Star Trek: Waypoint #2st_waypoint_02-pr-page-001
Published by: IDW Publishing

“The Menace of the Mechanitrons” – A “Star Trek: Gold Key” Story
Written by: Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore
Art by: Gordon Purcell
Colourist: Jason Lewis
Letterer: Andworld Design

“Legacy” – A Star Trek Story

Written by: Sam Maggs
Art by: Rachael Stott
Colourist: Mark Roberts
Letterer: Andworld Design

Covers by: David Malan and subscription cover by Gordon Purcell (colours by Jason Lewis)
Production Designer: Neil Uyetake
Edited by: Sarah Gaydos with Chris Cerasi

Release Date: November 16th 2016

Warning:  this review may contain spoilers.

Overview
With Star Trek celebrating its 50th Anniversary, IDW Publishing continues its Waypoint series; a six issue anthology series that will allow the reader to stop, look back and reflect upon this phenomenal creation of Gene Roddenberry’s.

“The Menace of the Mechanitrons” – A “Star Trek: Gold Key” Story

The Story
Answering a distress call from the scout ship As Aspera; the U.S.S Enterprise discovers the ship has crashed landed on Phygma 4, a planet ravaged by war and whose people will scavenge anything that will help them rebuild their society. Kirk and crew mount a rescue but their efforts are thwarted when they discover the Klingons have conquered the Phygmans’ and are using giant robots to do their evil bidding.

The Gold Key Star Trek comic books ran between 1967 and 1978 with my first experience of them being in the old B.B.C annuals. The stories were very different from the Original TV series with the characters sometimes not as we remembered from the show and the art being drawn by artists who had not even seen the show.

This is a brilliant homage to the original Gold Key series. Ward and Dilmore (both are New York Times Best Selling authors) have perfectly managed to capture the essence of what made these stories so wonderful to read, they are dramatic with the stakes so high (in this case an entire area of space is at threat from the Klingons), Kirk saving the damsel in distress (Nurse Chapel) and as always Spock saving the day. We are also introduced to “gravitite”, a mineral that reproduces gravity. This is another example of where the Gold Key stories would add elements that we wouldn’t see in the series and the writers have excelled at it. Ward and Dilmore have embraced the comic book genre well and tell a fast-paced story. It would be interesting to see both write a full-length comic story – I remember once asking Ward if he would want to write a Star Trek comic book and he said that he most probably would never be asked to. Well, I’m glad he was wrong, although I do have to ask if there was a Doctor Who joke towards the end of the story.

Apart from being a wonderful tribute, this story is a lot of fun and it will certainly bring a smile to your face if you remember reading the originals and perhaps if this is your first time it may make you want to go back and read some more.

The Art
Gordon Purcell has drawn Star Trek for most of the main publishers including D.C, Marvel, Wild Storm and IDW. When I saw, that Purcell would be drawing this story I was delighted! I grew up looking at his art, in awe at his likenesses of some of my favourite Star Trek characters and how wonderfully he drew the Enterprise.

Like the writing; Purcell has drawn a perfect homage to the Gold Key series. He has taken some of the main things that made the original comic book series stand out including the Enterprise having flames coming from the warp nacelles and the landing party wearing pack backs (I must admit as a child, I wanted one of those and couldn’t understand why I never saw them on the show) and many other different looks to the ship and crew. The robots were menacing; the likenesses were good and overall the art enhanced the story.

The colouring by Jason Lewis is spot on, like the original comics the colours remind you of those stories and with Purcell’s art you can’t help but feel whipped up in a sense of nostalgia.

“Legacy” – A Star Trek Story

The Story
Sam Maggs is an Assistant Writer for BioWare, and the bestselling author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and the upcoming Wonder Women. This is Maggs first Star Trek story and after reading “Legacy”; I hope it’s not her last.

Legacy follows the life or should I say retells the life of Yeoman Leslie Thompson, a member of the Enterprise’s crew from the original five-year mission and the only female redshirt to have died under Captains’ Kirk command. We discover that her life was a lot more than a simple but sad statistic, the impact she had aboard the Enterprise was meaningful and to one Starfleet Cadet; Thompson was inspirational.

Thompson appeared in the second season episode of “By Any Other Name” where the Enterprise was hijacked by Rojan and his followers who were part of the Kelvan Empire. It was a fascinating way to explore Thompsons life by connecting her story to some of the most enjoyable episodes including “The Doomsday Machine”, “Mirror Mirror” and “The Galileo Seven”. In her own right, Thompson was an excellent engineer who helped save Kirk and crew on more than one occasion. I loved how Maggs showed that while Thompson may not have believed in all of Kirk choices or methods her love and dedication to Starfleet was paramount to her.  We saw her life at the academy including a love interest and unlike many other redshirts you can’t help but feel for her character, this wasn’t simply a security guard with no name, this was a person who made a difference. I’m not going to spoil who the Cadet is at the end of the story but if your reaction is like mine then Maggs has earned her pay for the week.

The Art
Rachael Stott returns to the Star Trek universe and it couldn’t have been a better story to for her to come back to. Stott has been working on the Twelfth Doctors adventures for Titan but has been able to work on the occasional Star Trek cover for IDW.  From the first page, you can tell this is Stott’s art work with the amazing details, the likeness of both Kirk and Rojan from the original episode and the backgrounds of the planet.

The panels that stood out for me were those where Thompson was either in the Jeffries tubes or working on the transporter or those of her with her at the academy. The details were great with consoles out, wires all over the place and her working to save the day. The likeness of Thompson was perfect with Stott capturing the looks of actress Julie Cobb brilliantly, credit must be given to Stott for her research on the character’s likenesses.

I was in awe at Stott’s artwork for the Primate Directive however, since then you can see the growth in her artwork and how over the last couple of years all aspects of her art have jumped leaps and bounds. I’m hoping that it won’t be too long till we see Stott draw a Star Trek comic again.

The colours were by Mark Roberts and there were great uses of purples, reds and blues and worked perfectly with Stott’s art. The colouring in both stories has been exceptional.

The Covers
This issue has three covers with the standard by David Malan which is a classic picture of Kirk, Spock and McCoy on a planet with the Enterprise in the background while the subscription cover by Gordon Purcell shows a Klingon and Spock inside the giant robots with Kirk and Scotty in the line of fire and the third is a photo cover of Kirk and Spock from the TOS episode “A Taste of Armageddon”. Both covers were very different from each other with Purcell’s being a homage to the Gold Key covers with Malan’s having the better likenesses of the crew. The cover by Purcell is more fun and sums up this second issues of Waypoint.

Overall
Waypoint issue two was both fun and poignant. We had the fun of giant robots while contemplating how we are perceived and how our legacy is often not up to us but to those around us. The second issue was a step up from the first and in some ways, I feel that this issue should have been the opening to the series.

While speaking of legacies we wanted to take this opportunity to mention that this issue was dedicated to life-long Star Trek fan Eric Cone who recently passed away. This was an amazing gesture by IDW and we can’t think of any other way to remember and celebrate the life of a man that could combine his love of comics, writing and Star Trek.