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Star Trek: Crew #5

Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2009
By: Ray Tate

John Byrne
John Byrne (with Lovern Kindzierski, colors)
IDW Publishing
Number One and the Enterprise crew go where none have gone before. There they meet low-budget special effects and alien marshmallows with schemes to save the universe.

This issue is really the worst of Star Trek Crew that I have read, but it's still better than most of the books spewed out by the Big Two. Byrne makes Number One a captivating figure, and it is her decisions that carry the story.

Byrne's original creations and his homage to Star Trek: The Animated Series are also of interest.

Spock debuts on the Enterprise. Byrne's Spock recalls the earlier, more emotional portrayal Leonard Nimoy performed in the two pilot episodes--"The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before." Spock and Number One better resemble the actors that gave them life, although they would probably look better in Byrne’s un-inked pencils--as would Pike. However, un-inked pencil art isn't a practical aesthetic for a hard science fiction series.

The book falters only in terms of the setting and plot. The setting is too often abstract--with a big black page or white panels lacking backgrounds representing nothingness. I've seen this technique before, so it's not exactly startling. I would have preferred Byrnerobotics.

The Candy Buttons with the narrowed black eyes border on the ridiculous. They look like the evil twins of Scrubbing Bubbles. I also could not understand how the time travel would reverse the cancer that was affecting the crew. The ship suffers from a dose of entropy. The damage has been done. The clock does not reverse. The biological trauma the crew experienced should have remained until treated medically.

A better ending would have had Pike assuming command with Spock and Number One assuming their more familiar positions. They could have piloted the ship back to the nearest Starbase--a conclusion that would not have required extra pages.

What can I say about this issue of Star Trek Crew but "Meh." The usually reliable Byrne stumbles on this one. He needed more backgrounds, and some of the plot elements left me scratching my head. Still, it's better than Superboy Prime punching time.



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