24 September 2015

Review: Star Trek: Captain's Log by J. K. Woodward et al.

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2011 (contents: 2010)

Acquired May 2012
Read May 2015
Star Trek: Captain's Log

Written by Stuart Moore, Scott and David Tipton, Marc Guggenheim, Keith R.A. DeCandido
Art by J. K. Woodward, Federica Manfredi, Andrew Currie
Colors by J. K. Woodward, Andrea Priorini, Moose Bauman
Color Assists by Chiara Cinabro
Lettering by Robbie Robbins, Neil Uyetake, Chris Mowry

This collection consist of four tales of Starfleet captains from the edges of the Star Trek universe: Christopher Pike of the original Enterprise from "The Cage" and "The Menagerie," Hikaru Sulu of the Excelsior from The Undiscovered Country, John Harriman of the Enterprise-B from Generations, and Edward Jellico of the Cairo from "Chain of Command." It's an okay set of okay stories, on the whole-- nothing great, nothing terrible, all pretty disposable.

The stories vary in quality and interest. The Pike tale, by Stuart Moore and J. K. Woodward, could be decent, but feels compelled to show up Pike's last mission on board that training vessel for the umpteenth time, and in a way that doesn't even really seem consistent with what "The Menagerie" establishes about it. Because it crams both that and an unseen "Cage"-era mission into 20 pages, there's not really time to do much of interest, though I appreciated seeing Yeoman Colt, long a favorite of mine from "The Cage" itself and the old Early Voyages comics. But thinking of Early Voyages just makes me regret that they didn't get Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton to do this one!

The Sulu story by the Tipton brothers and Federica Manfredi is decent, a showdown with the Tholians that lets old Hikaru show some backbone and gumption. Decent stuff, let down by Manfredi's inability to use the right starships in the artwork; the other Federation starship is Oberth class but suddenly becomes a Constitution in one panel, and one panel of the Excelsior streaking into warp is blatantly the original Enterprise, lifted from The Motion Picture.

The Harriman tale by Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Currie could be good, but it's let down by too much focus on a visiting Doctor McCoy and rehashing of old events, especially The Search for Spock and Generations. There are a lot of Harriman tales where he "proves" himself by overcoming someone's expectations; I'd rather Harriman tales just get on with him being awesome, as any captain of the Enterprise must be.

Finally, there's Keith R.A. DeCandido and J. K. Woodward's take on Jellico. Jellico defenders like to point out that he's just following protocol... while that might be true, good leaders don't act like assholes to their subordinates in the pursuit of protocol, either. I'm not convinced this is the redemptive take on Jellico it wants to be.

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