It’s nearly New Year’s and IDW Publishing and Boom! Studios are giving us fans a great start on 2015! With the popularity of The Planet of the Apes movies, IDW’s Sarah Gaydos, Boom! Studios’ Dafna Pleban, Scott Tipton and David Tipton bring you a brilliant crossover with Star Trek, featuring the TOS crew. I’ve just finished the long-awaited first issue and I’m very impressed with both the Tipton’s writing, and – the art from Rachael Stott; (as well as, the coloring by Charlie Kirchoff). If I remember correctly, the first news of this series came out at San Diego Comic Con and the hype surrounding it has been well-worth the wait. I must confess, I’ve not seen the old Apes movies for a very long time, and I never watched the TV series (although Bunny Summers informs me that it was brilliant), plus – I’ve only seen the reboot with Mark Wahlberg; so, I’m going to do my best to be open-minded and objective, based-solely on this series.
As I opened this issue, I was treated to the eight covers that are available! I must say, they are all phenomenal; but, my favorite(s) are Cover B, then, the RI Cover B and, finally – the Think Geek Exclusive. The first is just iconic-as-hell: Kirk beaming down to the planet, with the broken Statue of Liberty behind him. Awesome stuff! My second choice rates a great because there’s an ape is sitting in Kirk’s chair on the bridge of the Enterprise, he’s wearing a captain’s rank-uniform and in the background, you can see that the ship’s status is at Red Alert. The Think Geek cover is just terrific: black backing with bright red coloring, the image of an ape peering-through the Starfleet command chevron. It’s just beautiful work!
The story opens with a shadowy figure making an arms deal with an ape general, in a small jungle village. The general is impressed, but he doubts the dealer’s motives; he doesn’t trust him. Next, we see Sulu and Uhura (disguised as Klingons) on a covert intelligence-gathering mission on a Klingon outpost. Starfleet has reason to believe the Klingons are planning aggressive conquest and expansion into Federation/Romulan space. In a narrow escape, the two officers beam back aboard the Enterprise and Kirk orders the ship to warp. The crew learn that the Klingons are, indeed – expanding, but they have been using advanced alien technology to access ‘otherdimensional space.’ Kirk orders the ship to the site of a man-made rift/portal that the Klingons have been using. After some debate amongst Bones and Spock, Kirk enters the portal finding the impossible: Earth, 1700 years in the future, but – with nothing resembling our timeline. And, more – his old foe Kor is involved with this Earth’s ruling inhabitants…
Once-again, the Tipton brothers have gone above-and-beyond with their storytelling. I felt as if I was watching a new episode. It’s smart, funny, full of action, the story is believable and it has good pacing; I especially liked the dialog between Kirk, Spock and McCoy, as well as, the banter between Uhura and Sulu; both – at the outpost, and – aboard the ship. I never tire of Scott and David’s work, and they’ve delivered a very well-written adventure. Credit must be given to letterer Tom B. Long, also: the Tipton’s gave him quite a bit of material to write, (some of it being in Klingonese), but he did a masterful job here. Kudos to Sarah, Scott, David and Tom: Well done!
In the art department, newcomer Rachael Stott has given us some very good work, and Charlie Kirchoff has colored it with incredible talent. There were some likeness-issues (Uhura’s earlier-scenes, Bones in some panels, etc), that I felt were just a bit off, but – wow, some of the bridge scenes are truly spectacular! The apes are well-rendered, and – the details of their look, clothing and environment, seem right-on-the-money, too. I liked the Klingon outpost, the space battle scenes, the Enterprise is beautifully rendered and the colors are vibrant throughout. The blue glow upon Spock’s face, as he looks into his scanner, is sensational work! And, those bridge instruments and lights are spot-on! I couldn’t be happier!
Our Michael Clark has some thoughts, as well… He thinks the story is really good and he loved the teaser at the beginning, thinking it was well done. He thinks that it’s great that Uhura and Sulu were sent on the intelligence-gathering mission, getting them off the ship; he thinks it’s a nice twist, as we’re used to seeing Kirk and Spock doing this sort of thing. Michael loves that the Klingons are using other universes to expand and that this explains the reason for the crossover very well; and that this being told from Issue 1, we can move on. He really is impressed with the story, pleased with the art, and he believes this could be a great series.
Overall, I think we ALL loved this debut, and we can’t wait for Issue 2! Hope you enjoy it, as well. It will release on New Year’s Eve. In the meantime, I’m going to finish Una McCormack’s latest DS9 novel, The Missing. So far, I’m pleased. Of course, where Una’s writing is concerned, that’s a given. Anyway, Happy New Year! Be well and flourish…
‘Til, next-time, see ya “out there…”
Lt. Eric Cone