Review – Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Echoes #1 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Marc Guddenheim
Artist: Oleg Chudakov
Colorist: DC Alonso
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Release Date: 17th May 2023

For those Trekkies who enjoyed the sci-fi franchise’s 1979 motion picture, this twenty-two-page plot should assure them that IDW Publishing and Paramount Global were right to allow Marc Guggenheim to revisit that time period. For whilst the dialogue-driven narrative perhaps lacks a little in the way of action, aside from a brief clash between extra-terrestrial space vessels at its start, the comic’s somewhat sedentary pace rather beautifully captures the atmospheric tone of the distinctive Silver Screen setting.

Indeed, apart from a couple of arguably jarring moments, such as when James Kirk is scolded for addressing a fellow Starfleet Admiral by their first name instead of their rank and a brief reference to the Bajorans, issue one of Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Echoes could have believably been adapted from an overlooked manuscript penned by screenwriter Harold Livingston himself; “I knew when Heihachrio Nogura agreed to your proposal of a shakedown cruise, it was only a matter of time before you contrived some reason to stay in the centre seat.”

Foremost of these successes is the way Guggenheim wonderfully captures the complex relationship between the U.S.S. Enterprise’s three senior officers. Kirk, Spock and McCoy all act and sound as if they were once again being portrayed by their respective actors, with the Constitution-class starship’s doctor proving particularly memorable when his permanent presence aboard is questioned by Christine Chapel after he made such a fuss over being drafted at the start of the “V’Ger Crisis.” However, the dialogue between Pavel Chekov and Hikaru Sulu is delivered just as well, especially when the pair are sat working together on the vessel’s bridge.

Helping this nostalgic yarn remain true to Robert Fletcher’s somewhat controversial look of the movie is Oleg Chudakov, whose slightly cartoony-looking characters still readily depict all the drama taking place within the “almost totally new” Enterprise’s claustrophobic corridors and meeting rooms. In fact, one of the highlights of this comic is when the Federation vessel suddenly appears alongside General Nyota Uhura’s much smaller-sized fighter as the refitted Class 1 Heavy Cruiser is incredibly well-pencilled, and helps stamp this publication’s determination for attention to detail straight from the start.


The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

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