Comic Book Review: ‘Star Trek: Countdown Into Darkness’ #1

Posted Sunday, January 27th, 2013 04:45 pm GMT -5 by

Pony up boys and girls. It’s time for the first issue of Countdown to Darkness,which will mark the start of a four-month countdown to the premiere of Star Trek: Into Darkness in May. Much like its predecessor, the comics are supposed to give a bit of a backstory to the how and why of the next movie. Why they do this when they know only a select few die-hard fans will read it is as good as anybody’s guess, but maybe with popularity of the last movie, this set of comics will prove to be a little more popular.

I thought I was going to be sold when the first line in this comic was “I dream of logic” because the phrase was so beautifully ambiguous; I loved the irony inherent in the allegory to Spock. Dreams are never logical, and yet that’s what Spock thinks he does until emotion comes and breaks the dream, and then it becomes a nightmare.

Unfortunately it leads to a scene that instantly made me lose dramatic interest and replaced it with something that made me guffaw. Like when Spock is crying for his mother in the vacuum of dream-space.

A Star Trek Bohemian Rhapsody Ensues

After this, Spock becomes every ladies’ nightmare. He awakes sweaty, near naked, with the word “Mother” on his lips. Fortunately, Uhura was not there to witness it, though when she does come in she insinuates that she has experienced Spock have this nightmare before.

While Spock is having trouble sleeping, we are introduced to Captain Kirk, who is also having trouble sleeping and is half-naked. He, however, is spending his time talking to a computer about how lonely he is in what I think is an futuristic form of live journal. Mercifully, he deletes his entry… though somehow, we still have to hear it.

Emotional plot finished. Now let’s get on the action meat.

Apparently there is an M-class planet with civilization who needs its Prime Directive protection broken, and who better to break it then every senior officer on the bridge, and one dude wearing a redshirt (who I’m relatively certain is “Cupcake”). They then leave the bridge to Uhura, who, as memory serves me, has limited command experience.

When planet-side, of course, things go south. The how and why are cliff hangers, naturally, but the ending to this is the real mind bender.

Somehow, the alien civilization has Federation technology, and they acquired it from a bearded Robert April.

Yes, Trek fans. Robert April. It’s this dude, from the deservedly ill-fated Star Trek: The Animated Series.

He claims to be the former Captain of the Enterprise, which is canonically not accurate to the reboot, seeing how Captain Pike says very clearly that the movie is the maiden voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise. It will be interesting to see how they manage to fit this in, but I suspect there’s going to be nonsensical fanboy yoga to get there.

Still, I’m interested to see the next issue, seeing as the artwork is still the same high quality as the last “Countdown” series (which makes sense, seeing as the artist is the same), and infinitely preferable to most other Star Trek comics (Yes, I’m looking at you Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover. Even as a distant memory, you pain me). I try never to judge a series by its first book, so we’ll see what the next issue holds.

 

Story by Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson
Script by Mike Johnson
Art by David Messina

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  • http://www.facebook.com/thatscottdude Scott Slaughter

    Exqueese me, good sir, but the final page of the comic has Robert April announce that he was the former Captain of “A SHIP” called Enterprise. He did NOT say he was a former Captain of THE USS Enterprise, NCC-1701. Perhaps you should accompany Ilia to the recreation deck so you can re-familiarize yourself with all the vessels named “Enterprise.”

    • http://twitter.com/BoomComplains Boom

      I guess he could be the captain of the US Naval Battleship Enterprise. You’re right.

      Anyway, canonically, there are only two Enterprises that don’t have the ABCD suffix, and that’s Archer’s Enterprise, and Pike/Kirk’s Enterprise. So, unless he was the captain of the Enterprise NX-01 after Archer left, which seems unlikely seeing as the ship was retired a full 80 years before the start of this universe, I don’t know what Enterprise he could be Captain of. Still, seeing as April is an older man, I can concede he may have captained the NX-01, although I seem to remember Archer being in command for its entire tenure. Also the way everyone avoids referring to ST: ENT unless it’s about beaming beagles in the vacuum of space, that possibility seems even more unlikely to me.

      The only thing that seems plausible is a made up Enterprise that doesn’t exist in the canon yet, or that he was meant to be the Captain of the Enterprise, and then Pike somehow took his place.