Behind some fantastic covers, depicting everyone’s favourite Vulcan, who looks immovable against the mountains of his home planet, is a Trek story that tries very hard to honour Spock and by association, Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock.
Set between the new time line movies, Spock has the unique ability of being able to be in two places at the same time. Younger Spock remains in Starfleet, making “friends” with Kirk and Bones with elder Spock of to help sire his race on a new planet following the destruction of Vulcan as seen in the revamped Star Trek movie. Contrasting the fact that this arc consisting of a cast of “logical” characters, is the secondary fact it’s also a Trek book, meaning that at some point there is going to be a level of conflict that will need to be resolved.
Mike Johnson’s script carries a level weight that seems born from a couple of places. Firstly, Spock literally has the weight of a world on his shoulders and secondly, there is the expectation of the story being worthy of its titular character. For the most part, Johnson does remarkably well. Reading the book, I can imagine Spock delivering the script, I can almost touch the syntax and the nuances of delivery. The story itself is also pretty good, unsurprisingly, the problems that the Vulcans have are logical. The only problem I have with the story is the timing; set between the movies we have the knowledge that things will work out pretty well for elder Spock.
Tony Shasteen provides some excellent work in this issue. Books like this tend to annoy me after a while. It’s not the quality of the work I mind, it’s the photo reference style that exists between the panels. Normally what happens, the photo reference bits look great, with newer panels being less so. That problem does exist in the book, but with the strength of the story the reader can be swept up in the moment, which may be a saving grace in places for Shasteen. Davide Mastrolonardo provides the colors, adding a darkness that can be felt throughout elder Spock’s travails.
I have been critical of the Trek comic books, mainly due to my dislike of the new time line. Slowly, over time, I have seen that the new timeline serves up a number of holes that can be exploited for new adventures, regardless whether it’s the newer cast as seen in the Academy story, or a remembrance of what made Trek great in the first place.
Written by Mike Johnson
Art and cover by Tony Shasteen