll just focus on the splash page that hypes it: looking into the Guardian of Forever, McCoy, Kirk, Spock, and Carolyn Palamas (!!!) see Gary Seven looking back at them while adjusting his tie. Behind the man are two humanoid aliens with odd pink faces wearing white space suits. What this all means won’t be revealed until the next installment of this series, but having Gary Seven and Palamas in it, plus the Guardian, is enough for me to have my money ready. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The continuing adventures of the starship Enterprise are in fine form as Kirk and Pike have new tales. The stories have the same excitement and lessons of the original series and I defy any reader not to enjoy seeing these characters in these exploits. Byrne keeps Trek relevant and wonderful with this series. Overall grade: A

To order a print or digital copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/star-trek-new-visions-the-enemy-of-my-enemy/

To see the cover visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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