Publisher: IDW Publishing
Intro: Mike Johnson
Artist(s): Tim Bradstreet, J.K. Woodward, Tony Shasteen, David Messina, Rachael Stott, and more!
Release Date: 17th August, 2016
Let me start this review with a couple of confessions. Firstly, I am the son of a professional photographer and growing up looking at life through a lens I have a soft spot for good artwork, especially artwork which can capture a moment the same way a photo can. As such, I have a tendency to be drawn to the cover of a book by the artwork as opposed to the titular hero or heroine. My second confession is that I’m a huge Star Trek fan, I always have been and I always will be. I spent most of my youth devoutly following the voyages of the Starship Enterprise and the subsequent spin off’s that stood on the shoulders of Kirk, Spock and co.
So in this the 50th anniversary of the original series, you can imagine my giddy delight when I discovered that IDW Publishing were releasing a book celebrating the covers of the many comics which have been inspired by these voyages to strange new worlds.
This book is 58 pages of some of the best interpreted artwork I have ever seen and the abundance of talent bringing a unique perspective to the stories is truly a delight to absorb. There are honestly too many artists to list in one review, and each one has their own unique quirks that makes their cover special in its own right. However, for me there are a couple stunning covers which I absolutely loved;
Star Trek – Manifest Destiny #4 by Tony Shasteen & Bob Peak – The classic voyage home poster with the crew from the re-booted Kelvin universe is a gorgeous meld of old and new in so many shades of red that it makes a certain overrated book jealous it chose grey to have only fifty shades of.
ST:TNG – Hive #2 by David Messina & Ilaria Traversi – The foreboding image of Locutus of Borg sitting resplendent, mirroring the iconic Lincoln Memorial in Washington, captures the emotionless stare of the Borg leader in the pose of a President who fought to free a nation from the tyranny of slavery. The dichotomy of the cover makes for a powerful and provocative image.
Finally Harlan Elllison’s City on the Edge of Forever #1 by Juan Ortiz takes one of the best loved episodes of the original series and gives it the ‘pulp fiction’ makeover. The well thumbed cover has everything you would expect from a paperback thriller. From the essence of the 39 steps to the mystical eye centering a clock whose hands are made up by the shape of the USS Enterprise itself.
A special mention has to be given to a cover by J.K.Woodward for Manifest Destiny #2. His depiction of Anton Yelchin as Chekov surrounded by Klingons captures everything that this great actor brought to the role. You can almost hear his thick Russian accent exclaiming his predicament in the humorous yet authoritative tone he made his own.
This book isn’t just for fans of Star Trek, its for anyone who appreciates good artwork and should be an absolutely essential collector’s item for all sci-fi fans.
Rating: An unsurprising 5/5.
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The writer of this piece was: John Patterson
John Tweets from @jpeg37