REVIEW: Star Trek: New Visions Special “The Cage”

IDW continue to scour the galaxy in an effort to engage the minds of Trekkies, Trekkers and those that may not care.  Given that the new movie featuring the New Timeline is about come into orbit, it is a little surprising that IDW continue to focus on “where most people have gone before!”

New Visions isn’t a particularly new idea over here in the UK.  Back in the 80’s, a resurgent Eagle comic featured a traditional penciled Dan Dare strip, surrounded by a number of photo stories.  New Visions have taken the idea a step forward, applying the idea of using stills from the Classic Trek show and applying them in new stories.  Where the wheels fall of this wagon train to the stars, is that this book is a straight up adaptation of the very first episode, The Cage which was so roundly disliked, executives ordered another pilot episode altogether.

John Byrne was shown a remarkable amount of ingenuity with previous issues of New Visions.  I am sure that readers of the ongoing book challenge themselves to determine from which episode a particular picture may be from.  In addition, the stories have been Trek-like for the most part with Byrne showing a great deal of skill marrying a story with disjointed pictures.  Here, he doesn’t have that problem which may seem like a good idea, but in essences takes away the cleverness of the project.  After all, as I have seen the original more time than I can remember (both in its original format and in the two parter “The Menagerie), there is no reason why I would be interested in this.  For me, the format takes away some of the nuances, excitement and scale of what Gene Roddenberry was trying to create.  There is no shouting Spock, showing more emotions in one episode than he would muster for the majority of the show’s run; the enigmatic Number One who as a female and a first officer was the first of many social comments that Roddenberry would tackle; Vina dancing; the Rigelian and finally the arrogant alien-ness of the inhabitants of Talos IV.

Straight up adaptations don’t interest me.  This book doesn’t add anything to the Trek mythos.  I understand it’s a “50 years of Star Trek” celebration issue, and I can see that there is a higher page count than you’d expect.  Still, I also think charging $7.99 for this re-tread is a bit steep.  If you are a Trek fan who wants to celebrate 50 years of your show, surely there has to be a better way than buying  a book that detracts from the original episode quicker than a warp core breach.

(W) John Byrne (A) John Bryne (CA) John Byrne
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