Sunday, February 28, 2010

Comics Review : Star Trek Movie Adaptation Issue 1

The cover states this comic as being Star Trek: The Official Motion Picture Adaptation, but on the inside front cover, at the bottom, it states it as being Star Trek Movie Adaptation #1. So, that's what I'm calling this series and that's how I'm going to file it away in my comic collection.

The covers:
George Kirk is watching it hit the fan on the Regular Cover by David Messina, with colors by Giovanna Niro. Very nice. The Retailer Incentive Photo Cover is of Chris Hemsworth, pondering if he could be a god of thunder. Damn! Now that's a photo cover! Overall grade: Regular Cover A, and "RICP" Cover A+++

The story:
"Based on the Screenplay by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Adaptation by Mike Johnson & Tim Jones." Whew! Seen the movie? Duh! Bought the DVD? Double Duh! Watched the extra footage? Three-and-oh! So, you've seen what this book has for you. The cut scene of Spock's birth and then the U.S.S. Kelvin's battle. So, the book delivers nothing for you, Star Trek reader? I didn't say that. By its definition, an adaptation is supposed to tell the movie in comic form, hopefully so that it allows the reader to emotionally relive their favorite moments, as well as inspire others to seek out a film they haven't seen. So, does it succeed? The Vulcans whispering on panel 4 of Page 2 gave me a shiver, Page 10 is intense and angry, and Pages 15 through 22 are as intense as the film (and would it be blaspheme to say that's my favorite emotional scene of the movie?). The answer is, yes it succeeds. So, why a "minus"? I've seen it all on the DVD, and I'm greedy enough to want something not on the DVD. Overall grade: A-

The pencils:
We're spoiled little Trek fans to have David Messina be able to jump from Angel back into our (new) universe. My whole question about this book even being produced was whether the artist chosen would lay out the panels from angles different from the way the film was directed (as Chee Yang Ong did for The Wrath of Khan adaptation) or "phone it in" by just copying off the DVD? The answer is neither, really. Messina has some of his panels laid out the same as the film, but his strength is his ability to generate emotion, so some angles are changed and close-ups (one of Messina's specialties) deliver the goods (Page 10 and Pages 15 - 21). An adaptation should re-enact the film and use iconic shots from it, but it should not bind the artist down. He, or she, should feel free to make the film his or her own. David Messina does it again. Overall grade: A

The inks:
Gaetano Carlucci, welcome aboard! David Messina's work is angular, and I like that. Mr. Carlucci softens up those severe straight lines, but without sacrificing Messina's look. You sir, Mr. Carlucci, can be the inker anytime in anything I ever read. As I thumb through this issue, I can't find a flaw. Thank you, sir! Overall grade: A

The colors:
Giovanna Niro has so much to do! Messina and Carlucci are a great team and Niro only adds to them with her coloring by giving all the characters added dimension. Look at Page 7 as your proof. Reading comics in the 70s and 80s, those people would be monotone in skin color, but with the technology today, and Ms. Niro's skills, it's almost three dimensional. Take that Avatar! No glasses required! Overall grade: A+

The letters:
Robbie Robbins also delivers: dialogue, birthing screams, explosions, a trident opening, a computer flat lining, and many computer readouts. I kept looking for the lettering equivalent of a kitchen sink. Overall grade: A

The final line:
It's a successful comic adaptation because it's able to capture the emotions and images well enough to make you want to watch the film again when you're done reading it. Now, if you'll excuse me, that's what I'm going to do. Overall grade: A


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