Review: Star Trek #17 Dr. McCoy One-Shot

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As the release of the next STAR TREK film gets closer, the ongoing series focuses on the never-been-seen origins of the Enterprise crew in the new movie timeline! First up is Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy: find out how the cantankerous miracle worker found himself on a shuttle to Starfleet Academy with James T. Kirk! With a story overseen by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci, this all-new tale sets the stage for the upcoming film!

IDW is going all out in the months leading up to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness. Besides the official tie-in comic, the Star Trek ongoing will take a look at the origins of the Enterprise’s crew. Starting with this month’s release, each issue will be a one-shot looking at a specific member of the crew. First up is Bones, as portrayed in the Abrams’ flicks by Karl Urban. The story is written by Mike Johnson and F. Leonard Johnson, M.D. with script writer Roberto Orcias a creative consultant. Claudia Balboni takes on art with Erica Durante handling inks. Chris Mowry takes on letters and Claudia SCG handles colors.

star trek coverThe story starts out with Dr. Leonard McCoy looking over a patient who contracted an unknown infection while on an away mission on an alien planet. While he is chatting with the man’s wife, who is also a crew member, she asks what made McCoy want to be a Starfleet Doctor in the first place. This triggers Bones’ memories of his childhood and his Doctor father as well as his college years. We learn what led to Bones going to medical school and how he used his doctor knowledge to break the ice with his future wife. What really changes McCoy’s perspective is a particularly hard case he had involving a little girl whom he couldn’t cure. This branches out to trouble in his marriage and eventual divorce as well as what led him to the academy. We even see glimpses of the first Abrams’ movie.

The Johnson’s write a fantastic story showing what makes Bones tick and why he’s on the Enterprise. We see everything from his childhood to him entering the academy. We learn what makes him favor more practical things rather than flashy technology. The scene showing the deterioration of his marriage is handled in one page and shows a series of transitions involving his bed. It’s an amazing scene that shows everything in only four panels. The art is great. It’s not a photorealistic interpretation of Karl Urban, but its close enough to please most everybody. The colors are bright and brilliant and help elevate some of the scenes. The way they set up the flashbacks as it were works for this particular story. It will be interesting to see how the other characters are explored, because the “why did you join Starfleet” leading to flashbacks will get old very fast.

Bottom Line: This is one of the rare movie tie-in comics that does more than simply tease us into watching the movie. You have a great standalone story that gives us a great character piece on Dr. McCoy. This works as a good profile for longtime fans as well as newcomers. I’ve never been a big Star Trek fan, but IDW’s recent offerings are slowly changing that 5/5

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