Hello Trekkies, and welcome…
After the remarkable and highly successful 6 issue run of The Q Gambit, Mike Johnson is back with a new adventure for the crew of the Enterprise with Issue 41 of the ongoing series, and that’s what I’m going to review today.
Star Trek: Behemoth (Part 1 of 2)
Published by: IDW Publishing
Cover by: Cat Staggs
Written by: Mike Johnson
Art by: Cat Staggs
Colored by: Wes Hartman
Lettered by: Neil Uyetake
Story Consultant: Roberto Orci
Edited by: Sarah Gaydos
OVERVIEW: Well into their 5 year mission, everything is running smoothly, until a distress call puts the Enterprise into action. Upon encountering an alien ship of unknown origins, Kirk offers assistance to a species they’ve never encountered, who can barely communicate with them and offers only a warning that the Enterprise flee, before time runs out for both of them.
THE STORY: Once again, Mike Johnson brings us a cool story, and while not as epic as The Q Gambit, he gives a spotlight to Chekov and Carol Marcus. I think the seeds of romance may’ve been planted in these two guest spots, but we’ll have to watch how things grow.
Also, we get the opportunity to meet a new alien species, see a new alien world and watch Uhura shine, as she tries to communicate with them. I thought I saw some reflections of The Doomsday Machine, here, but that was just my take on it.
This story has a smooth pacing, a nice relaxed opening, some good snippets of humor and character development, and a great first encounter scenario, which leads to a terrific cliffhanger ending. Neil Uyetake, as always, does a good job of lettering and moving the story along; however, there were a couple of panels where I wondered which bubble to read first. That’s always off-putting, in my opinion. That said, Mike sets up the story well and leaves us on the edge of anticipation as to how it will conclude.
THE ART: This issue brings us Cat Staggs, on both – cover, and – interior art, with Wes Hartman on colors. Now, while the art was good, it didn’t blow me away; of course, I’ve been spoiled by The City on the Edge of Forever, and the aforementioned The Q Gambit. There was a definite lack of background details in this issue, which made some of the panels look flat and obligatory, as if there was a rush to get it to print. For example: Kirk and Carol are having coffee in the mess; there’s a table, two chairs and a coffee cup. The background looks like they’re sitting on a foggy, blah, unappealing alien world, out in the middle of nowhere. Plus, the new alien’s homeworld looks like something out of a bad TOS episode, (also, like where Jim and Carol are sharing coffee).
I will say, the new alien looks pretty badass! If meeting new life and new civilizations is Starfleet’s primary goal, then Staggs and Hartman get an ‘A’ here. Cool stuff! But, again it’s ship is kind of blah inside, lacking details; (considering the exterior was sleek and impressive). As far as likenesses, they’re well above average, yet because of the plainness of the backgrounds, flaws are easier to nit-pick.
THE COVERS: There are two for this issue. First: there’s the cover by Staggs, which shows the Enterprise at station-keeping in front the Starfleet chevron and an ominous looking nebula, or ship; (it’s difficult to distinguish). In the foreground, Kirk and the entire crew are shown phasers blasting, in obvious battle against an unseen foe, (which, frankly – doesn’t jibe with the story within), while communicators are being used by Bones and Scotty, who’re wearing tense expressions. I’d hang this cover on my wall, simply because it features the entire crew, their likenesses are quite good and it’s alive with color.
The second, sub cover, is a photo-op of Carol Marcus. Moving on… Don’t forget to checkout the OPEN CHANNELS letter’s page, at the end of the issue.
OVERALL: This is a good mission story, which gives us some insights into a couple of characters who are generally in the background, while making first contact with a new alien species and pitting the crew against a powerful threat to the quadrant. I am dismayed, though, that once again, the triad is split-up. When are we going to get a ‘classic’ Kirk, Spock and Bones adventure, (together), Mr. Johnson?
‘Til, next-time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone