Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Star Trek #2 - Marvel Comics

STAR TREK No. 2, May 1980
Predominantly focusing upon the increasing tension being felt aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise’s recently refurbished bridge, Marv Wolfman’s “edits” for Issue Two of “Star Trek” arguably made this middle instalment to his ‘motion picture adaption’ an extremely agreeable reading experience. In fact, this eighteen-page periodical debatably proves just how exciting Harold Livingston’s movie screenplay may well have been, had its more dynamic sequences not been persistently plagued by lengthy, special effect-obsessed intermissions fixated upon the sheer size (and extra-terrestrial splendour) of V'ger's interior design; “Adjust parallel course, Navigator. Bring us in to one hundred kilometres distance.” 

Much of this success is due to some nicely-paced layouts energetically-pencilled by Dave Cockrum, coupled with plenty of punchy dialogue. The intruding space vessel’s attack upon the Constitution-class Starship is a good example of this creative collaboration, where the lethal threat of the twelfth powered craft’s second "whiplash bolt" and the resultant apprehensive atmosphere of Admiral James Kirk’s crew, is swiftly ramped up through a series of small(ish) panels depicting the various cast’s response to the mysterious cloud’s initial assault.

This ‘action over exposition’ stance is similarly as successful when it comes to the alien’s probe attempting to assimilate Starfleet strength and the records of Earth’s defences by taking control of the Enterprise’s ship computer. The “sophisticated plasma energy source” is well-visualised by the co-creator of “the new X-Men characters Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus”, and quickly demonstrates its deadliness through a flurry of well-sketched pictures depicting it completely evaporating both a hapless security guard and “the lithe Deltan” Lieutenant Ilia.

Perhaps this publication’s biggest draw though, can be found in the few instances where the New Yorker’s script somewhat diverts from the dialogue actually depicted on the Silver Screen. It is wildly known these days that “several scenes shot for Star Trek: The Motion Picture never made it into the theatrical release of the film.” However, they do seem to have made it into this comic, with a somewhat strange scene showing Doctor McCoy berating the uncharacteristically angry Commander Spock for the Vulcan people’s inability to create art, music and poetry accompanying the aforementioned vaporisation of poor Security Officer Phillips.

Script/Edits: Marv Wolfman, Pencils: Dave Cockrum, and Inks: Klaus Janson

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