Star Trek: Connection #59 & #60
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Johnson
Art by: Tony Shasteen
Colourist: David Mastrolonardo
Letterer: Andworld Design
Covers by: Tony Shasteen, Josh Adams, Drew Moss (Colours by Adam Guzowski) and Jorge Fornes (Colours by Mark Roberts)
Editor: Sarah Gaydos
Story Consultant: Roberto Orci
Release Date: July / August 2016
Warning: this review may contain spoilers.
After encountering a subspace anomaly which affects space time, the crews of the starship Enterprise from both the Prime and Kelvin universe begin to experience life in each other’s realities while trying to find the answers to counteract the anomaly.
One of the most amazing things about Star Trek in comics is that the crew of the Enterprise can go anywhere, do anything and meet anyone without the worry of budgets, directors or actors. Connection is a prime example of this with the crews of the two realities coming together. With any two-parter the first issue has the important role of setting up the story and wanting us, the readers, to eagerly anticipate the second instalment. Mike Johnson accomplishes this perfectly with the anomaly only effecting Kirk first and both crews wondering if the problem is with their Captain. I did chuckle when Prime Kirk wonders if this is a game by Trelane and Kelvin Kirk suggests Q (harking back to ‘The Q Gambit’). As the pace builds, the confusion and disorientation Kirk feels spreads and watching Prime Spock ends up in bed with the wrong Uhura and Prime Scotty being scared by Keenser certainly makes this a story to remember. Part two picks up the story with both crews understanding that the anomaly is much more than a simple space-time displacement and the need to work together while coping with the constant swapping between realities. The interactions between the different versions of each character is enjoyable to read and Johnson captures the traits of each perfectly and I must admit to one day hopefully reading a TOS story written by Johnson. I really enjoyed Prime McCoy in this story I really enjoyed the ending of the story, it didn’t feel rushed and the final moments of the two Kirk’s taking a peek into each other’s realities was a nice way of bringing the story to a close.
I’ve been one of Tony Shasteen’s biggest fans since he began drawing for Star Trek with ‘The Q Gambit’ and these two issues highlights how exceptional his work is. With the story involving two realities it was a brilliant idea to use the split page concept, this allows the story to move along at a steady pace but also allows you to see events happen simultaneously. From the very beginning the attention to detail is astounding, normally Shasteen would only need to worry about one Enterprise but over the two issues we have two of everything and it’s a treat to see how well they’ve been drawn. The bridge of original Enterprise looks fabulous, the opening pages of the first issue are a delight as we see the comparisons between the two ships. I can only imagine the fun Shasteen must have had drawing these issues. Turning to likenesses Shasteen has excelled, the consistency of the characters stood out for me especially Prime Kirk. The resemblance to William Shatner was uncanny while the rest of the TOS crew were drawn to a high standard. Of course Shasteen has more experience with the Kelvin Timeline crew and this does show over the two issues.
The standard covers were drawn by Tony Shasteen. Part one is a drawing of The Original Series crew and part two is the Kelvin Timeline crew and each issue has their respective Enterprise. Separately the covers are amazing but you can join the two together to form one incredible picture spanning the two realities. I love these covers and Shasteen has outdone himself with the likenesses of both crews, I would certainly like to have these signed and framed at some point in the future. As well as these Shasteen also drew a variant cover for Supply Pod Retailer. This cover is a drawing of Kirk, Spock and McCoy with the Enterprise in the forefront and like the standards this cover is fabulous.
For part one there are two other variant covers. The subscription cover by Josh Adams has the Enterprise crew on the bridge in a tense scene however, for me some of the likenesses are off and it’s not one of my favourite. The second is the ROM variant by Drew Moss which was part of a crossover event from IDW comics. Again, it’s a generic action scene and the likeness of Kirk isn’t to my taste.
For part two there is only the subscription cover by Jorge Fornes; this depicts Kirk and Spock on the bridge. I do like this cover and the sketch effect is very impressive. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Jorge’s work.
When I first found out that the current run of the Ongoing Star Trek series from IDW was ending with issue 60 I was of course upset but with the news of the relaunch series; Boldly Go coming in September, I was able to enjoy these two issues knowing more would be coming very soon. This story was an interesting concept and it was a nice and fun way to celebrate the first series and the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Johnson has helmed all sixty issues of the series and it’s down to his consistency of storytelling that has made this an exceptional series and with Shasteen on board the best has yet to come.