Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido
kradical

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a good John Byrne comic book

The subject line had long been an oxymoron for me. Aside from Generations -- which, when I recently reread it, was less impressive than I remembered -- and Batman/Captain America -- which was magnificent -- almost nothing produced by John Byrne since roughly his Alpha Flight and Fantastic Four days was worth reading. (I still break out in hives when I think about his runs on Avengers West Coast and Wonder Woman...)

Today, that changed for the first time since Bat/Cap: IDW released the final issue of their first Star Trek: Alien Spotlight miniseries, in which each issue has focused on a different Trek species, each by a different creative team. This last issue focused on the Romulans and was written and drawn by Byrne.

Byrne's Trek fandom has long been evident, as he's put references to the series in his work for years, but this is his first actual comic (but not his last, as he's doing a bunch more work for IDW, starting with an Assignment: Earth comic debuting in May).

And it's a doozy. He provides a prequel to "Balance of Terror," with Mark Lenard's still-unnamed commander receiving the assignment that he carries out in "BoT," and wherein we learn more about the character. (But not his name. I don't know why I'm fixated on this, and I don't blame Byrne for not giving him one when Paul Schneider couldn't be arsed to in the original.) There's even a clever twist at the end.

I love the Alien Spotlight concept, and not just 'cause I'm writing an issue of the second miniseries. *wry grin* It gives a chance to explore different parts of the Trek universe, which is what tie-in fiction does best.

Of the other issues, I haven't yet gotten to the Gorn issue by Scott & David Tipton and David Messina. Of the remaining five, I think the best was the Orion issue by the Tiptons and Elena Cassagrande, which not only is a fun romp that has a cool Orion character at its center, it's also a good character study of Christopher Pike between his promotion to fleet captain and the accident that crippled him for life.

The Andorian issue by Paul D. Storrie and Leonard O'Grady was very nicely put together, also, and a fun read -- ditto the Romulan issue by Byrne, as said above.

Andrew Steven Harris said in an interview that the Borg issue that he and Sean Murphy did was originally a couple pages longer, and he had to cut it down, which I found amusing because my first thought upon finishing reading it was it needed to be a couple pages longer. Still good stuff, though, and Murphy's art was spectacular.

The only issue that disappointed me was the Vulcan issue by James Patrick and Josep Maria Beroy, mainly because Spock's really only a good character to use for a study in Vulcans if you're going to explore his suppression of his human side, because Spock isn't a Vulcan, he's a halfbreed Vulcan/human hybrid. It also bugs me that nobody ever forgets that B'Elanna Torres or Deanna Troi is a halfbreed, but it's routinely ignored/forgotten with Spock. I admit, though, that this is my personal bugbear, and others may react much better to the issue than I....

Overall, though, this was a damn fine miniseries. I'm looking forward to seeing what's done in the issues of the second miniseries that I'm not writing. *wry grin*
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  • on the WordPress blog

    Here's the latest from my WordPress blog.... Me on the Dice Geeks podcast talking about writing and stuff. I'm on a panel for Dragon Con's…

  • on the Word Press blog

    Here's what's been on DeCandido dot Word Press dot com over the last month..... My 2005 Spider-Man novel Down These Mean Streets will be released…

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