Star Trek Manifest Destiny #1
Writers: Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott
Artist: Angel Hernandez
Colorist: Esther Sanz
Letterer: Andworld Design
A review by Joe Ditzel
As a veteran Star Trek fan, I believe these new movies have done more for the franchise than anything else in last 50 years. They’ve shown the world how cool Star Trek really is. It’s not about men and women dressing up as Intergalactic Sailors running around talking to each other in Klingon. It is about the action, adventure, and exploration, in the same vain as Christopher Columbus or Ferdinand Magellan. While the movies were only able to give us a small taste of the Trekkian future, IDW is taking it a step further with comic books, allowing us to explore more of the Star Trek universe with Star Trek Manifest Destiny. Plus, we are getting more Klingons, which is never a bad thing.
We begin with the Klingons attacking an unknown planet presumably to expand the Klingon Empire and anyone who does not pledge fealty is either killed or turned into slaves. Sometime later, the Enterprise decides to investigate a Federation distress beacon in area of the galaxy where no Federation ship has been sent. After arriving, Captain Kirk sends an away team to look for the beacon and any survivors but soon realizes it’s a trap set by the Klingons. The away team is separated, leaving us to wonder what will happen to them.
The story stars off a little slow and plays off the expectation the reader has seen at least one of the two new movies. Though it helps set up Bones’ character and personality, who seems to be the focus of the issue, the scene where he helps alien crewmember’s wife give birth just felt unnecessary. This being the first issue I knew there was going to be some setup for subsequent issues so I decided to be patient. I kept wondering where the story was taking me but I decided to continue through and was pleasantly surprised. By the end, I found myself wondering what will happen next, though I still don’t know if it was due to the story or being a massive Trekkie to start with.
I definitely enjoyed the dialogue and think they did an excellent job of mirroring the characters from the movies. My favorite scenes were with Bones, mostly due to his witty comments, and could hear Karl Urban’s voice in every panel. We even get to see the fun dynamic Kirk and Spock have in at least one or two scenes, which you can never go wrong with. I was pleased to finally see the Klingons get the exposure they desire. Considering the role they play in the Star Trek universe, we have seen surprisingly little of them. Hopefully we will begin to understand where the animosity we saw in Star Trek: Into Darkness comes into play through Star Trek Manifest Destiny.
Try it. It was a fun, quick read and by the end I was, surprisingly, ready for the next issue. It felt very “Bones-centric” which I loved since he’s my favorite character from the new movies. He’s snarky, slightly bitter, and was able to kill a Klingon, which is fairly impressive. They also have the obligatory killing of a “red shirt” (the random character who’s not necessary to the story and is killed to provide more realism), which gave me a little chuckle. All in all I think this was an excellent setup to the next issues coming out and it will be fun to see where this story goes. If you are a Trekkie it is worth a look.