Star Trek #1436: The Return of the Archons Part 2

1436. The Return of the Archons Part 2

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #10, IDW Comics, June 2012

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

STARDATE: Unknown (follows previous issue).

PLOT: Kirk and the landing party meet Ariel, a girl with free will who recounts Beta III's history. Though they must struggle with the implications of the Prime Directive, the Enterprise's crew is forced to rip Landru from its system before it brings down the ship with its tractor beam. The mind-wiped population is freed, and Admiral Pike gets slapped by Section 31(?) for letting his pet captain go off mission and screw up their grand experiment.

CONTINUITY: See previous issue (Beta III, Landru, Lt. O'Neil, the Lawgivers, the Archon, Section 31-ish). This issue is framed by Kirk relating this tale to Admiral Pike (Star Trek). Scotty makes a reference to "nice old wrinkly Spock" (Star Trek).

DIVERGENCES: See previous issue. In the original episode, Landru was an engineer-philosopher from millennia back who created a machine to manage the planet and, telepathically, its people. The USS Archon's crew made first contact and were absorbed into the population. In the comic, the Archon was ordered to set up a deep space colony on Beta III a century ago, and Landru was a Section 31(?) scientist who conducted a social experiment on its crew, wiping their minds, destroying their ship, and forcing them to start civilization anew. As in the original story, "Landru" is now merely the machine that controls the experiment.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Oh but you know he did.
REVIEW: Though I would agree that "show, don't tell" is a better story-telling approach, I do like how Beta III was completely reinterpreted even if we're handed the information on a platter through exposition. At least, in comics, there's the opportunity to show it in pictures, which Molnar does very well (I really like his work on this series). The guest characters are ciphers, really, more so than they were on the show, and I do wonder why "Ariel" couldn't have been the episode's "Tula". Strange switch. In any case, tying the story of the Archons into some kind of Starfleet conspiracy will probably be controversial, but I don't dislike it. Hopefully, Kirk will get into more trouble, forcing Pike to show his hand or turn on his secret masters. I'm looking forward to these re-tellings connecting into a larger arc. I also enjoyed the debate between the three stars, McCoy and Spock both finding themselves on the same side for completely different reasons, and Kirk going his own way because the Enterprise's safety must come first. The ending is just ambiguous enough that we can still agree with Bones and Spock after it's all over. Scotty has some good comedy bits too, his reputation as a miracle worker already giving him headaches. Unfortunately, we lose Sulu in the proceedings. His connection to whatever black ops outfit tried to recruit him in the previous issue's flashback should have given him a greater role here, but alas, he's just a background figure. As there's the potential for more Landru-related action with the computer now on board, Sulu might be asked to tag on an epilogue to this tale.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine