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.

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