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Star Trek (DC Comics, 1984) #7-8 – Saavik’s Story (Review)

This August, to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Trek: Into Darkness on DVD and blu ray, we’re taking a look at the Star Trek movies featuring the original cast. Movie reviews are every Tuesday and Thursday.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the movies with tie-ins around (and related to) the films. We’ll be doing one of these every week day. This is one such article.

Star Trek comics are an interesting way of catching a glimpse at the franchise one-step away from the heart of production. While there are other forms of tie-in media, comics are produced on a monthly schedule. While scripts need to be written and art needs to be drawn, there’s less lead-in time required, meaning that contemporary Star Trek comics are often able to react dynamically to on-screen events. While novels might take up to a year from original pitch to the time they hit the stands, there’s something rather more urgent about tie-in comic books.

This is an issue for many tie-ins comics. For example, the syndicated Star Trek newspaper strip launched shortly before the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture made a point to feature Ilia as a bridge officer on a relaunched USS Enterprise. She rather suddenly disappeared after those involved actually saw the movie and realised that she didn’t quite survive the adventure. Similarly, when it came to detailing the adventures of Kirk and company in the wake of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, writer Mike W. Barr moved the crew over to the USS Excelsior, in accordance with writer Harve Bennett’s original plan.

That said, Mike W. Barr’s comic book origin story for Lt. Saavik holds up rather well, fitting quite comfortably with Carolyn Clowes’ origin for the character offered in the superb 1990 book The Pandora Principle. Of course, Barr’s origin sketches the broadest of outlines, and is clearly more preoccupied with crafting a pulpy space opera adventure.

Saving Saavik!

Saving Saavik!

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