Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #1  st_gl_s2_01-pr-page-001
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Angel Hernandez
Colourist: Alejandro Sanchez
Production Design: Neil Uyetake
Letterer: Andworld Design
Covers By: Angel Hernandez (standard and RI), Rachael Stott (Subscription Cover)
Editors: IDW Publishing’s Sarah Gaydos and Chris Cerasi and DC Entertainment’s Jim Chadwick and Michael McCalister

Release Date: 21/12/16

Warning:This Review Contains Spoilers!

“My days as Green Lantern are coming to an end….”

Previously in Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War

The Black Lantern Nekron conquered the universe. Thanks to Ganthet, the last surviving Guardian of the Universe, a small group of survivors escaped to an alternate reality. Here the survivor from the various Lantern Corps encountered Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise. Nekron followed them, intent on conquering this reality. The combined might of the Enterprise crew and the surviving Lanterns succeeded in destroying Nekron once and for all.

But Sinestro, last of the Yellow Lanterns, escaped to continue his own quest for power. . .

The Story
Wow, what an opener! After the Power Ring hijinks of The Spectrum War, I was pleased to see the first issue of sequel series Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds didn’t spend a lot of time catching up readers of the first series. What it did was just enough, explain what happened and caught readers up in a completely organic way. Of course, the cadets would want to know where their universe displaced instructor came from!

The way Johnson writes the Green Lantern characters is also excellent, as with the Star Trek characters he already writes so well, everyone has their own distinctive voice. I can’t wait to see where they go from here and how they further integrate into this ‘Final Frontier’ they’ve found themselves in.

One question I do have though is when exactly the story is set. The DC Universe has an infinite number of universes (indeed, it’s a multiverse) but I’m intrigued to find out just where its set in the Star Trek timeline. I’m imagining it’s an alternate timeline of the Kelvin Timeline (stay with me) as Kirk and co are still on the Enterprise and there’s been no mention so far of the Green Lantern Corps members in fantastic new comic series Star Trek: Boldly Go. I’m looking forward to seeing if subsequent issues in the series answer these questions.

I love the way Johnson writes the relationship between Captain Kirk and Hal Jordan. It’s like a meeting of minds and equals. They respect each other immensely but are probably too alike to be truly close friends. As they hold the same rank of Captain, Jordan doesn’t have to listen to Kirk but does trust his judgement. As friendly as they are, Kirk seems to be holding back slightly as he hasn’t embraced the Starfleet issue Power Rings (created by Scotty in The Spectrum War), preferring his Starfleet issue phaser, I look forward to seeing how the relationship between these two legendary characters develops as Stranger Worlds progresses.

As a side note, I particularly like seeing this pairing as it wasn’t so long ago that we were seeing rumours of Kirk actor Chris Pine in contention to play Hal Jordan in DC Comics new cinematic universe. He ultimately went on to play Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman (released next year) but it’s still fun to see the comparisons between them!

Speaking of relationships (of a different kind!), who saw that Scotty pairing coming! I loved the one liner from Bones too, it made actually made me laugh out loud, something I rarely do while reading!

I loved the situation that we found Sinestro in also, it made perfect sense, of course he would do that! It’s just another testament to the way Johnson knows these characters, that they act, even in situations we’ve never seen them in before – completely true to character. The cliff-hanger for issue one was a good one too, and I’m eagerly waiting where the series is heading next.

The Art
As anyone who follows our reviews on Visionary Trek can attest, I was a huge fan of Angel Hernandez’ work on last year’s epic miniseries, Star Trek: Manifest Destiny. He has such incredible talent not only for likenesses (important for tie-in work like this) but also for his action scenes and general story telling. So, it was no surprise I was looking forward to seeing him draw these characters again, I was not disappointed, with each panel filled with such care and flair you can’t help but be swept along with the story.

It’s clear the Lantern corps members have an ease of familiarity and Kirk and Jordan are very stiff and are keeping each other at arms length. It’s conveyed really well in this issue.

With Hernandez on Stranger Worlds and the incredible Tony Shasteen on Boldly Go, writer Mike Johnson has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal in terms of artists, but he writes to both artists strengths considerably, which makes for some fantastic comics.

Favourite Panel:

For me it must be the panel where Guy Gardner uses his Power Ring in the Academy classroom. His face is filled with such joy to be using the ring but also a bit smug because he’s showing off to the cadets! Speaking of cadets, who else spied the cadets from last year’s miniseries Star Trek: Starfleet Academy? Anyone who knows me knows I have an affinity for those guys and always love to see them. I’d love to have heard their reactions to their new ring bearing instructor. Especially Vel’s!

The Covers
The covers for this first issue are a main cover, Retailer Incentive cover and Nero Block Exclusive cover (wow, that’s prolific!) by interior artist Angel Hernandez, a subscription cover by Rachael Stott and a blank sketch variant.

The main cover by Angel Hernandez is a great representation of what you’ll find inside the issue; you see Captain Kirk and Spock standing heroically with Green Lantern’s Hal Jordan and John Stewart with GL villain Sinestro looming over menacingly with a harem of Klingons! It’s a nice cover and as we now expect from Hernandez not only are the likenesses of the Trek cast spot on, but the DC Universe characters are rendered well also.

The subscription cover is by one of my favourite artists – Rachael Stott. It depicts Sinestro angrily crushing a Power Ring construct of the Enterprise with one hand. It’s an impressive image that showcases Stott’s uncanny ability to convey the key facets of a character’s personality. In this covers case, that’s Sinestro’s ability to instil fear. Stott’s art is normally the highlight of any book bearing her name and she just seems to get better and better.

The RI by Hernandez is my favourite of the bunch. It’s a fun image depicting Kirk, Spock and Uhura having a selfie taken with various members of the Green Lantern Corps. You can imagine Hal Jordan using the ring to hold the camera a little higher to get everyone in! It just makes me smile. Hernandez’ facial work here is on par with the mighty Brian Hitch. It’s that good. Also, I love the way he captured the characters of Corps, Hernandez draws a mean Kilowog!

The Nero Block exclusive cover is also by Hernandez and it features the Enterprise at warp with the busts of Jordan, Kirk, Spock and Sinestro above it. It’s a nice cover, and reminded me a lot of the cover he did for the first issue of The Spectrum War. Was a nice throwback, of course that issue had over thirty covers, something I’m pleased the first issue of Stranger Worlds hasn’t repeated!

The blank sketch variant which basically means you have the title at the top of a blank white page. And that’s it. It’s a nice idea if you are artistically inclined to create your own comic book cover but I prefer to leave that to the pros! (Editor note: which artist will you get to draw on your sketch cover?!)

The first issue of Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds catches up readers on previous events so well, I think that you wouldn’t even need to have read The Spectrum War, to enjoy it. The story is a cracking one, with writer Mike Johnson giving us action in space to deep character moments to making you laugh out loud all in the same issue. The art is clean and crisp with brilliant likenesses and fans of both Star Trek and Green Lantern with find much to love here. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next!

Let’s punch it to Issue #2!