First, for those of you who are unaware, Star Trek Ongoing is considered canon in the Star Trek universe. This is significant because prior to this series only the eleven movies and six (if you count the animated series as its own) TV series counted as Star Trek canon. Now with the JJ-verse, as it were, we have included not only this relatively new Star Trek Ongoing comic book series but also the recently released video game.
As Star Trek Into Darkness approaches launch in the United States, the writers of the Star Trek Ongoing series have tied in some fun episodic issues spanning the time between the new film and Abram’s Star Trek (2009). More recently, the issues have centered around the origins of our primary characters. Rather than experiencing a standard episode, we were taken down memory lane, experiencing pivotal events pushing our heroes to Starfleet or even the Enterprise herself.
Star Trek Ongoing #20 is the final issue in the lead up to Star Trek Into Darkness and provides us with another pre-2009 film story. Overall, I truly enjoyed the story though it’s difficult for the issue to contain too many surprises given that we know some of the outcome before hand. The exact time frame can be a little difficult to determine for the less dedicated Trekkie out there. As far as the writing goes, I enjoy the dialogue and interactions between the characters quite a bit. It’s a compelling little story that eludes to some fun and significant events in the 2009 film. Without giving anything away, there are definitely some similarities between this issue’s primary plot and an episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The artistry from Luca Lamberti can be a tad inconsistent at times, though. There are instances where the characters we know look exactly as we remember them but other times when you are merely assuming who is who based on the scene and context. A scene between Kirk and Chekov is particularly difficult to discern who is who. One thing I do really love is the cell styles. We are not simply subjected to a standard block format for the individual cells and I think the formatting works especially well in the more action oriented scenes. On a final note pertaining to the illustrations, the Enterprise always looks fantastic.
Overall, I think this is a fun issue that prepares the reader nicely for the new film. I’m definitely looking forward the next issue.