• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

Star Trek (DC Comics, 1984) #39-40 – The Return of Mudd (Review)

The first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, was produced in 1964. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, this December we are reviewing the second season of the original Star Trek show. You can check out our first season reviews here. Check back daily for the latest review.

By its nature, Star Trek had very few recurring guest stars – outside of recurring extras and the supporting senior staff.

Star Trek was a prime-time science-fiction show in the sixties. As such, it was strongly episodic. More than that, it was a show that included its stated goal – “to explore strange new worlds” – in a narration over the opening credits. As such, the show did not tend to bring back too many recurring characters. Gene L. Coon had tried to introduce a recurring foil for Kirk in the second season, but Robert Justman had vetoed the reappearance of Kor in A Private Little War and Coon would depart before he could follow through on plans to make Koloth a recurring adversary.

Our man Mudd...

Our man Mudd…

Of course, this has not stopped Star Trek fans from seizing on various one-shot characters from the three seasons of the original Star Trek. Despite only appearing in Errand of Mercy, Kor has become a frequently recurring character in the Star Trek mythos. Gary Seven has spun off from Assignment: Earth into a string of novels and comics. Christopher Pike only appeared with Kirk in one single story, but there is a huge amount of literature dedicated to him. Still, this means that the elements which do recur are given a bit more weight.

Klingons, Romulans and Vulcans are a vital part of the Star Trek mythos. Khan Noonien Singh only appeared in Space Seed and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but his memory haunts the franchise to the point where he was revived for Star Trek Into Darkness. Harry Mudd has the distinction of being the only non-crewmember to recur within the original run of eighty episodes. So it is no surprise that Harry Mudd has become one of the most frequently recurring guest stars in the history of the franchise.

Kirk meets quirky...

Kirk meets quirky…

Continue reading

Star Trek (DC Comics, 1984) #9-16 – New Frontiers (aka The Mirror Universe Saga) (Review)

The first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, was produced in 1964. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, this December we are reviewing the second season of the original Star Trek show. You can check out our first season reviews here. Check back daily for the latest review.

Eight issues is a long time in the world of comic books, even by the standards of modern storytelling. Committing to the same story arc for two-thirds of a calendar year is a big decision, even moreso in December 1984. Nevertheless, DC comics committed to an eight-issue Star Trek story arc in the wake of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, on throwing Kirk and the crew into a truly epic adventure with the fate of the Federation hanging on the line. It is no wonder that The Mirror Universe Saga remains the gold standard for Star Trek comic books, reprinted and repackaged repeatedly over the years.

The Mirror Universe Saga is an epic in just about every sense of the word, spanning two universes and eight issues. Not only do writer Mike Barr and artist Tom Sutton find themselves handling the fallout from the last feature film, but they also dabble in an iconic piece of Star Trek history. The Mirror Universe Saga takes full advantage of its format to offer a spectacular and impressive adventure that would have been impossible to realise on film in 1984 – indeed, it is hard to imagine television or cinema doing justice to the scale of the adventure now.

Meeting of minds...

Meeting of minds…

However, The Mirror Universe Saga succeeds on more than simply epic scale and meticulous attention to detail – although Barr and Sutton provide those with gusto. Despite everything going on around it, The Mirror Universe Saga largely works because it never loses track of the characters at the heart of the story. While the Terran Empire might be plotting an invasion in the midst of an internal revolution, the more powerful moments of The Mirror Universe Saga come from throwing the characters into contact with their alternate selves.

In 1984, it seems like The Mirror Universe Saga had figured out what would be the core ingredients for the most successful follow-ups to Mirror, Mirror. It deduced that the mirror universe could not just be playground where everything is gloriously and campily evil; it had to retain some level of emotional reality or connection. What good is a mirror if it is not reflecting anything?

Set course... for eeeevil!

Set course… for eeeevil!

Continue reading

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (DC Comics, 1986) (Review)

This June, we’re taking a look at some classic Star Trek movie tie-ins and other interesting objects. Check back daily for the latest reviews and retrospectives.

The comic book adaptation of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home does a surprisingly good job of translating the comedy adventure into comic book form. Relying the creative team of Mike W. Barr and artist Tom Sutton to produce a one-shot comic book adaptation of the feature film, DC Comics have reached a point where they are able to consistently and reliably churn out comic books based around the Star Trek franchise.

Indeed, one might imagine that the somewhat lighter tone of The Voyage Home would pose a challenge for the duo, eschewing the grand space opera of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in favour of something more firmly rooted in modern sensibilities. However, Barr and Sutton do a wonderful job adapting the screenplay into a charming comic, even if it does seem to be aimed more squarely at hardcore Star Trek fans than casual viewers.

Standing tall...

Standing tall…

Continue reading

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (DC Comics, 1984) (Review)

This June, we’re taking a look at some classic Star Trek movie tie-ins. Check back daily for the latest reviews and retrospectives.

In 1984, DC secured the license to print Star Trek comics. They retained the license into the nineties, allowing the publisher to release their own comic book adaptations of each of the four remaining classic Star Trek movies. They even got to publish an adaptation of Star Trek: Generations before the rights transferred to Marvel. Mike W. Barr and Tom Sutton got to produce 64-page adaptations of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, lending some consistency to the last two instalments in the trilogy that began with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

While its impressive visuals and relaxed pacing meant that Star Trek: The Motion Picture leant itself to a comic book adaptation, The Search for Spock is not quite as nice a fit for the medium. The movie’s plot is quite complicated, with lots of things going on at different times with different characters in different locations. One of the joys of the film is the way that it tries to turn Star Trek into an ensemble piece in Spock’s absence, with each of the main characters getting a moment in the sun during the Enterprise jailbreak. The comic simply doesn’t have the space to do this, and the result is an adaptation feels a little compressed.

At the same time, though, writer Mike W. Barr does get to showcase his love of the franchise, and his deft technical skill.

Let's see what's out there...

Let’s see what’s out there…

Continue reading