Where No Man Has Gone Before - Star Trek #1 Review

Okay, first off I'm posting this review here as Zaius is on a hiatus over at Escape From Tomorrow, something about a man called Taylor falling from the sky or something...

Any-who, on with the review!

I am a massive Star Trek fan (I even have a toy phaser and a red shirt!), loved the new film and the take it took on the original characters and universe, and the technology is mouth wateringly conceptualised. I even liked the spin with time travel that left all of the original Star Trek stories intact! (DC you could learn a lot from this...).

IDW, as a publisher, is going from strength to strength in my opinion, and adding another strong string to its bow is this newly rebooted Star Trek universe. When I heard the announcement, being the impulsive guy that I am, I jumped right away and placed it on my monthly comic subscription to go onto my pull list – and I've not regretted it for a heartbeat.  

The story follows the original series first episode of a two episode story called, 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' and looks, in the same way the film has re-envisioned the franchise, to take it in a new direction. The original story was the 'second' pilot for the TV show and introduced Kirk as the captain of the Enterprise and starts on an exploratory mission to leave the galaxy.

While en route, they discovers the 'black box' recorder for the SS Valiant, a lost Earth starship, and  beam aboard the battered device. The 200-year-old recorder is barely functional, but it indicates that the SS Valiant had been swept from its path by a "magnetic space storm". The black box holds data about the last moments aboard the ill-fated SS Valiant, and shows that the crew had been frantically searching for information about extra-sensory perception (ESP) in the ship's library computer. The tape ends with the captain of the SS Valiant giving a self-destruct order.

Kirk decides that they need to know what happened to the SS Valiant, and the Enterprise crosses the edge of the galaxy. The crew encounters a strange barrier, which causes serious electrical damage to the Enterprise's systems, forcing the vessel to retreat. At the same time, Helmsman Gary Mitchell and ship's psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner are both knocked unconscious by the field's effect. After they awaken, Mitchell's eyes glow silver, and he soon begins to display remarkable psionic powers....

That was pretty much how the first episode of the TV show played out, the comic however was a little different, and this is why I thought it was brilliant.

In the comic the story starts out as the TV show does, with a few minor changes, none that will have any impact on the story, however it keeps it in line with the new look Star Trek and the characters. The big change !!SPOILERS!! is when the Enterprise is damaged by the strange barrier and  Helmsman Gary Mitchell is knocked unconscious by the field's effect (note just Helmsman Gary Mitchell), and when Kirk asks for psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner to assess Helmsman Mitchell it turns out that she withdrew her transfer request and is not part of the Enterprise crew (something to do with a 'history' with Dr McCoy)!!SPOILERS OVER!! This is where things take a turn into a very interesting direction.

The writing and dialogue is fantastic and reflects the feel of the original show and new film well. This applies to the characters and their interactions and development too. The art is brilliant, bold lines and colours that gives it a very nice 'original show' feel. That's not to say everything is in bright primary colours, far from it, it is just good to see a comic use a full and colourful pallet. In addition to this the artist has an uncanny knack of capturing the characters likeness and very accurate rendering of the environments and technology – all very important in the world of Star Trek fandom.

All-in-all another great comic from IDW and a solid four out of five pointy ears.

Star Trek
Published by IDW
Written by Mike Johnson
Art by Stephen Molnar
Colours by John Rauch
Lettering by Neil Uyetake

Original teleplay of Where No Man Has Gone Before by Samuel A. Peeples


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