Saturday, May 03, 2008

Val Reviews Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment #1

Star Trek Year Four: Enterprise Experiment #1

Writer: DC Fontana

Artists: Gordon Purcell & Terry Pallot

Publisher: IDW

I'll admit that I'm a sucker for anything from the original Star Trek series. The license has had a long history in comics, from Gold Key to DC to two stints at Marvel (including that instant classic "Star TreX"). Now the latest publisher to put out Star Trek comics, IDW Publishing, has turned to one of the key writers from TOS, DC Fontana, to write an arc called "The Enterprise Experiment."

The plot surrounds a damaged new cloaking device on the Enterprise that is having disastrous effects on the ship & crew. Apparently characters from the Star Trek animated series are integrated into this comic, as the 6-limbed character Arex has a prominent role.

Fontana's TV pedigree really shows, as the comic reads more like an actual episode of the series than any of the other adaptation I have read. One on hand, this might made the comic a little "talky" and cerebral for comic fans who are expecting a bare-chested Kirk wrestling a Gorn. On the other hand -- it reads like actual science-fiction, and would have an appeal, I would think, to both Star Trek & fans of the sci-fi book genre in general.

The art, by Gordon Purcell (who did "X-Files" for Topps Comics), is crisp and really nails the likenesses. I've had some problems with the occasionally murky palette on IDW's "Angel," but the colors here are bright but not overwhelming.

This is the first Star Trek book I've read from IDW, and on the whole I'm happy & will be collecting the arc.


  1. IDW seems to have refocused the Star Trek line, and it shows. The Alien Spotlights have been good, I'm really enjoying Peter David's New Frontier comic. There are issues with the art on them at times, but overall the new run of Trek comics are really pretty good.

  2. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Purcell did a lot of art for DC's Trek over the years as well. In fact, I rarely hear of him outside of Trek comics...I wonder if he specializes?

  3. The store has the TNG/X-men book...HOW DO THE TWO CONTINUITIES RECONCILE????????

  4. Arex and another character from the animated series have also appeared in Peter David's New Frontier novels. Neat, huh?

  5. Looked up Gordon Purcell's wiki entry--drawn a wide variety of styles from Marvel's Silver Sable and Avengers to Flash and Robin at DC to the JLU for Johnny DC to XFiles, Xena and Indiana Jones. Many different genres but always drawn well.

  6. Hmmm... not a Trek Head, but if you count the animated series, wouldn't this be Season Five?

    I enjoyed John Byrne's Romulan story (coulda used some Cliff Notes to remind us oldsters about the original episode).

    And if you want to read a BAD Star Trek comic, go look at the old Gold Key series... "The Curse of the Voodoo Planet" gets my vote! (A life-sise, paper mache Eiffel Tower... right...)

    Might we see Larry Niven or David Gerrold pen a story? Maybe the "writer's cut" version of "City on the Edge of Forever"?

    And somewhere... someone has penned a Gilligan's Planet/Star Trek animated crossover. Spock/ ...sorry. Won't go there.