Wednesday, January 13, 2021

COMIC REVIEW - Star Trek: Countdown (2009)

Written by Mike Johnson and Tim Jones
Story Conceived by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Art By David Messina, Paolo Maddaleni, Giovanna Niro, and Ilaria Traversi

2009 saw Star Trek get a "reboot" of sorts in the form of what is now known as the Kelvin Timeline.

The story of the Kelvin Timeline involves time travel that created an alternate reality so that these movies can co-exist with the "prime" universe of the previous Trek shows. And so a comic miniseries was conceived to give us some backstory as to how we got to t his point... and while the more recent Picard series (or as I'd prefer to call it, Blunt Talk: The Next Generation) has effectively curtailed Countdown's chances of (already non-existent) canonical status, when it comes to giving that generation of Trek a proper sendoff while also leading us to the next Trek era, Countdown has it nailed.

It tells the story of Nero, a humble minor who assists Spock in attempting to save Romulus from the expanding supernova, but when that doesn't happen, we see his descent into madness and the origin of his mining ship, the Narada. In addition, we get appearances from Next Gen characters such as Jean-Luc Picard (now an ambassador to Vulcan), Data (revived in B4 and now Captain of the USS Enterprise-E), and a couple others even. And they're all true and consistent with how the characters have been portrayed all these years, which is more than what I could say for BTTNG.

This series was my first exposure to artist David M|essina, who had done a prior Trek mini for IDW and would eventually do art for several more Trek series. I like his style; his depiction of the characters are true to form while being somewhat stylized, the various space settings and ships look fairly accurate to what was on screen, and the choice of coloring to create a somewhat somber tone for the book, yet retaining some of the old TNG movie aesthetics is much appreciated.

A pity that this couldn't have been used as a backstory for what would come after and we got Blunt Talk: The Next Generation instead, because in terms of not only providing the backstory for two of the film's key characters, but also giving us a satisfying farewell to the Next Gen crew, Countdown has it nailed to a tee.

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