Hasslein Blog: Star Trek Comics Get Graphic


Hasslein Blog

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Star Trek Comics Get Graphic

By Rich Handley

I recently posted a piece about the new Star Trek: The Graphic Novel Collection from British publisher Eaglemoss, which is reprinting numerous Star Trek comics published during the past 50 years. The books, available by mail-order subscription, feature a painting of the various spaceships of the Star Trek franchise adorning each volume's spine, forming a single image that grows as a collector acquires new editions. Shortly after I posted that article, I received the first shipment in the mail and was very pleased at what it contained: the first three volumes of the series, each reprinting a popular IDW miniseries.

Volume 1 repackages Star Trek: Countdown (story by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, written by Tim Jones and Mike Johnson, and illustrated by David Messina), which revealed the background of Nero, the Romulan renegade from 2009's Star Trek film. The second volume collects Harlan Ellison's Original The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay (written by Scott and David Tipton and illustrated by J.K. Woodward), which breathed life into the oft-discussed early version of the episode's script that Ellison originally submitted before several plot and character changes were mandated. And reprinted in volume 3 is Star Trek: The Next Generation—Hive (written by Brannon Braga and Terry Matalas, with art by Joe Corroney), a 25th-anniversary celebration offered up by one of that show's key creative forces.

Having previously read these series as each one hit stores, I already knew that they all contained great stories accompanied by beautiful illustrations. As such, the question remained as to whether or not it would be worth collecting and re-reading books I already owned. After looking through these first three volumes, I no longer have any such reservations.

The presentation in these books is fantastic and makes the re-reading experience unique and so much more than merely a rehash of what has come before. The colors are crisper, the lines stronger, and after only three volumes, I can already tell that I'm going to love how this will all look on the shelves once I have the complete collection. How maddening that it'll take time for them all to arrive, and that I have to wait for the fourth volume, Spock—Reflections (by the Tiptons and Messina). Like Willy Wonka's Veruca Salt, I want it now!

There's very little negative one can say about this series. The covers are beautiful, the reprinted miniseries well-chosen. Plus, the lapel pin that comes with the first shipment is a nice little bonus for those who collect such things. Admittedly, I'm normally not such a person, but I have to say that I like how it looks on my shelving unit next to the books. Eaglemoss has done a wonderful job with this series, and I look forward to what's to come.

Sadly, due to a problem involving the Post Office (for which Eaglemoss is clearly not to blame), my shipment arrived in a damaged box. As a result, the collector's magazine packaged with volume 1 was nowhere to be found. Amazingly, despite the crumpled state of the carton, none of the three graphic novels were damaged in the slightest, and the lapel pin was actually present. How that little Starfleet symbol managed to survive the journey through the mail in a broken box, I don't know, but it's a testament to Eaglemoss that the books themselves were entirely unaffected, thanks to plastic wrapping around each volume. Even better, Eaglemoss is sending me another copy of the missing magazine, which is a very good indicator of the level of customer service the company provides.

My verdict: This is a stellar series, well worth purchasing. Some fans may balk at having to cough up money to buy stories they already own, but consider this: comic books, by their very nature, are flimsy and easily destroyed. These hardcover books, on the other hand, are sturdy and built to last. If they could arrive at my doorstep without any damage whatsoever, despite the box in which they were shipped looking like a pack of alien gorillas had decided to use it as a soccer ball,* then that means I can count on them not to fall apart or degrade. And that means I can pick up these volumes whenever I want to enjoy my favorite Trek comics, without worrying about potentially damaging my ever-increasingly old collection of individual issues. What's more, it's going to look so good once the painting along the spines is complete.

Keep 'em coming, folks. Keep 'em coming.

* It remains to be seen whether or not Eaglemoss plans to reprint the 1969 British comic strip storyline originally published in Joe 90: Top Secret issues 11-14, in which the Enterprise crew actually teach alien gorillas how to play soccer.

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