Sunday, September 13, 2009

Comics Review : Star Trek Nero Issue 2

The covers: Two to choose from. "Regular" cover by David Messina. It's got Nero brooding in the shadows from the waist up with his trident behind him. The coloring is blood red, which suits this issue's story well. "Retailer Incentive Photo Cover" is one of the movie teaser posters, this time with Simon Pegg as Scotty. Either universe's favorite engineer in nowhere to be found in this issue but I love these photo covers! There must not be a lot of set photos taken of Bana in character, otherwise the fans would be treated to one of those photos. Overall grades: A

The story:
"Story by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Writers Mike Johnson & Tim Jones." Missed last issue? Not a problem. Page 1 shoots you onto Rura Penthe in one panel with our protagonist on the receiving end of a Klingon beastie for his captors' amusement. You thought Nero was moody in the film? Now you can see how he got his focus all those years under the Klingon screws! Welcome justification is given to his being kept alive by the Klingons, considering all the times he's tried to escape. Without giving anything away, Nero and company make their (expected) escape in this issue with assistance of someone on the planet and someone (?!?!) outside it. As a fan I wanted to see Nero's determination for vengeance increase while on the prison planet, and the best illustration of this can be found in the bottom four panels of Page 5. I was very surprised at the revelation on Page 6, but Page 11 gav e ample reason for it, and, in the process, explained Ayel's speaking for his captain in the movie. Page 7 is a great sympathy getter, until you turn to Page 8 and you realize how bad it's all eventually going to go. The smooth introduction of the character on Page 8 solves a burning question the movie left unresolved. The biggest surprise for me was what began on Page 14, and on Page 20. Considering what it's partially made of, I should have seen this coming. The battle on the planet goes as expected, bloody and brutal, and it's a quick trip to the Naruda, with a nice cliffhanger as to who's really in control. I want more! Overall grade: A

The art:
David Messina does his usual superior job issue: the bottom of Page 5 is perfectly executed (and downright chilling, considering who it is), Page 7 is haunting, Page 14, and all the shots in orbit, are gorgeous, and the bottom of Page 17 is the Trek equivalent of "It's clobberin' time!" I did get somewhat confused by the layout of Pages 2 & 3. Panel one bled into the gutter and was colored so darkly I erroneously went to panels five, seven, then eight. When I got to panel two I realized my error and corrected my reading. I was also confused by the design of Quochh: were those noses, earholes, blowholes...? The multiple eyes didn't help either to give me some perspective on the character. But what's that? Two pages and two panels out of the entirebook. Gimmie a break! Me zug zug some Messina. Overall grade: A

The colors:
Giovanna Niro is a good fit with Messina by providing a depth in the art with her colors. Page 1 is proof enough of this. Rura Penthe is the dark, forbidding setting you expect it to be (though not the frosty section we've previously seen). It's cold as stone, with glimpses of red (sometimes lighting, sometimes blood) whenever the Klingons exert their superiority. The coloring of space scenes are worthy of poster status. Overall grade: A

The letters:
Chris Mowry has many welcome effects displayed, in addition to narration and dialogue: growling, breaking, ripping, screaming, laughing, electrocuting, explosions, and bloodletting. This could be the greatest number of sound effects in an IDW Trek comic. Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Overall grade: A+

The final line:
This book welcomingly ends the two week dry spell of new Trek comics (how spoiled are we?). It goes where you expect to go, but delivers enough surprises along the way to make fans more than happy. And, best of all, it leaves you wanting more. And, is it me, or does the preview cover for issue 3 tell you more than you want to know about the captain and his ship? Overall grade: A