Review: Star Trek Annual 2013

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A special extra-length, one-of-a-kind “fotonovel” sequel to a beloved classic! Years ago, James Kirk saved his ship, but the price was the life of his oldest friend in Starfleet—or was it? The crew of the starship ENTERPRISE faces a staggering discovery in a brand-new “episode” of the original STAR TREK.

trekThe 2013 Star Trek annual features a special extra-long lost story of the original crew of the Enterprise. This annual is also a fotonovel, using stills from the TV series to bring the lost mission to life on the page. This blast from the past style of storytelling is handled by John Byrne. The only other hands on this are Crhis Ryall’s, who served as an editor. So does this unique storytelling style offer up something good or do we cross the border to novelty?

The Enterprise crew is getting some strange readings on the scanners. They’re not able to pinpoint the source, but Spock is able to get a good enough reading by “measuring where the signal is not coming from” and is able to isolate it. The readings are coming from a planet called Delta Vega. That name causes some alarm bells to go off. The Captain recruits his landing party and sets out to find the signal’s source. What he actually finds is someone he long thought dead. Gary Mitchell is a name that haunts Jim Kirk, and it has come back. What mysteries does Delta Vega hold? Can Kirk survive this trip into madness?

Byrne presents a good Star Trek story. This follows right along with the series and serves as about a direct a sequel to the Gary Mitchell story as you can get. This fits snuggly into the TV mythos without stepping on any toes. The fotonovel approach is a bit of retro fun that serves the story well. That style used to be all the rage, but the advent of VHS killed fotonovels off. It’s a good way to liven and shake comics up. It’s nice for an annual and an issue every once in a while, but more than an occasional trip into that land would quickly get old. With over 40 pages there are of course some images and scenes that don’t blend as organically as others, but that’s part of the fun in a lot of ways.

Bottom Line: Star Trek Annual 2013 is a great story and a nice chunk of nostalgia. If you’re a big Star Trek the original series fan or a fan of the old fotonovels, this one is definitely for you. It’s not the best introduction into Trek comics if you’re looking to get your feet wet since it helps to know a little about Gary Mitchell, but it’s a neat annual. Like Gary Mitchell transcended his human form, this one transcends a definitive grade. Big Trekkies and retro fans will want to pick this one up though.

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