Star Trek / Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #2 (Part two of six)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Angel Hernandez
Colourist: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Cover by: Paul Pope (Colours by Jordie Bellaire), Darick Robertson (Colours by Diego Rodriguez) and Gary Brown (Colours by Doug Garbark).
Editor: Sarah Gaydos for IDW and Jim Chadwick for DC Comics.
Release Date: 04/08/2015
Warning: this review contains spoilers!
“PREVIOUSLY IN STAR TREK… While exploring a rogue planet in uncharted space, the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise discovered the skeleton of an unknown alien being in possession of six strange rings. Convinced the rings were energy conduits, Scotty exposed them to a tachyon field which activated their power and sent them scattering throughout the ship and beyond. Four rings – yellow, blue, violet and indigo have chosen new bearers while two – red and orange have disappeared. Just as the Enterprise faces off with a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, a new ring-wielder arrives….bathed in Green Light.” The story continues as General Chang embarks on a destructive rampage, Uhura, Chekov and McCoy discover what it means to wear a power ring while Kirk and Hal Jordan finally meet, with the potential for a galaxy-wide conflict on the horizon.
There is so much going on in this issue, and the story moves at such a fast pace but Mike Johnson manages to keep everything flowing in such a way they you don’t feel lost or confused. Where the first issue was about introducing some of the characters and plot threads, part two not only builds upon them but throws new elements into the story that makes it even more enjoyable.
I especially liked how this issue was read from the perspective of Hal Jordan rather than the crew of the Enterprise, his reactions to the situations he found himself in and how he could “feel” when one of the rings found a new bearer.
While we saw Chekov make use of his new powers we have yet to see how they will affect Uhura and McCoy and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do. It was frustrating to only see McCoy for one panel within the issue though. I really don’t understand why the character is so underused. With there being so many characters in a crossover story like this there’s bound to be times when a character is left behind and I’m looking forward to seeing how Mike Johnson balances everyone.
I enjoyed how the yellow ring bought out the worst in General Chang, not only does he continue his attack on the Enterprise he manages to overthrow the Klingon High Council in quite some style. I am looking forward to seeing what he does next and after the way the issue ends I can imagine Chang will become even more dangerous.
I was really surprised that the Gorn and Romulans were introduced into the story however; Mike Johnson has again shown that he can take a story, move it in one direction and before you know it you’re heading somewhere you never expected to be.
Angel Hernandez continues to impress me. For someone who has never drawn Star Trek before I am really enjoying his interpretation of the both the Star Trek and Green Lantern universes. From the bridge of the Enterprise to the hall of the Romulan Senate and the council chambers of the Klingon homeworld and the far reaches of space Hernandez has captured perfectly the drama of the story Mike Johnson is trying to tell.
Some panels that stood out for me were the opening pages of the Enterprise being enveloped by Hal Jordan’s power ring, the Klingon creature Muqtovor in all of its glorious form and my favourite page of the issue was the meeting between Jordan and Kirk. I loved how Hernandez drew the page with these two giant characters side by side sizing each other up with the crew in the background.
I also liked the design of the altered uniforms for McCoy, Uhura and Chekov now they have been imbued by the power of the rings. They reminded me of a cross between Iron Man and the Fantastic Four although I don’t think that was the inspiration DC was going for. Hernandez has blended the best of the Lantern and Starfleet uniforms. I wonder if they will ever be cosplayed at an event in the future?
I did find however, the likenesses of Chekov were slightly off in this issue while the Romulan Praetor looked more like a vampire from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Gorn were drawn well and again were consistent to what we have seen in the comics and video game.
Colourist Alejandro Sanchez has again done a great job with the use of colours within the story. Some examples of this included the Klingon creature Muqtovor, the new look uniforms and when the two rings found their new bearers and they transformed. There are so many colours in this issue and while it could have been over whelming Sanchez has balanced it well.
Compared to the first issue which had twenty four covers this issue only has three. The standard cover is by Paul Pope with variants by Darick Robertson (Cover B) and Gary Brown (Cover C). The standard cover is of Hal Jordan and Captain Kirk in a dramatic pose, Cover B has members of the Enterprise crew and the Green Lantern Corps together while Cover C is of General Chang, some other Klingons and another well known Lantern.
I was really disappointed with the covers for this issue. Perhaps it’s because we were so spoiled in the first issue but I didn’t like the standard cover at all. This style of art isn’t “my cup of earl grey” and it frustrates me when we have characters on the cover who are not even in the story (unless that’s supposed to be Uhura?). Cover C was coloured far too darkly for my tastes and like the standard I didn’t like the style of art. Out of the three, I liked Cover B the most but like my complaint with the standard issue there were characters on the cover who had no relevance to the story. Cover B was drawn well with some good likenesses and is more like the art I enjoy. I know these types of covers help sell the comic but personally, I want a cover that highlights the story and makes me want to read the comic.
Issue one had some amazing covers drawn by some incredible artists. I really wish some of these covers had been used for the second issue or some of those artists were asked back to draw for part two. Let’s hope issue three bounces back and we have some stunning covers.
Mike Johnson has delivered a fast paced issue while continuing to set the scene for the rest of the series while the art by Angel Hernandez continues to impress. Unfortunately I found the covers really disappointing. While I liked the issue I am still not convinced that this is a good crossover and with only four issues to go there’s some work to be done to change my mind.