Star Trek #1420: Where No Man Has Gone Before (Reboot)

1420. Where No Man Has Gone Before (Reboot)

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #1, IDW Comics, September 2011

CREATORS: Mike Johnson (writer), Stephen Molnar (artist)

STARDATE: 2258.5 or .6 (after the Star Trek movie)

PLOT: After finding the S.S. Valiant's black box, Kirk follows the trail through the Galactic Barrier where its strange energies turn his friend Gary Mitchell into a powerful psionic. Gary soon starts to show disdain for the "lesser beings" around him. Meanwhile, the ship must crawl to a dilithium-cracking station to effect repairs.

CONTINUITY: The comic follows the events of the tv episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", with changes based on the new J.J. Abrams continuity (for anomalies that cannot be accounted for, see Divergences). Scotty's assistant Keenser appears (Star Trek).

DIVERGENCES: The original stardate was 1312.4. Of course, Kirk and co. were supposedly older in the tv episode, but that doesn't account for the number being higher earlier. The Galactic Barrier is green instead of pink.

PANEL OF THE DAY - The anomaly gave Gary Mitchell heightened juggling skills.
REVIEW: Yes, it's based on the Samuel Peeples' script for the second Star Trek pilot, and only gets us halfway through that episode (it takes two comics to tell an hour-long episode). Yes. And I agree that new stories would have been preferable. However! This new Star Trek #1 does more than replay the same story with recast likenesses. For Trekkies, I believe there's still some interest generated by the "What if" nature of the new Trek timeline. We get the same basic events, but twisted by subtle differences because of the new history. For example, the tense relationship between Kirk and Spock means the comic opens with Kirk playing chess with Gary instead of Spock.Gary and Kelso are aboard because Kirk could basically get all his friends on board (stuck on the night shift because of Chekov and Sulu), but psychologist Elizabeth Dehner isn't there because of a failed and unforgiven relationship with McCoy (who, like Chekov and Uhura, is aboard during these events for the first time). Kirk's new characterization also voids all the talk about his shy years and that certain blond research assistant. Scotty gets to play the comedy and the Spock/Uhura relationship is given a moment. I found it to be an intelligent extrapolation of what the story would be with the changes made by the film. The changes are a bit subtle, perhaps too subtle to make this first part all that different, but without Dehner, issue 2 should diverge a lot more from it. So as a fan of classic Trek AND What If stories, I did enjoy it. The art by Stephen Molnar is good, with strong likenesses and cinematic panels, but the new Enterprise interiors prove difficult to translate into comic art. The backgrounds are rather flat and lifeless as a result.

14 comments:

snell said...

If they follow through on Spock's suggestion that Mitchell is possessed by another entity (as the solicit for #2 suggests they will), and not corrupyed by his newfound power, they will have pretty much gutted the episode, in my opinion...

LiamKav said...

Although wasn't that the implication used by Peter David in one of his Q novels?

(The thing that always bugged me about this episode is how the super-evolution power of the Barrier is never, ever bought up again. Well, that and the implication that all humans have psychic powers to some degree, which is getting dangerously close to "humans only use 10% of their brains." nonsense.)

Siskoid said...

Well Snell, you've said redoing the story beat for beat is cratively bankrupt, but you also hate that they changed it. IDW can't win with you, can they ;-)

De said...

The date is changed because nuTrek uses the calendar year.

Not only did Peter David use the entity angle, but so did Greg Cox in his Q Continuum novels. Not sure if Michael Friedman did in his novel, Valiant.

Siskoid said...

Yes, you're right. But should they be calling it a "stardate"?

LiamKav said...

It's called that in the film.

Will said...

I always thought that Old Spock has an obligation to warn people about some of the problems that are coming up. There is still a planet-killer out there, the giant space amoeba, the Gorn, etc, he could save a whole lot of lives.

Siskoid said...

Liam: Yeah, I'm calling the film out.

Will: Selfish bastard.

Matthew Turnage said...

I enjoyed this issue, although I'm looking forward to #2 more because as you say, without Dehner the rest will have to vary more from the original. There's no point in doing this unless they make some real changes.

I knew there would be interest in some quarters in re-telling the TOS episodes in the new continuity, but I hope it is confined to the comics and novels, and that the films continue to break entirely new ground.

I don't know if you've seen the solicitations indicating which story follows next so I won't spoil it. However, it is interesting that they apparently will not be following the original order.

Siskoid said...

It's no major spoiler, it'll be The Galileo Seven. Maybe they're going for stories motivated by the Enterprise and her crew itself, as opposed to outside events. For example, The Man Trap is predicated on McCoy's friend Nancy being replaced by the salt sucker. This would not have happened at time of the new timeline (which is around a decade earlier). But who knows?

snell said...

It doesn't need to be beat for beat. But since two of the themes of the original episode were a) the drama of Kirk having to kill his friend and b) the theme of power corrupting humans, their making Mitchell possessed instead of gone mad mostly negates those. And as far as I can tell so far, the nu story isn't replacing those themes with anything else. If you insist on re-telling the old stories, at least make them mean something, recontextualize to resonate for today's issues--but don't just dumb it down to a Voyager episode (yeah, I said it).

PS I still can't understand why anyone believed that dropping a big rock on Mitchell was enough to kill him. The guy just stood up to a point blank phaser rifle shot in the chest, he was pretty damn-near omnipotent. Even Wile E. Coyote wouldn't have died from that boulder...

Siskoid said...

He had drained his power fighting Dehner, right?

You make strong points. I'll be looking for some of that in the second issue.

snell said...

Dehner had drained him, but after Kirk hesitated at adminstering the death blow, Mitchell rebounded and seemingly was god again. Maybe he wasn't back to full power, though, and died...but maybe he's still there, waiting for a hapless explorer to wander by and go "Hey, what's under that rock?"

Siskoid said...

Maybe he's still there and he's possessing the Gary Mitchell of the new timeline!!!

 

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