Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever (IDW)
Written by Harlan Ellison, Art by J.K. Woodward
“The City on the Edge of Forever” is a classic episode of Star Trek. The original teleplay was written by the prolific writer Harlan Ellison, though it was deemed not Star Trek enough and several rewrites were performed by both Ellison and several show editors and producers including Gene Roddenberry. Now IDW is releasing Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Tomorrow, a comic based on that original teleplay. Most recently released was issue number three.
City on the Edge of Forever is a great example of science fiction writing. At least so far I have to agree that much of it doesn’t feel like Star Trek, particularly the characterization of Spock, who seems more emotional than a Vulcan should be. I am fascinated by the idea that one person can have such a singular impact on historical events that changing their lives also completely changes history, which is exactly what happened in this story. While it may not be hard to imagine that someone like Roosevelt or Churchill might have that much historical impact, it’s much more difficult to picture that from an unknown person, which is exactly where Ellison goes with this story. The dialogue is cleverly written and properly captures the time period in which it is set, making the reader fit in immediately. The teleplay was initially too long for television, and it does feel drawn out a little for a comic as well. This may also be due to a desire to be as accurate to the original text as possible, which I can respect and deal with if it gives me a more accurate telling of this famed story.
Doesn’t Kirk look tired?
The art is not what I would normally expect from IDW. Last week I gushed about the beautiful art in Little Nemo and I’m pleased to see more excellent art in a different title. J.K. Woodward has a wonderful, painterly style that fits with the story. I’m amazed at how much the characters actually look like Kirk and Spock. Often when artists attempt to recreate actors on the comic page, it either doesn’t look like them or looks like some kind of creepy doppelganger. Woodward also manages to convey great emotion through his characters. At one point Kirk and Spock are working to earn room and board and Kirk genuinely looks worn out by the end of the scene. The use of various color palettes is pleasing as well, alternating between bold and more muted colors as the situation dictates.
While I’m disappointed that this particular version never became an episode of television, I am glad for the chance to read it in one of my favorite formats. 4/5 Death Stars.
Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Ed McGuinness
Since the re-launch of Guardians of the Galaxy there has been one question on everyone’s mind: what happened to Richard Ryder a.k.a. Nova? I know I’m not the only one wondering about this because I’m certain someone else mentioned it to me before I understood what it meant. With Guardians of the Galaxy #18, readers are beginning to find out.
I say begin, because unfortunately, there is not actually a conclusion to the story this issue, which sums up my biggest complaint about the book. There were several great looking double page spreads of Nova and Star-Lord fighting Thanos, but I’m not certain that they were all necessary. The story could have moved along a bit more quickly, and maybe even wrapped up in one issue. To be fair, there may be more to the story than I’m anticipating at this point and I may re-evaluate after the story does wrap up. I have to say this was otherwise a nice issue of Guardians that spent most of its time at the end of the Abnett/Lanning run and the Thanos Imperative, which is nice. Since Abnett and Lanning aren’t writing this issue, I’m gladder than ever that Brian Michael Bendis is writing this series. He does justice to the characters as they stood at the time the events are taking place, instead of just doing whatever he pleases, as other writers might do. I would like to know more about how Star-Lord got himself into his current predicament, but I have faith that we’ll get some of that information in issues to come.
Ed McGuinness is no slouch when it comes to art and I’m glad that he is doing the interiors. I’m hoping that McGuinness will be able to stay on the book for a while, because I thoroughly enjoyed the art on this issue. Over the run of the book there have been several artists, most not sticking around past a single story arc. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, I would like a more consistent look to the book, and I wasn’t overly thrilled with the previous art team. The interiors remind me more of the earlier issues of both this volume as well as the previous. As I mentioned before the double page spreads of Nova and Star-Lord were great, and McGuinness made a real effort to make the characters look like they did during the events of the Thanos Imperative.
For several weeks I have been thinking how much I can’t wait to see what happened to Richard Ryder. While I’m not there quite yet, the story is off to a great start. 4/5 Death Stars
Since our change in programming, Tracy and I have been debating what to do in the event of a fifth Friday in the month. In the end we decided to review various geek products and services. It gives us a chance to enhance our geeky lives, and lets you find out if things are worthwhile, without having to drop that oh-so-precious cash only to be disappointed. This month we’ll be talking about Loot Crate.
I’ve been on the hunt for a new game recently. Dark Souls 2 was a bit of a disappointment, though the DLC has alleviated that a little. Still, choosing a game to play has been a bit of a task since life doesn’t offer as much time as it used to for research like reading and talking to other gamers. After about a week of trying out several games I own of differing genres, I settled on the idea that I need to get back to my roots. A good JRPG style game is what fit the bill. This called for a pilgrimage to the game store—a sacred time for any gamer on the hunt. These trips are usually very ordinary: a clean store, friendly staff perhaps preoccupied with a conversation about the latest releases, and a few people perusing the wares. I headed out to my local game store (let’s call them Potsemag just for anonymity’s sake.) When I arrived, I was greeted in the usual way, an enthusiastic, “Welcome to Potsemag!” Continue reading