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Comic Review: Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness
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Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness
Trade Paperback
Story by Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson
Script by Mike Johnson
Pencils by David Messina
Inks by Marina Castelvetro
Colors by Claudia Scarletgothica
Cover by David Messina and Claudia Scarletgothica
IDW Publishing
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Cover Price: $17.99

Anticipation is running high for the upcoming summer blockbuster season, and Star Trek Into Darkness is most certainly at the top of most fans’ lists as “˜must see’ material. The buzz surrounding the film has been so huge during the last year that it certainly feels to be an enthusing time to be a sci-fi geek. And in tradition to form with the previous Star Trek movie, IDW Publishing has released a prequel to the upcoming movie entitled Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness.

Prior to the events of the upcoming movie, the crew of the USS Enterprise, under the authority of Captain Kirk, arrives at the planet Phaedus to conduct a survey of the development of the intelligent race on the surface. Observing the protocol of the Prime Directive, the crew aims to observe the “iron age” home-grown species from orbit – until a high tech jamming signal from the planet disables communication and transporters.

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Comic Review: Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #3
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Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #3
Story by Roberto Orci & Mike Johnson
Script by Mike Johnson
Art by David Messina
Ink Assist by Marina Castelvetro
Colors by Claudia Scarletgothica
Letters by Chris Mowry
IDW Publishing
Release date: March 20, 2013
Cover price: $3.99

In the penultimate issue of Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness, the Enterprise hovers over the planet Phaedus, where on the ground, some of the crew’s Away Team is being held captive, while Kirk and Spock are still trying to figure out what the presumed dead Robert April is up to. The ship’s communications are still being jammed, so Uhura, who actually has the Conn, decides to leave her post to go in search of her comrades. And who does give the Conn to when she leaves? A most unlikely crew member, to humorous results.

But, there’s nothing funny about what’s happening down on the planet’s surface, where there’s two warring factions and everyone’s life is in danger. In Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #3, Spock, who’s still reeling from the destruction of his home planet, Vulcan, risks his life once more in an attempt to free Sulu and Hendorff (“Cupcake”), who were part of the away team that was immediately captured. Meanwhile, Kirk has to decided whether to get involved in the Phaedus civil war, while also trying to figure out what to do about April, who’s technically a Starfleet deserter, and whose story seems to change with each issue.

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Comic Review: Star Trek #17
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Star Trek #17
Written by Mike Johnson
Creative Consultant: Roberto Orci
Art by Claudia Balboni
Inks by Erica Duranti
Colors by Claudia SGC
Letters by Chris Mowry
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 6, 2032
Cover Price: $3.99

Star Trek #17 is a great single-issue story focusing on one of the most famous crew members of the Starship Enterprise. It’s part love letter, part space adventure, which adds up to one great comic!

Writer Mike Johnson turns in a fantastic tale of everyone’s favorite doctor, Leonard “Bones” McCoy. This is basically the untold origin of Bones – why he became a doctor, why he joined Starfleet, and just what happened with that ex-wife of his. This is a great character piece that could NEVER be told in a feature film, and if it was, would not be nearly as detailed as this story is. It’s got everything that makes it classic Star Trek, but told within the confines of the new films. It’s got heart, action, and humor, which makes this one great read.

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Comic Review: Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #1
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Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #1
Story by Roberto Orci & Mike Johnson
Script by Mike Johnson
Art by David Messina
Ink Assist by Marina Castelvetro
Colors by Claudia Scarletgothica
Letters by Chris Mowry
IDW Publishing
Release date: January 23, 2013
Cover price: $3.99

There’s a lot of anticipation for this summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek, which rebooted Gene Roddenbury’s beloved scifi universe and showed the popular crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise back in their Starfleet Academy days. For the 2009 film, IDW Publishing released Countdown, a limited comic book series that served as a prelude. For the sequel, IDW is doing the same, with the Countdown To Darkness, a 4-issue miniseries that bridges the gap between the two films.

Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #1 finds the newly assembled Enterprise crew months into their mission to explore strange new worlds. Unlike the experienced crew we’ve come to know from the original Star Trek series starring William Shatner, these officers are novices, having only recently graduated from the Academy. Sure, they’ve been through a lot in their young careers – having to face the vengeful, planet-destroying Romulan Nero, for example – but the fact remains, they still have a lot of growing up to do. Therefore, it’s no surprise that James T. Kirk, now Captain of the Enterprise, is still getting acclimated to the loneliness of command, while First Officer Spock, whose Vulcan heritage dictates that he keep his emotions in check, is subconsciously struggling with the outcome of the rescue mission he embarked on while his home world was in the process of being imploded.

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Comic Review: Star Trek #12
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Star Trek #12
Written by Mike Johnson
Art by Claudia Balboni
Colors by Arianna Florean
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Creative Consultant Roberto Orci
Editor Scott Dunbier
Cover by Claudia Balboni
IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 22, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Star Trek #12 is the finale to the two-part Tribbles story line. Yes, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the OLD or CLASSIC “Trouble with Tribbles” story. You even know that Captain Sisko & company revisited that episode in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But, as they say, this ain’t your father’s Star Trek!

Writer Mike Johnson puts a WHOLE new spin on the Tribbles tale, one that is probably the furthest yet removed from its original predecessor. Guided by Roberto Orci, this pretty much original story sticks to some of the same beats that that the original episode does, but that’s where the similarities end. Johnson takes us almost literally from one end of the Star Trek timeline to the other, and includes SO MUCH of the “new” Star Trek history, it’s a wonder that it didn’t take a dozen scriptwriters to proofread this comic.

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