Does this collection really boldly go where no graphic novel has gone before it? Is it even worthy of your time? Read on to find out.
The official description from IDW:
The countdown to the next Star Trek movie continues here. In “The Return of the Archons!” Kirk, Spock, and the crew search for a lost Starfleet ship that may hold clues to the future of the entire Federation and in “The Truth About Tribbles!” the crew of the Enterprise encounters the classic alien species in an all-new story inspired by the fan-favorite episode.
As far as trade paperbacks go, this one in all honesty has a very tempting and diverse package. We have two distinct story arcs and an excellent Forward (written by David Gerrold) that rounds out these intergalactic tales with a hint of candor and honesty which seem to be innate when discussing a fanboy’s perspective. I’m not going to tell you that this was a perfect slew of issues that instantly make up for any previous shortcomings in this series’ short history, but what I will say is that I had a lot of fun reading ‘em and I’m willing to bet that most Star Trek fans will too.
Mike Johnson does a very good job penning these two distinctive jaunts. He handles each issue’s script with a solid direction and footing that in all honestly creates a sturdy level of narrative control that can be quite hard to achieve let alone maintain. With that said, there are plenty of pages that are simply fraught with the perils of being overburdened with unnecessary context. The narration and dialogue are at times overly inflated to the point that the pace of these space romps are drawn to a lethargic crawl that may instantly make some readers close the book or skip ahead. Overall though the work done here carries the intrepid crew along their storied saga while offering some dramatic moments, human scenes and even some laugh-out-loud bits that will make any audience member grin ear-to-ear.
The work done by Stephen Molnar is honestly quite sophisticated as his skills bring about a well structured reality. The artist puts his best foot forward as he attempts to capture the latest cinematic representations of these classic characters but there are times where his style brings about some awkward faces and stiff movements. On the contrast Claudia Balboni seems more interested in delivering her unique vision of the newly established movie universe. With only somewhat light references to the source material her pencil strokes yield a more lighthearted representation that matches the mood of her two issue story arc while satisfying the need to deliver something somewhat believable. The end result from both of these talented individuals is a very engaging experience, as they both succeed in orchestrating a visually pleasing experience.
Star Trek Vol. 3 TP is a solid collection that will please its fanbase despite any minor narrative missteps. Ultimately what we have here is a good but not great buy that’s well worth the price of admission. Recommended.