I will add my voice to the growing chorus of approval for DC's early ST series. Issues 1-8 cover the period between TWOK and TSFS and as such are something more or less unseen anywhere else: TOS done without Spock. Issues 7 and 8 bring him back in flashback as we examine Saavik's origin, but even there, he is defined more by his absence than his presence.
|Posted: 26 November 2019 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 11
Issue 9 kicks off the series after TSFS and does a tricky sort of dance telling stories each month in the period between two movies without an on-screen gap. The Mirror Universe story is well-done and carries us through to issue 15, with 16 as a postscript. From there to issue 36 or so, DC's series tells stories that have to effectively fit where no story was intended by the screenwriters to go. I appreciated the effort myself and found it successful in what it set out to do.
The book tells flashbacks and such until Peter David's arrival with issue 48 wherein the DC original crew members (Konom, Bearclaw, et al) receive more attention and a murder mystery is investigated.
After the series concludes, David went on to write a new ST series for DC which, for a number of reasons, did not work as well for me. While I enjoyed the photo-reference heavy covers by J.K. Moore, the rest of the art didn't appeal and with David doing most if not all the writing, the comic-book unpredictability and done-in-one nature of the previous series was lost. Still, many find this iteration of Trek to be one of their favorites and the "Trial of James T. Kirk" storyline was enjoyable, with Peter David-style cameos from a number of characters from the show appearing to testify.
Of special note from that earlier DC series are issues 24, 25, and 28 written by Trek novelist Diane Duane. In 24 and 25, the Enterprise encounters representatives of two species of terrifying reputation and in 28, McCoy reflects upon that period when he hosted Spock's katra. The art in 28 is beautifully done by Gray Morrow who returns for issue 56 as well. Worth getting just to look at.
Annuals 2 and 3 are similar as they are done by Curt Swan and convey a sense of character and emotion far above the norm. Annual 2 looks at Kirk's academy years far, far, far (ad infinitum) more effectively than the Abrams garbage film of 2009. Annual 3 reveals a wife for Scotty that we never knew he had.
Also recommended: Issue 33 in which the TOS crew find themselves thrown into the Movie Era and meet their future selves.
Many find things to love in the DC graphic novel Debt of Honor by Claremont and Adam Hughes, but I cannot endure the Claremont cliches piling on with the men all standing aghast at the sheer female power of the Greatest Romulan Woman Warrior Ever Ever Ever and the ways in which she is Kirk's Equal and More, her heart that of a warrior-born, her power a song within her, yadda yadda yadda... Your opinion may differ as I am simply burned out Claremont's particular style of writing and chosen themes (both of them.)
Gold Key's lack of fidelity to TOS is widely reported and yes, while it can be a bit much seeing Spock bash his head against pillars to drive out ghosts or battling mummies, there is an undeniable charm to many of those stories. Later issues did much to atone for the sins of issues past with on-model art by Al McWilliams especially. The stories were still outrageous at times (with Spock becoming a primitive planet's Wotam, his head grown to three times its normal size being a stand-out example. Although, these days, he just looks like a standard-issue Funko Pop...) but Gold Key Trek remains an off-beat joy, taken in the right spirit.
Edited by Brian Hague on 26 November 2019 at 10:18am