Monday, August 08, 2016

Gold Key Comics - TOS #1-20

#1 1967 "The Planet of No Return"
Kirk and crew must save Rand from a planet where plants are alpha. Man-eating trees  are not something that Star Trek has really ever done, so I very much enjoyed the originality. This will be the third time I was traumatized by a tree, the other two being; after watching the Wizard of Oz and that time that a giant Spruce was my camp counselor...

#12 1971 "The Flight of the Buccaneer"

Great cover art and a fun story line. Kirk, Bones, Spock and Scotty go undercover  to infiltrate space pirates. Although, why future pirates still look and talk like it's the 17th century I have no idea. Also, they fly a giant wooden Pirate ship??? My favorite part is when Kirk uses his undercover Pirate name .... Kirk. Anyway, loved it.

#13 1972 "The Dark Traveler"

The greatness to this lies in the Dark Traveler. I like when a new character actually stands out. The Dark Traveler is an intergalactic hitchhiker, in a dark robe, looks like Conrad Bain, is very laid back and has Q-like powers.



#15 1972 "Museum at the End of Time"

The Enterprise ends up trapped in The Curator's museum. The Curator is rather similar to The Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy. In this story, the Enterprise crew must work together with a Klingon crew in order to escape. Previously in these comics, the Klingon's had looked like Telly Savalas (bald, white dudes). Now finally they have a real looking Klingon (be it in the TOS style).

#16 1972 "Day of Inquisitors"

The Galileo crashes on a planet that is still in the Dark Ages. They are currently in the midst of a religious inquisition. I always enjoy when Star Trek does Dark Age plots. As an added bonus, Spock gets whipped in this one, ...it's very erotic...

Gold Key 1967-1979 (61 Issues) - TOS

Gold Key produced the first Star Trek Comics in 1967 (after issue 20 they mostly switch over to Whitman Comics). The first few covers contain still-photos mixed with some artistic rendering. Eventually they ditch the photos. Either way, both versions are beautifully done. The cover art later on (mostly by George Wilson) is amazing, as is the interior art (mostly by Alberto Giolitti). The depictions of the crew members are about as spot on as it gets.

The first handful of these comics were made mostly by Italians who had never even seen the show. Because of this, there are many inconsistencies and these comics are generally considered non-canon. Some problems are; wrong uniform colors, Spock is too human, Scotty looks Aryan, they say stuff like - "up the periscope", "fire ray guns" and "teleportation chamber". Kirk talks like Robin from the old Batman show, using phrases like "Galloping Galaxies!" The Enterprise brings heavy machinery down to planets, like dump truck and excavators?? In one comic, a crewman unleashes evil ghosts by accidentally opening the wrong door while searching for toilet paper?!?!

Despite all of this... these comics are great. The art is wonderful and writing (Len Wein, Arnold Drake etc) is creative and engaging. My plan is to read these comics in groups of 20 and then select my top 5.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Star Trek: The Manga

So what to say about Star Trek The Manga. Well, if you hate Manga then you will probably still hate these. If you like Manga, then you will probably still hate these. If you like Manga and also like Star Trek, then you may enjoy these.


I actually found a lot to like in these books. For one, many of the plots are very original and interesting. I found the writing to be excellent and some of the artwork extraordinary. The "set" consists of 4 books, 3 TOS and 1 TNG. Each book has 4-5 stories, each one with a different writer and artist. So they are almost like mini Manga compilations.

Book One: Shinsei Shinsei (2006)

    Side Effects - Right away I was hooked on this story (Chris Dows). The Enterprise stumbles upon a disabled ship in which the inhabitants are either dead or in suspended animation. They find that some have reanimated, and one female seems to be incredibly powerful. These people had been subjects in some sort of genetic engineering experiment and this one particular subject has become far more advanced the the others. The battle with her culminates in a shocking revelation about her future. I may have actually gasped at this. Great Manga artwork in this one (Makoto Nakatsuka)

    Anything But Alone - Another good story (Joshua Ortega). Typical setup of: the away team goes to a planet and Kirk flirts with a woman. The woman is not what she seems, in fact the entire planet is not what it seems. How this world was created, is quite amazing.

    Til Death - Not a fan of the art. It reminds me of everything from MTV's Liquid Television. I'm not really one to complain, Koko the Gorilla can draw better than me. But anyway, the plot starts off with a wedding and ends up with a male vs female fight to death.

    Oban - A cute little worm thing that ends up being anything but a cute little worm thing. I always enjoy these "Trouble with Tribbles" type of story lines.

    Orphans - Excellent. They use one thing that I have never really seen in Star Trek, Mechs. Picture Robotech. The Enterprise is suddenly attacked by Mechs being controlled by children. The Enterprise takes one prisoner and Kirk soon takes him under his wing.


Book Two: Kakan ni Shinkou (2007)

   Cura Ti Ipsum - Lot of death in this one. First an explosion on the Enterprise kills a bunch of crew members, then after beaming to a planet and getting attacked, a phaser issue causes an explosion that kills a bunch of inhabitants. This thrusts Kirk into the center of a war between two factions ... and of course he meets a woman. Story by Wil Wheaton!

    The Trial - I'm still not sure I understand this one. Kirk gets abducted and put on trial by a race of aliens... for seemingly no reason. I'm sure there is some deep meaning to this story, but I'm a simple moron and don't get it.

    Communication Breakdown - This takes place just after the Enterprise encounter with Nomad. Uhura is just getting her memory back. The crew beam down to a planet and it looks like a relatively nice civilization. Uhura however senses that something is wrong ... but nobody will believe her. Loved this story (Christine Boylan).

    Scaean Gate - A Bones love story ... it's rarely done. Bones and a stuck up Queen form an unlikely bond. But, is it too good to be true? Is it?? Well! IS IT??? Anyway, the art was really nice in this one (Don Hudson). It was not Manga style, but more of something you would see in older comics. The depictions of Spock, Kirk and Bones are pretty spot on.

    Forging Alliances - Kirk, Bones and Spock go to Vulcan and meet up with Sarek. They are about to have a weird Vulcan ceremony. For an advanced race, they sure have some bizarre arcane ceremonies. Well, suddenly everyone starts acting weird and Spock turns into a loudmouth jerk. Things get complicated when a feral Vulcan boy shows up.
 
Book Three: Uchu (2008)

    Art of War - Another story by Wil Wheaton! It's a great one too. It jumps between a Strafleet trial for Kirk and a Klingon trial for Commander Kring. Both charged with questionable actions in the same incident, but each trial takes a very different course.

    Bandi - Another great "Tribbles" type of episode. Funny thing is that this story was written by David Gerrold, the writer of "Trouble with Tribbles". This one involves a cute little bear that has incredible powers. I really enjoyed this one; very fun and very funny. Again, another great job by artist Don Hudson.

    The Humanitarian -Spock has temporary command of the ship and everything seems to go wrong. He finds himself dealing with numerous tragedy's and the surprising effect that it has on his own emotions. Well done.

    Inalienable Rights - Not very groundbreaking, but certainly right in line with TOS episodes. The crew encounter a planet in which the government keep the population oppressed. This includes all of the intellectuals. Kirk "befriends" a female scientist and he tries to convince the government that it would be more productive to work as one.... that's sort of the plot... I think.

Book 4: TNG Boukenshin
    Changeling - Another story by David Gerrold. The art is by EJ Su who does a few stories in this series and I do like his style. Although overall, I have decided that it is impossible for anyone to draw Picard without him looking like the Perdue chicken guy. This story was fun...but weird as hell. In order to teach Wesley Crusher a lesson, the crew plays a joke on him. They trick him into thinking that he is turning into a woman, a black guy, and a Klingon.

    Sensation - A contagion is running rampant on the ship and only Dr. Crusher and Troi can save the day. Could this be linked to the archeological dig on the planet below? Of course it fucking is.

    The Picardian Knot - Another Don Hudson masterpiece. The story starts off great. Picard has a weird encounter with Sarek and soon loses his emotions. Then they encounter the Romulans and Picard is way off his game. Matters are complicated when a mysterious Romulan artifact is found on board. What the artifact really is may ... ugh ... shock you.

    Loyalty - This one takes place soon after Picard is saved from the Borg. He is still recovering from the whole Locutus thing. Meanwhile Riker must defend Picards honor at a Starfleet tribunal. This could be a career ender for Riker.

Overall, I liked this series of Manga's. The stories far exceeded my expectations. I must admit however that TNG does not make for a good Manga. It's much too cerebral and dialogue driven. TOS is perfect because it's...well, lets face it, sort of dumb.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Star Trek: Nemesis

Acting was great, plot was average, execution ... not great. Tom Hardy was fantastic as the villain Shinzon, as was Ron Perlman and all of the original cast. All did an excellent job. The plot revolves around Shinzon (who is a young clone of Picard or something) who has now taken over the Romulan Empire (I think). Picard and crew meet Shinzon and he seems a little bit insane. They discover that Shinzon is dying and needs Picards blood (I assumed). Eventually Shinzon abducts Picard and B-4 (Data's inferior brother, who they had found on a nearby planet ... sort of like Clint Howard). Picard escapes with the help of B-4 (who is actually Data, pretending to be B-4). Back on the Enterprise they confront Shinzon in a ship to ship battle, eventually ramming his ship with the Enterprise. Picard makes his way to Shinzon and stabs him, meanwhile Data dies while destroying the enemy ship.

Back on Enterprise, everyone is sad because Data is dead. Picard eventually realizes that Data transferred his program into B-4. Eventually they will be one in the same. Most people did not enjoy this movie. It certainly was not terrible, just incredibly average. When it becomes obvious that Shinzon and Picard are connected in some way, I was waiting for Shinzon to say that he was Picard's son. Like at some point during TNG Picard knocked-up some random alien woman. That would be more believable.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Voyager/Star Trek Reflection

I will begin this by saying that I did not hate Voyager. I didn't love it, but I was far from hating it. All that I have ever heard were bad things about Voyager. When it was on TV, I never bothered to watch a single episode. To be honest, I think when I was young I was put off by a Star trek show with a female Captain. But, Janeway was a decent character. She was never in your face or over the top, and for the most part her personal life stayed completely out of the series. Janeway was always just a Starship Captain. As for 7 of 9, I never warmed up to her. She was the opposite of Janeway, the charcter was always in your face and her personal life was always the center of things. I enjoyed Kes and at times I may have even like Chakotay. As for Torres, Paris and Harry ... all shit. Neelix was mostly unlikeable but it was hard to not like him ... if that makes sense. By far The Doctor was the greatest character in Voyager, and Robert Picardo may be the best actor on the show. In general, the show was far more watchable than I expected. I didn't even feel like hanging myself until well into season 6!


I started this journey on 7/16/2011 with the first episode of Enterprise. My goal was to watch every episode/movie in timeline order. Which I did, although it took me 5 years ... just like Captain Kirk's mission, hmmm ironic. Nonetheless, I regret almost none of this! I wish I could say that it brought be closer to Star Trek, but mostly it just made me become annoyed by it. Oh well. So what was the point of all of this? Literally, no point.


Now I have one more movie to watch, Nemesis. Also, the new Star Trek movie in a few months ... and I guess this new show coming in 2017. So even though the meat and potatos of the journey has come to an end, there is still more to come ...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Star Trek VGR Episode 172 - Endgame Pt. 2

Admiral Janeway goes to confront the Borg Queen. She is captured and it seems like she will die, but she unleashes a deadly pathogen that kills the Queen and most of the Borg's. Voyager then goes through the hub, but are followed by a remaining Borg ship. Admiral Janeway goes to the Borg ship and plants a bomb. Voyager makes it through the hub, the Borg ship explodes... destroying the transwarp hub. Now home, Janeway ends the series by saying "Set course... for home." Some of the reveals are that Janeway is an Admiral, Tuvok is in an insane asylum, Kim is a Captain and I forget the rest... This was an OK final episode. Acting was good, plot was fair but not fantastic, visuals were excellent. I always like seeing Starships flying in a planets atmosphere.

172 down 0 to go!

Star Trek VGR Episode 171 - Endgame Pt. 1

Well, it's the end of Voyager. In 2024 Admiral Janeway decides to go back in time to talk to Captain Janeway. It takes awhile to convince herself that she is...herself. Finally she tells Capt. Janeway to go back into the area of Borg space that they escaped from a few seasons back. It seems like a suicide mission, but she says it's important. So they sneak into Borg space and discover a transwarp hub. Capt. Janeway tries to destroy it, but the Borg Queen stops the attack. Admiral Janeway explains that they need this transwarp hub because it will allow them to get home 16 years earlier. This is important because the way things really played out it took them 23 years to get home and many of them died on the way. Captain Janeway still sees that it is more important to stop the Borg's spread, then to make it home sooner. Admiral Janeway then works on a plan to both use the hub AND destroy it...

171 down 1 to go

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Star Trek VGR Episode 170 - Renaissance Man

Janeway and The Doctor are taken by an alien race. The want The Doctor to steal the warp core in exchange for Janeway's freedom. She tells him to not do it, but The Doctor refuses her order. He doesn't want to see her die. So The Doctor turns himself into a hologram of Janeway and infiltrates Voyager. Tuvok eventually becomes suspicious but it's too late, The Doctor has stolen the core. He did however, leave Paris and Tuvok a clue. They follow the clue right to Janeway and defeat the aliens, saving Janeway and keeping the warp core. The episode was okay, but I was expecting something better for most likely the final "Doctor themed" episode.

170 down 2 to go

Star Trek VGR Episode 169 - Homestead

"Voyager encounters a Talaxian settlement leaving Neelix with the difficult decision of whether to leave the crew."

While celebrating "First Contact Day", Voyager suddenly discovers a strange asteroid. Paris and Neelix go to examine it and find miners on it, but also Talaxians. Neelix is shocked because he assumed he was the only one left. He meets a widowed woman with a young son and they fall for each other (Neelix and the woman that is). She explains that the survivors have been going from planet to planet trying to find a home. They really like this asteroid but the miners want them gone. Neelix assists in deploying a shield around the asteroid in order to keep the miners out. He then decides to stay with his people. Janeway makes him an Ambassador, allowing him to live with the Talaxians but still be in contact with Voyager. I must admit, I was a little sad to see Neelix go.

169 down 3 to go

Star Trek VGR Episode 168 - Natural Law

"Seven and Chakotay are stranded on a planet with primitive humanoids."

Thankfully they don't really hook-up or anything because really, Chakotay?, please. He ends getting inured and Seven looks for help. They both end up meeting with a primitive culture. Both are impressed by this culture but try not to influence them too much. This doesn't work because soon the people become intrigued by Chakotay's tattoos and Seven's implant.

Meanwhile, Paris gets in trouble for reckless driving and has to go to drivers training class?? Whatever. It's on the same planet that Chakotay/7 are on. You find out that there is a barrier separating the old culture and the new. The crew struggle with the idea of removing the barrier or leaving it there.

168 down 4 to go

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Star Trek VGR Episode 167 - Friendship One

Voyager now has regular communication with Starfleet. They are then sent on a mission to retrieve a Starfleet Probe named Friendship One. It had been sent years earlier and is believed to be in Voyagers location. They track it down to a planet. This planet has been devastated by nuclear winter. They find the surviving population sick and basically starving. Soon some of Voyagers crew are taken hostage. It is revealed that Friendship One had caused the devastation of the planet. After some fighting back and forth, Janeway finally works out a deal to restore the planets environment. After giving them aid and supplies, Voyager launches probes into the atmosphere which causes the planet to soon become sunny.

167 down 5 to go