Friday 28 December 2007

IDW- Star Trek: Second Stage

IDW have put out a press release detailing their plans for Star Trek comics on the first half of next year. Aside from the details of the new series I think the biggest news is that they're upping production to four issues a month! "We’re expanding our slate of titles to four issues a month, so that there’s a feeling of weekly appointment reading for our audience, like a Star Trek TV show. At the same time, we want each title to have the significance of a Star Trek film, so that each series is a seminal comics event." I hope they can live up to that claim, or they might find the milk of the Trekkie cash cow turning sour on them...

Anyways, the 2008 collection will be branded Star Trek: Second Stage and as we already know will be made by some notable Trek names. Here are the details of the miniseries in the first half of the year (art is mostly early stage promo stuff): 
New Frontier
New Frontier will be a five-part series by Peter David with art by Stephen Thompson starting in March. The first issue will see the debut of IDW's new "Quad Cover" format, featuring four covers all on the same issue... wonder how that'll work. Earlier solicitations reported the first issue would be titled "Slingshot", the press release refers to "Turnaround" though, maybe it changed or maybe one is the miniseries title...
Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment
D.C. Fontana and Derek Chester's five-part Year Four continuation, with art by Gordon Purcell, will begin in April. The series will also have covers by the Sharp Brothers. The blurb:
Federation efforts to fully adapt the cloaking device to Starfleet ships leads to an experiment gone awry, trapping Kirk and Spock on an Enterprise out of phase with space itself. At the same time, Romulan forces close in on the starship, intent on claiming revenge for their stolen technology.

Later chapters in the series will provide a sequel to the first two issues, as the Klingon Empire — with its own agenda — suddenly enters the fray.
Assignment Earth
Another five part series, written and illustrated by John Byrne, starting in May. This series will be spun off from the TOS episode of the same name, eg the Gary Seven episode. Each issue will take place a year after the previous one, starting in 1968.
Mirror Images
Starting in June, this four part series written by the Tipton Two and Chris Ryall, with art by David Messina, will tell tales from mirror universe; Specifically the rise of James T. Kirk to take command of the ISS Enterprise from Christopher Pike. The series will also highlight mirror McCoy, Scotty and Uhura.
According the Kieth R.A. DeCandido IDW have been working with Pocket Books to keep this consistent with growing body of prose mirror universe stories.

Another mirror universe series, set in the TNG era, is scheduled for later in the year. This one will be written by Andrew Steven Harris and George Strayton.
You can read the original release in all it's glory, here, here, here or here!

Borg Alien Spotlight preview, now in colour!

Trekweb have an exclusive colour preview of the Borg Alien Spotlight issue. Here’s one page:

See Trekweb, here, for some more. Or if you like things black and white you can see these pages pre-colouring, here. Additionally you can see three more black and white pages from the issue on the artist's devinatART page, here, here and here.

I love the Borg, and I love this art work, looks like we'll have something good in this issue.

Tuesday 25 December 2007

IDW to do comic adaption of the new Trek movie

In an interview with Joe Corroney at Mr Corroney has revealed IDW will be doing a comic book version of the new Star Trek film, and that he'll liking be doing covers for it. Corroney is also hoping IDW might let him do some interior work.

If this is accurate I'm a little disappointed IDW are going for a straight adaptation, rather than something a little more unique to really add something else to the film, time will tell...

Fontana comic cover art

Comic Book Resources have released a cover by the Sharp Brothers for an issue of D.C. Fontana's miniseries:

Nice to see Arex getting some attention there. Hopefully this means the Brothers will be doing the interiors for an issue too...

Thanks to Ro-Dan on IDW’s message boards for pointing this one out.

Monday 24 December 2007

Little bits of news and such...

A few little news bites:

-Peter David has confirmed his New Frontier comics miniseries will be a five-parter, and has also announced he'll be contributing a story to next years Mirror Universe anthology. (source)

-Paul Simpson, editor of the Star trek Magazine, has announced the next edition (out in February) will have an extract from one of the Terok Nor books. (scoure)

-David Messina has released a high res textless page from the first issue of Intelligence Gathering (out next month) on his blog.

-And it looks like thee is some future to, in a message on the site CBS Interactive have said they are committed to maintaining and expanding the site despite laying off the existing team behind it.

Wednesday 19 December 2007

IDW March releases

Comics Continuum has posted IDW's solicitations for March, here's the low-down:

New Frontier #1
In its first year of Star Trek comics, IDW Publishing broke out of the box with marquee titles like Star Trek: Year Four, the blockbuster Klingons: Blood Will Tell and the fan-favorite Alien Spotlight one-shots. Now, IDW takes it to the next level with the launch of its Star Trek: Second Stage lineup, featuring some of the top Star Trek creators in comics, books and television. It all begins here! New York Times Best-Selling author and comics legend Peter David, the hand-picked creator of the first Star Trek crew designed exclusively for print, celebrates the tenth anniversary of his creation by writing New Frontier's first-ever comic book series, showcasing all-new stories and the official continuation of the hit books.

In issue one, "Slingshot," the most dangerous experimental vessel in the galaxy -- a prototype time ship -- has vanished, and it appears that the man who stole it is none other than Starfleet Admiral Edward Jellico. Only Mackenzie Calhoun and the crew of the Excalibur have a hope in finding him before the ship, intended purely for scientific exploration, is used to disrupt the space-time continuum. With art by Stephen Thompson (Beneath the Valley of Rage), who also delivers four painted covers available as a Quad Cover, all bound in the same issue. Thompson also provides a bonus incentive cover featuring "Starfleet Captain Peter David" in the command chair!

TNG: Intelligenc Gathering #3
As a false distress call lures the Enterprise to a distant region of space, a saboteur puts Geordi and O'Brien at ground zero of a warp core that's about to breach! But is all this part of a greater scheme to draw the Enterprise into deeper danger? From the creative that brought you the hit Klingons: Blood Will Tell miniseries, Scott & David Tipton and David Messina.

Also coming out in March will be the paperback omnibus of the Year Four miniseries, which they describe as follows:

Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise -- and her mission to explore strange new worlds continues here, with the launch of the official Year Four of The Original Series' five-year epic. Boldly going where no man has gone before are writer David Tischman (Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Space Between) and Trek artists supreme Steve Conley, Leonard O'Grady, Gordon Purcell, and Rob & Joe Sharp. This first collection of the continuing adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and crew collects six stand-alone tales, a five-page introductory tale, and a full cover gallery as well.

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Star Trek Magazine: IDW 2008 announcements

As announced in the latest issue of the Star Trek Magazine IDW have a host of new projects in the works for next years, here’s the run down:

As previously announced D.C. Fontana will be writing a five part TOS: Year Four series, it will start in April with a sequel to The Enterprise Incident called The Enterprise Experiment and will be illustrated by Gordon Purcell.

Another Star Trek legend, Peter David will be bring us some new New Frontier adventures in a miniseries illustrated by Stephen Thompson.

Comics legend and Star Trek first timer in the forthcoming Romulan Alien Spotlight, John Byrne, will be returned with a whole miniseries written and drawn by himself.

And last, but far from least, IDW’s Tipton brothers will be continue after TNG: Intelligence Gathering with a Mirror Universe title to tie in with Pocket Books’ new anthology in the spring, which will be featuring mirror Pike!

Also in this issue of Star Trek Magazine you can find a little preview of Star trek: The Tour. Interviews with Zachery Quinto (new Spock) and John Cho (new Sulu). An article by Kevin Dilmore and Dayton Ward on Star Trek captains, including prose only ones. A behind the scenes look at the new game Star Trek: Conquest. An analysis, by David R. George III, of Kirk’s love life. And excerpt from Keith R.A. DeCandido’s forthcoming Klingon Empire: A Burning House, with an introduction by the author. And all the other usual features and news bits. Available now!

Monday 17 December 2007

IDW previews

IDW have released five page previews for some forthcoming issues; The Romulan Alien Spotlight, and the first issue of Intelligence Gathering.

Alien Spotlight: Romulans
Cover, Pages 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Intelligence Gathering #1
Cover, Pages 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5


As announced on (link) the team responsible for the running of the official Star Trek website have been "eliminated" in a restructuring of CBS Interactive. Is this the end of Who knows, lets hope not, but it doesn't look good.

Friday 14 December 2007

A Taste of Armageddon remastered have updated their comparison gallery with the nice new matte painting from "A Taste of Armageddon":

Oddly if you have a looksie at the wallpapers section the corresponding new wallpaper seems to be of the original rather than remastered version.

Thursday 13 December 2007

Couple of new things

Have yourself the following tit-bits:

Over at the Trek BBS Pocket Books' ebooks editor, Keith R.A DeCandido has announced the details of the eleventh print compilation of the Corps of Engineers series. The book titled Wounds is scheduled for release in October 2008 and will include the following stories:
-SCE #50: Malefiction, by Terri Osborne
-SCE #51: Lost Time, by Ilsa J. Bick
-SCE #52: Identity Crisis, by John J. Ordover
-SCE #53: Fables of the Prime Directive, by Cory Rushton
-SCE #54: Security, by Keith R.A. DeCandido
-SCE #55 & 56: Wounds, by Ilsa J. Bick
As DeCandido pointed out, this book might be off interest to fans of the DS9 relaunch as it featured several stories relative to DS9 in that time period.

Meanwhile from IDW, editor Chris Ryall let slip John Bryne will be producing a second Star Trek comic, for an as yet unspecified project, sometime after the Romulan Alien Spotlight he has written and illustrated, which comes out in February.

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Terok Nor blurbs

Jeff Ayers, via Trekweb, has released the cover copy for next year's Terok Nor books, which is as follows:

Before the Dominion War and the decimation of Cardassia . . . before the coming of the Emissary and the discovery of the wormhole . . . before space station Terok Nor became Deep Space 9TM . . . there was the Occupation: the military takeover of an alien planet and the violent insurgency that fought against it. Now that fifty-year tale of warring ideologies, terrorism, greed, secret intelligence, moral compromises, and embattled faiths is at last given its due in the three-book saga of Star Trek's Lost Era . . .


DAY OF THE VIPERS (2318-2328):

A seemingly benign visitation to the bountiful world of Bajor from the resource-poor Cardassian Union is viewed with cautious optimism by some, trepidation by others, and a calculating gleam by unscrupulous opportunists. What begins as a gesture of compassion soon becomes something very different. Seen through the eyes of participants on both sides-including those of a young officer named Skrain Dukat-the personal, political, and religious tensions between the Bajorans and the Cardassians quickly spiral out of control, irrevocably shaping the futures of both worlds in an emotionally charged and unforgettable tale of treachery, tragedy, and hope.

NIGHT OF THE WOLVES (2345-2357):

Eighteen years into the Occupation, a new star rises in Bajor's sky. It is the seat of power in this system, a place of slave labor and harsh summary judgments, the symbol of Cardassian might and the futility of resisting it. But even as the gray metal crown of Terok Nor ascends to its zenith, ragtag pockets of Bajoran rebels-including a fierce young fighter named Kira Nerys- have begun to strike back at their world's oppressors, and they intend to show the Cardassians that the night belongs to them.

DAWN OF THE EAGLES (2360-2369):

As violence all across Bajor continues to escalate, Cardassian forces tighten their grip on the captive planet, driving back the resistance at every turn; but on Terok Nor and elsewhere, the winds of change are stirring-the beginnings of a hurricane that will alter the landscape of the Occupation. And while secret dealings, shifting alliances, and personal demons buoy the wings of revolution, a mysterious shape-shifting life form begins a journey that will decide the fate of worlds.

Thursday 6 December 2007

First in-game shot from Star Trek Online

The Star Trek Online team have released the first in-game screenshot from the game in their latest Devlog entry:

The rest of devlog explains how the game deals with interaction with events and places in the game.

Zach Howard Romulan cover

IDW have posted their solicitations for February 2008 (previous announced here) and in doing so released the second cover, by Zach Howard, for the Romulan Alien Spotlight:

Star Trek: The Tour details

The details for next years US touring exhibition of Star Trekness have finally been announced. Star Trek: The Tour will begin it's five year mission to bring to Trek to the masses across major cities in the States in Long Beach California on January 18th.

It sounds quite a lot like Star Trek: The Adventure, a temporary exhibition in London a few years ago, with many of displays seemingly identical, but with a bit more interactive stuff - it will include displays of models, costumes, props and behind the scene bits and bobs, recreations of TOS and TNG sets including the bridges and Crusher's sickbay and interactive displays and areas, including shuttlecraft flight simulators.

William Shatner will also be making occasional appearances in the tour.

-In addition to standard admission some special packages will be available, you can find out about those, here.
-The press release for the tour can be found, here.
-And details of what's in the exhibitions can be found, here.

Sunday 2 December 2007

Forged in Fire excerpt have put up an excerpt from Excelsior: Forged in Fire, a novel out next year. They also put up the blurb which is as follows:


A vicious pirate known as the Albino is cutting a deadly swath across space, creating turmoil in the Klingon Empire that threatens to spill into the Federation. But this criminal also has a secret that could shake the halls of Imperial power, and his genocidal plans against the race that bore him will have consequences even he cannot imagine, as several unlikely allies join swords to bring the Albino to justice: Hikaru Sulu of the U.S.S. Excelsior; Klingon captains Kor, Koloth, and Kang; and a hotheaded young Federation diplomat named Curzon Dax.

Tempered in the flames of their shared adversity, a captaincy is forged, a Blood Oath is sworn ... and a hunt begins that will stretch from one generation to the next.

Read the whole excerpt, here.

UPDATE: And if you have a looksie at you'll find the whole first chapter, here.

Friday 30 November 2007

Alien Spotlight: Andorians review

The latest issue of the Alien Spotlight series, on the Andorians, was released last week, here's what I thought:

First off, at last an issue with its own title "The Old Ways". The first title to actually make it into a comic since The Space Between miniseries finished!

This issue was far more along the lines of what I was expecting from the miniseries, a story really relevant to the featured species, based entirely around characters of said race. This is a TNG tale (the first two were TOS stories) and opens on the Enterprise-D. However the only series regular to make an appearance is Deanna Troi, and the rest of the issue takes place on Andoria.

The story is an interesting political tale, and gives a nice explanation of why the Andorians make so few appearances in the 24th century series. It also makes some clever references to the four-genders of the Andorian species as established in the DS9 relaunch books, but without going so far as to make it very confusing for anyone who might be unfamiliar with that; just giving a hint of alienism.

The artwork is pretty nice throughout, there are couple of odd facial expressions but it's otherwise quite attractive and interesting. The layout is neat, but dynamic, a really nice style I think.

The only problem with the issue is that it's very texty. The story is interesting enough to get away with it, but I think it almost certainly will have restricted the art; the issue is mostly heads and text. There are some interesting panels, but there're no big flashy wow-art pages.

Despite the restrictions on art I think this is best Alien Spotlight, and one of the best IDW Trek comics so far. The story is engaging and interesting, the Andorian race is explored more thoroughly than the Gorn or Vulcans got in previous issues, and it's full of satisfying continuity with DS9 novels and much of the Andorian culture that was established in Enterprise. I'd look forward to anything more by the writer Paul D. Storrie, the artist Leonard O'Grady, and of course the always cool Andorians.

Wednesday 28 November 2007

Wrath of Kahn figures wave 2

Diamond Select Toys have officially announced the details of the second wave of Wrath of Kahn action figures. As revealed at San Diego Comic Con earlier in the year the wave will consist of Spock and "Regula 1" Kirk, with limited Savik and Previews exclusive Uhura. The new announcement shows off the Kirk variant for the first time:

Tuesday 27 November 2007

IDW February

Comics Continuum has released IDW's solicitations for February next year, which includes the following Star Trek comics:

Alien Spotlight: Romulans

Legendary writer/artist John Byrne, in his first-ever full Star Trek work, concludes this special series of one-shots in which the many alien races of the Star Trek universe get their due. The Romulan Empire has a new "ghost ship" that can't be detected by normal means. Will the Praetor use it as a weapon to thrust his people into full-blown war with the Federationóor are his motives even more sinister? A tale of loyalty, betrayal and intrigue.
Intelligence Gathering #2

The all-new adventure of the Enterprise-D crew continues, with a spotlight on Commander Worf! Worf finds himself in the unfamiliar role of diplomat when he's forced to settle a dispute between Rigelian colonists on a border world, with the fate of the colony hanging in the balance. Can Worf struggle against his own aggressive instincts, or will he do his negotiating with the point of a blade? From the creative team who brought you Klingons: Blood Will Tell, Scott & David Tipton and David Messina. 2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio.

Friday 16 November 2007

TNG relaunch review

I don't believe the folks at Pocket books much like the term relaunch, however it’s just so much more catchy than post-Nemesis fiction or whatever else you might try designate the books set after the last canon Next Generation adventure. So, the relaunch of TNG in book form started a couple of years ago with the release of Death in Winter, but didn’t really kick off until recently with the trilogy of sorts released to celebrate TNG’s 20th anniversary. Here’s what I thought (some spoilers included):

Michael Jan Friedman’s Death in Winter kicked things off with it’s hardback release in 2005, it was also recently re-released in paperback just ahead of the most recent TNG books. The book takes place while the Enterprise is in spacedock following the battle in Nemesis and it’s primary purpose is to finally get Picard and Crusher together, which it does, hurrah! The book is therefore very much focused on those two characters, with what’s left of the established TNG cast (Worf and Geordi) getting a forgettable side-story that ties into the main events of the book.

The story is set on a Romulan occupied world, allowing Sela to return as a bad-gal. It also features appearances from some of the former crew of the USS Stargazer, as established in Friedman’s previous Stargazer books. Personally I found the Stargazer characters an annoying distraction; Not being familiar with them, having not read any of the Stargazer series, I didn’t relate to them at all, and I don’t think Mr Friedman did much of a job establishing them as stand-alone guest characters for this tale. The story in this book wasn’t hugely captivating, nor does it really establish a great deal of back-story to any of the books set after it. The novel came off to me as something of a time filler, easily missable and not very interesting.

And so we come to the first of this years new releases; Resistance, by J.M. Dillard. A Borg story, I like the Borg, so here was something to look forward to. The story was short, quick to read, and somewhat disappointing. In a lot of ways it plays as a sequel to The Best of Both Worlds and First Contact – well fair enough, those are the two big Picard/Borg stories, but that’s all it feels like, the story feels, despite it epic elements, small. A handful of new crew are introduced, only one survives to appear in the next book, but what feels really odd is the Enterprise is so empty, there are almost no background or side characters to flesh out the crew. The book at times felt a bit gimmicky, Borg Queen, saucer separation, cloaking devices, Locutus – throw them all in, it will be great, exciting! But somehow it just didn’t work this time, lots of interesting bits, but it didn’t work together very captivatingly.

The bits that did work very well in this novel were the development of Worf, as he struggled to realise he was indeed first officer material, and the introduction of the new Vulcan councillor T’Lana. T’Lana shone in this books as something very different, not just agreeing with Picard as one expects from his crew – an interesting and promising character. Overall the book wasn’t as satisfying as it could be, it felt a bit cobbled together, and too much like a sequel, but it was still interesting and worth picking up to start the tale of the new crew dynamic.

A month later Keith R.A. DeCandido delivered Q & A, a Q story, or indeed The Q story, as the book tries, and indeed very much succeeds, in tying every Q story together. The Qish elements of this book are perfect, Q feels very much like Q, and the way all Q’s appearances are tied together is brilliant. DeCandido does a great job making the Enterprise feel inhabited and introduces two new big characters; Second officer Miranda Kadohata and chief of security Zelik Leybenzon. These two were about the only parts of the novel I didn’t enjoy, I found both quite annoying. While T’Lana was a pest to the Enterprise crew in Resistance, there was something endearing about her, and that continues to be in Q & A. Kadohata and Leybenzon on the other hand, despite all the best efforts to flesh out their characters and establish them as unique and interesting people just didn’t have anything that made them stand out and say "look at me, I’m interesting".

DeCandido also manages to make the Trekverse feel much bigger (something really lacking in Resistance) with some brief appearances from characters from all over the galaxy. These short bits of story added a lot of interest and did something Michael Jan Friedman failed to in Death in Winter; make use of DeCandido’s (and others’) previously established characters and settings without them seeming out of place or in need of more explanation. All in all Q & A is a very clever, witty and thoroughly enjoyable book.

And then we return to the Borg in Peter David’s Before Dishonor. This book picks up from the threads of Resistance, but delivers so much more, the story was HUGE and the Borg were really something new and interesting. The book makes heavy use of Seven of Nine and Kathryn Janeway, indeed for the first few chapters you could mistake it for a Voyager novel, it also has a substantial guest appearance from Spock, and all work very well. The story has witty moments but is throughout very tense, much darker - in this instance the Borg feel like a bigger threat than any of their other appearances.

Interestingly the book is very much a sequel to Peter David’s earlier TNG Borg novel Vendetta, a book I read in expectation events might be referenced. I wonder how accessible some of the background from that novel - which is of course explained, but reasonably briefly - would be to someone who hasn’t read Vendetta. Either way it did a great job of making the Trekverse feel like one big adventure.

The new Enterprise crew did not come off in such a good light in this book, all three were involved in a mutiny, blindly following orders from Starfleet Command seemingly ignorant of that fact the orders they were given would have resulted in a futile and quick end to the Enterprise. This pushed Leybenzon even further down in my opinion and disappointingly took T’Lana down too. However despite her going along with the mutiny, some of the inner thoughts of Kadohata brought her up a peg or two in my eyes, she was a much less irritating presence in this story than in Q & A. Disappointingly another new character, Jon Stephens, who was delightfully quirky and a very enjoyable presence, turned out to be a Q and will presumably not return as a regular crew member.

Before Dishonor was an ambitious story, and thankfully it all worked, it set the Borg on an exciting new course, it played out a huge event, and it left lots of interesting threads for the new crew of the Enterprise.

All in all I think the TNG relaunch is off to a good start. Each successive book has been better for story and scope. What I’m somewhat disappointed by are the new crewmembers, T’Lana started out very interestingly, but by the end of Before Dishonor all three have been left in a bad light, I look forward to seeing the new crew dynamic develop in future books and hope the new members start to become a little more likeable. My biggest disappointment in the new crew though is the lack of diversity, aside from T’Lana the Enterprise still fells a lot like the Humans only branch of Starfleet. Which is a same, with so many new openings in the crew I’d like to have seen an underdeveloped alien species get a chance to take up a key role, perhaps the ever present, but generally minor roled, Bolians for instance.

The TNG relaunch continues next year with Greater Than The Sum which will be followed by the crossover trilogy Destiny, which I can’t help but feel will pick up some big threads directly from Before Dishonor, with all the utterances of the word destiny in the final chapter.

Tuesday 13 November 2007

New Star Trek Online devlog

The Star trek Online Devlog has been updated, much of this entry consists of polls of the game's creative team, saying what they favoured from various parts of Star Trek. Here's some concept art for a Devidian, released in the log:

Monday 12 November 2007

Some artwork from J.M. Beroy

My review below of the Vulcan Alien Spotlight incited (quite reasonably) a negative reaction from the issue's artist Josep Maria Beroy. An exchange of comments on our respective blogs and the result - some pretty artwork courtesy of Mr Beroy. The stunning opening page from the Vulcan issue, looking just as spectacular in black and white:

While I still can't say I enjoyed the comic overall, this page is very much in the spirit of some of the spectacular full page artworks in the Early Voyages comics, certainly worthy of some love.

Beroy blog also reveals what the change in his cover-art for the issue was about. The original version, with the big fleet, was done before he had access to the full script, so had to be removed when only the Enterprise was to appear.

The Menagerie in cinemas from this week

All over the world at various points throughout November special screenings of the digitally remastered version of The Menagerie will be showing in cinemas to promote the forthcoming release of the first season of remastered episodes on HD-DVD.

And it starts this week, here are the dates (country names link to relevant websites for information and booking in that country):

November 13: Screenings in the Canada, Ireland, UK and USA
November 15: Second set of screenings in Canada and the USA
November 16: Screenings in Germany
November 17: Screenings in Austria
November 20: Screenings in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg
November 27: Screenings in Australia

Tickets are more expensive than your typical film, some countries seem to be offering discounts if you come in a Starfleet uniform. For the price you get to see The Menagerie in all it high definition glory with shiny new special effects and a half hour introduction and documentary hosted by Rob Roddenberry about the remastering process.

Saturday 10 November 2007

New Conquest images

Bethesda have released some new screenshots from the forthcoming PS2 and Wii game Conquest:

They are apparently from the game's arcade mode, and you can see the five more, here.

Alein Spotlight Gorn and Vulcans review

The first couple of issues in the Alien Spotlight series have been a mixed bag for me, here are m thoughts (with spoilers):

The first issue, The Gorn by Scott and David Tipton with art by David Messina, give the popular but largely unexplored species some time in the spotlight. The story is not really hugely ambitious or original, but it's fun and an enjoyable read (and not every story has to be a Big event after-all).

The story features a shuttle from the USS Reliant returning to the ship after rendering medical aid to an outpost, the shuttle crashes (as they do), onto a Gorn training world. The Starfleet crew soon realise this and assume they're in for the worse. However the Gorn, keen to prove their honour and balance the books in the wake of Cestus III (fifteen years earlier) decide to render medical aid. Fearing attack the Starfleet team defend themselves and almost get the attack form the Gorn they feared. Thankfully everything gets straightened out in the end in time for a parting joke from the Gorn.

A nice moral tale of misconceptions. The artwork is, to any readers of the Blood Will Tell miniseries, of the familiar Messina style and works beautifully. The decision to use the Reliant crew I think was a great one, a welcome break from another Enterprise adventure. All in all an enjoyable, attractive and interesting issue, well worth getting.

The Vulcan issue written by James Patrick from a story idea from Rick Remender and with art by Josep Maria Beroy, is in my view less successful. The story begin told, in the Pike era, is of a larger scale than the Gorn issue and I think this part works well. However the issue features two plot threads, one of a warring planet, the other highlighting xenophobia in the Enterprise's crew. The later I find really troubling and unfitting for a story of this era.

Much of the crew are shown to react badly to Spock's Vulcaness, even Pike, who plays the voice of reason to the firey Jose Tyler, is shown to be somewhat accepting of the crew's attitude - accepting an alien joining the crew is bound to increase tensions. Well personally this just doesn't work for me; the Vulcans have had good (if sometimes rocky) relations with Humans for two centuries by this time, they are hardly some shocking unknown. And if anyone in the Trekverse should be accepting of other cultures it’s a Starfleet crew, pushing forward the beliefs of the Federation into the galaxy. To have a Starfleet crew be so xenophobic seems entirely out of character to me.

The secondary plot also revolves around the story's resident Vulcan, in this case his Vulcaness acting as inspiration for violent world featured in the story to bring about peace and order. This part of the story works very well, and in the structure of the story balances the anti-Vulcan sentiments somewhat.

The artwork for this issue I feel is some of the least satisfying in a Trek comics from IDW so far. The book opens with a beautiful space shot but quickly goes down hill, the characters have an almost caricature appearance which is really off-putting. The backgrounds are more mixed, some work very well, others are just garish and annoying. The pink and green used throughout the issue is quite unpleasant, and an interesting contrast to the richer deeper green and red used in the Gorn issue which worked very well indeed.

The good points of this issue: a Pike era story, and an interesting and clever story with the guest aliens. Is this enough to balance the out-of-character xenophobia and unattractive artwork? I’m not sure, certainly far short of Marvel’s Pike-era stories in the Early Voyages series.

The Gorn issue started this series well, the Vulcan one is a less satisfactory continuation but not all bad. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and certainly think the multiple creative teams approach is a good way to go for IDW. The one story per issue format has worked far more successfully in this series than The Space Between or even the ever improving Year Four minseries. And while not every issue will work for everyone one at least in this case we aren’t stuck with one writer or artist for six issues.

The series continues with the Andorians in fortnight or so.

The Deadly Years remastered have updated their remastered comparison gallery with a couple of new images for the episode The Deadly Years:

You can see these in higher resolution at

Wednesday 7 November 2007

New covers

I have stumbled across a couple of new covers, from, we have the final cover for the Year Four comic miniseries, in Joe Corroney's cover for issue 5 (due this month):

And a colour version of the early 2008 book "Captain Kirk's Guide to Women":

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Silly Star trek products

In my desire to report the full spectrum of Star Trek stuff that pops up I begrudgingly bring to your attention the following ridiculous Star Trek products...

Planning to die soon? Head of to Sto-vo-kor in style with the forthcoming collection of Star Trek funeral products. For crematees a stylish Starfleet urn:

And for those who like the company of worms, why not lay to rest in a Star Trek casket, in the style of a photon torpedo! Genesis planet not included.

Both products will be available form Eternal Image next year.

For those still in the land of the living, why not enjoy a game of golf with putter styled after the Enterprise:

Available from's online shop soon.

Terok Nor covers

Jeff Ayers has released the individual (and likely final) covers for the Terok Nor trilogy on his Voyage of Imagination website. Interestingly the books seem to have also been classified as Lost Era books. The trilogy is out next year.

Find Star Trek comics, toys, statues, and collectibles at!