When I first heard that the rebooted Star Trek universe was getting its own monthly series, I was excited beyond belief – even more so once I realized that this new Enterprise crew would be revisiting classic episodes and events from the classic Trek series. This first issue re-imagines the classic series episode, Where No Man Has Gone Before. This episode was the first aired pilot of the series when the USS Enterprise is assigned to probe beyond the confines of our galaxy.
It has been some time since the crew of the Enterprise saved the Earth from Nero and his renegade Romulans from the future. Captain James T. Kirk has requested two of his academy friends, Gary Mitchell and Lee Kelso, be assigned to the crew as back ups to Chekov and Sulu. The mission is to leave the galaxy and explore what lies beyond. Shortly before arriving at the edge of the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters the disaster beacon of the U.S.S. Valiant. The Valiant was assigned to also explore beyond the galaxy but was destroyed by her captain shortly after encountering some type of catastrophe.
With a measure of caution and his usual boldness, Captain Kirk orders the mission to proceed. The ship soon encounters a barrier that lies at the edge of the galaxy. As they come into contact with it, the ship’s systems go haywire. The bridge begins to explode around them and Kirk quickly orders them to reverse course. Gary Mitchell is hit by some kind of energy and collapses. Once clear of the barrier, Kirk goes to aid his friend. Gary seems fine, but his eyes now glow with an eerie silver light.
The Enterprise has been crippled by its exposure to the barrier. Starbases that were only days away are now years away. Of more immediate concern is Gary Mitchell. He begins to show signs of increased mental capacity and the ability to move objects with his mind. Doctor McCoy is unable to determine a cause for Mitchell’s condition but soon realizes that his abilities are growing.
Captain Kirk meets with the senior staff. Just a few days journey away is a planet where they might find the resources to repair the ship. Spock gives him the logical and brutal truth of their predicament: Mitchell is dangerous and getting more so every minute. Their only chance to survive is to either maroon him on Delta Vega or kill him, while they still can.
“…I didn’t bring you aboard to be my friends. I brought you aboard because when I’m on the bridge I need to be surrounded by the best. Back-ups or not.”
I thought that this story would be boring and too predictable due to the fact it has already been done in one Star Trek universe. I was pleasantly surprised that it was fresh and exciting in spite of it all. It was fun to see how this Enterprise crew handles themselves in similar circumstances. It was only logical to assume that in this alternate timeline that the crew would encounter the same events as their counterparts. This series will hopefully explore more of these events and I am eager to read every single one of them. Some may see it as a cheap attempt to recycle old stories and make them new again, but I see it as something much different. I see it as an opportunity to relive some of our favorite parts of the original Star Trek with the twist of this alternate timeline.
If I had to find one thing I didn’t like about this issue it would be the mention of the planet Delta Vega. In the 2009 movie, Kirk was stranded on Delta Vega, where he met Scotty and the Spock from the future. There was no mention of this discrepancy, probably for good reason. Credit is due to writer Mike Johnson for spinning this familiar tale with the nuances of J.J. Abrams‘ new Star Trek. The artwork by Stephen Molnar and John Rauch is spot on and beautifully done, especially on the second page of the book where we get a beauty shot of the majestic lady herself, the Enterprise. This series promises to recapture all the fun and mystery of the original Trek and I hope they live up to it. The human adventure is just beginning.