Star Trek: Boldly Go #1 COMIC REVIEW
Boldly Go is a hard comic to review. Not because it’s bad, it’s really not. Mike Johnston has a great handle on these characters, especially Kirk, Uhura, Bones and Scotty. You can see the moment Uhura’s drawn back into her work by a puzzle, the pride Scotty feels in his time aboard the Enterprise, Bones’ visible displeasure at EVERYTHING EVER and best of all, Kirk’s maturity. We’re fans of the Kelvinverse Star Trek here at MyM City (Yes even large parts of Into Darkness… that bit you hated though? We hated that too) and Johnston’s script captures Kirk’s emotional journey particularly well. The brash, self-destructive hothead of Star Trek and the just flat-out asshole of Into Darkness have finally given way to a measured, calm, mature officer and who’s very much the man we meet here. There’s one moment in particular where he looks, and acts, like the veteran Captain of the movies and it’s a real punch-the-air moment.
The other reason Johnston’s script works is in its scope. By scattering the crew across two vessels and two worlds (so far) you get a feeling both of how vast the Federation is and how skilled these people are. One of the integral issues of Star Trek has always been the sense of the Enterprise crew being rock stars and the rest of Starfleet being left in the dust. Here both those ideas are explored and seeing other crews who are just as good, just as smart and not quite as lucky is a real highlight.
The art is great too. Shasteen and Mastroionardo fit perfectly and the colours in particular have that bright, hyperreal futurism that defines the new movies. The character work is spot on too, and you can almost see Bones’ glower and Scotty’s preppy, cheerful mannerisms unfold on the page. The new characters are just as memorable and, with the exception of a mildly static space sequence that seems a little flat, the whole issue looks, reads and moves like a really good Kelvinverse Star Trek movie. And World Design’s lettering and Sarah Gaydos’ editing work in particular help deliver a smooth, assured, confident piece of comics.
And then the thing happens.
We can’t talk about the thing because it’s a massive spoiler. If you’ve read solicit text for the series you’ll know what the thing is and if you haven’t… don’t. The reveal on it is really, really good. Whether the thing itself is, remains to be seen.
Trek at its weakest has always fallen back on the Greatest Hits method of storytelling. It’s a function of longform comics at the best and worst of times too and IDW is to be congratulated for taking this long to get to this particular touchstone.
We have some pretty serious worries about how this story’s going to go, because, well… the thing… But we do know that with a debut issue this good, and this confident, if anyone can pull off this kind of story in 2016 it’s these people. Smart, fun and worrying in a good way. Boldly Go get it.
Review by Alasdair Stuart