So we’re flying through space again, exploring strange new worlds, and reaching the end of the post-TMP Marvel run, a run whose ending in late 1981 would wind up leaving a gap in Trek continuity coverage, as DC would pick up the license after The Wrath of Khan left theaters but before The Search for Spock. IDW would fill that gap years later (and I’ll get to that in my next review), but right now what we’re seeing is more or less the end of what I guess would have been Star Trek Phase II, another five-year mission that followed the V’Ger incident.
As was the case with the first half of the series, this is a set of one-off adventures that seem like episodes of a television show, something that should play very well with a concept that was a weekly series to begin with. But our stories wind up reading less like exciting adventures of characters we’d grown to love and had become iconic and more like a long-running, once-great show limping to its end.
The stories aren’t really all that bad, though, and the art is decent. Joe Brozowski provides most of it and he does a fairly good job with the likenesses; Ed Hannigan is probably the best of the bunch, though. So we’re not getting random nobodies poorly drawing the Enterprise crew, but even though it’s serviceable, there are little things that bugged me throughout. For example, the ship is sometimes drawn completely wonky, which is kind of a problem with a number of Trek comics I’ve seen over the years. It’s a gorgeous ship and has a pretty simple design, but it’s easy to screw up something about it. The other thing that I kept seeing that was so noticable that it got distracting was how Kirk’s hair was always drawn as if he was still on the TV show and not in the epic style of the 1979 model William Shatner toupee.
And while that makes it seem like I’m going to condemn the series for artwork idiosyncrasies, that’s not the reason I found it underwhelming. The stories were a bit of a stress, or a “Let’s take the crew and put them on this type of planet”, even going so far as to do a pseudo-Medieval world and a Planet of the Apes pastiche. They were entertaining enough, but not what I was hoping for.
I have to admit that I’m curious as to why this series never quite clicked at Marvel when it was written by some of the more well-known writers of the 1980s: Marv Wolfman, Mike W. Barr, Martin Pasko, and even one issue by J.M. DeMatteis. Thankfully, this wasn’t the last we’d see of Trek in the comics and from what I understand, the best is yet to come.
Read or Skip?
Skip, unless you’re a completist.