Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Star Trek: Countdown #3 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN No. 3, March 2009
Apparently “the first comic to be released in stores and on the iPhone on the same day”, this third instalment to Mike Johnson and Tim Jones’ “official prequel to the upcoming motion picture” almost exclusively focuses upon Nero’s descendent into barbaric madness and additionally provides a somewhat contrived explanation as to how the mining captain’s space-craft would prove so incredibly formidable once it had travelled back in time to the 23rd century, and encountered the U.S.S. Kelvin. Indeed, in many ways it’s hard to imagine a swifter descent into homicidal mania for the “particularly troubled Romulan”, and a more fortuitous encounter in order to better arm one of the Star Empire’s light drilling vessels…

Admittedly, this comic’s narrative starts with actor Eric Bana’s emotionally distraught character brimming with tears at the sight of his wife and unborn child’s death, yet in the very next panel the authors would have their increasing 12,486-strong audience believe the grieving widower is “suddenly, strangely… calm” and capable of instantly forming a stratagem which will persuade the nearby Federation planetary evacuation fleet into dropping their shields so he can teleport massively destructive explosive charges aboard the vessels; “I have several injured refugees in need of medical attention. Can I beam them to your ships now?” To make matters worse, the driller doesn’t even rationalise his appallingly merciless behaviour as revenge, but rather states, presumably in some advanced case of prompt paranoia, that Starfleet is only there “to claim Romulan space for their own”?

Just as arguably grating is Nero’s incredible good luck at being “hailed by the ruling council” from their senate shuttle and, having butchered the ever-egotistical praetor, subsequent attainment of the encrypted code required to enter the Vault; a station which “is the last hope of the Romulan Empire.” Not only does this amazing coincidence place the captain in contact with the commander of “an advanced military facility whose existence is known only to the Romulan High Command” and who seemingly doesn’t care whether he’s lied to her just as long as he obtains “vengeance for all of the survivors of Romulus”. But also provides his “simple mining vessel” with “the most advanced weapons system in the galaxy” courtesy of the Borg…

All of these “Trials and Tribble-ations” are pencilled by David Messina competently enough, with his imagery of Nero receiving his “ancient symbols of love and loss” upon his forehead proving a particularly impressive illustration. However, the Scuola Internazionale di Comics graduate does seem to struggle with the likenesses of some of this comic’s other more recognisable cast members, such as Ambassador Spock and Jean-Luc Picard, and resultantly these sequences can prove a little troubling to the eye.

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Story: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, and Writers: Mike Johnson & Tim Jones

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