Star Trek 1413: The First Six Months

1413. The First Six Months

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Khan - Ruling in Hell #1, IDW Comics, October 2010

CREATORS: Scott and David Tipton (writers), Fabio Mantovani (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (just after Space Seed)

PLOT: Khan, his new wife, and the genetically engineered crew of the Botany Bay are left on Ceti Alpha V, a harsh natural paradise. Though some of the crew are angry at Kirk's decision, Khan is not and hopes to build an empire from there. Marla McGivers gives up her Starfleet uniform. Khan takes the young Joaquim under his wing. After six months, the colony is thriving, but then, Ceti Alpha VI explodes...

CONTINUITY: The mini's title takes its cue from Greg Cox's novel "To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh". The Botany Bay, Khan and Marla McGivers all first appeared and were left on Ceti Alpha V in Space Seed. Joaquim first appeared in The Wrath of Khan. The wildlife looks like it could be a cousin to the Ceti eel, and Ceti Alpha VI explodes at the end of the issue, six months after arrival (as per The Wrath of Khan).

DIVERGENCES: Joaquim (Judson Scott from ST II) is not to be confused with Joaquin (Mark Tobin, Space Seed), though presumably both are on the planet.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Khan's bathroom reader
REVIEW: One gets the impression that the reason IDW invested in a puzzling Star Trek II adaptation was to better market this series about Khan's missing years between Space Seed and ST II. After all, Khan is the most memorable villain in Star Trek, and fans would undoubtedly want to know the untold story. For those who are picking up IDW's Star Trek output, but haven't really seen much of the original episodes and films (if there is even a crossover between the two groups), the adaptation could have served as a context or a refresher. I dunno. What I do know is that Ruling in Hell is a fine mini-series. Khan is as awesome here as he was in TOS, hunting (or protecting his people from) weird wild animals and plants. As far as relationships go, we get a sense of his innate leadership, he starts building his hold over the kids from ST II, and there's his passionate, if volatile, love affair with Marla. The art is excellent, giving a great sense of dimension and scale to the Botany Bay, filling out the ecology of Ceti Alpha V and managing more than competent action scenes. If there's a flaw, it's the genetically-engineered women's costume (from TOS), which makes Marla look naked, especially in medium-to-long shots. Either give her back her skirt or give her some nipples, but this half-way point is distracting, and probably not the intention. Still, hard times are coming to Ceti Alpha V, so I'm guessing people will start to bundle up soon.


David H. said...

sweet! i've been waiting to see this thank you. i'll be on the look out for the reviews on issues 3-4.

Siskoid said...

But not issue 2?

David H. said...

a typo on mt part, i meant 2-4. i guy commented on my farewell post with a plea to keep the blog going. it's funny, he suggested we do a weekly review of ROM 1-75 + annuals. needless to say i referred him to Siskoid's week of Geekery :)

Matthew Turnage said...

I think IDW's officially stated reason for the TWOK adaptation was that they wanted to publish an omnibus collection of all the original crew movie adaptations, but no one had previously done one for TWOK. They created one for the purpose of publishing that collection.

Siskoid said...

Makes sense!

Anonymous said...

I just got the IDW app on my iPad, and I'm eager to read the Star Trek stuff... but there's so much, where do I start?!

Do you have a suggested reading list that sort of puts things in chronological order between series/mini-series?

Siskoid said...

I don't really and most minis are pretty stand-alone (except for Byrne's Romulans stuff, for example, which starts in Alien Spotlight then becomes The Hollow Crown and then Schisms).

For a full chronological list, try this site. It's what I used to keep it all straight.


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