Review: Star Trek Countdown To Darkness #2

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Don’t miss the next chapter in this exclusive comics prequel to next summer’s blockbuster STAR TREK movie! New characters and new conflicts threaten Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise in this all-new story overseen by STAR TREK movie writer/producer Roberto Orci!

The comic book prequel to the JJ Abrams directed Star Trek Into Darkness continues this month from IDW. The second issue signals we are another month closer to the movie’s release and finding out the real story to the official comic prequel. The story is from Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson with Johnson handling the book’s script. David Messina handles art with Marina Castelvetro helping with inks. Claudia Scarletgothica handles colors with Chris Mowry tackling letters.

countdown to darkness coverThe story picks up as Kirk and Spock discover the mysterious man who showed up at the end of the last issue is Captain Robert April, the long-missing and presumed dead captain of the USS Enterprise. April is on Phaedus IV during the middle of a planetary civil war. As Kirk, Spock, and April run for their lives on the battlefield, we start to unravel the mystery of why April is on the planet and not dead like everyone believes he is. In between learning that mystery and dodging explosions, we flash back to the Enterprise every now and again as the crew try to decide what their next move will be. Will they send another party out to look for Kirk, Spock, Sulu, and random Red shirts or will they wait it out? A ship approaches the basic Class-M planet and the Enterprise is going to find out why.

Johnson writer a good story. We get all the information on why Captain April is there, what made people think he was dead, what’s happening on the world, and where Sulu and random Red shirt are while this issue unfolds. It’s a solid story, but nothing about Countdown to Darkness feels like a movie tie-in comic. It seems like this is a regular adventure that can be done and in the Captain’s logs in no time flat. There’s nothing that makes you think it’s hinting at the upcoming movie. That’s fine for most comics, but you’re expecting more when you have “The Official Comic Prequel To Star Trek Into Darkness” plastered across the cover. Messina’s art in the book is handled well. The background and detail works is great, but when it comes to expression it all seems a bit glassy. The characters are recognizable, but Messina gives it a little twist. The colors help sell a lot of the more action oriented scenes.

Bottom Line: Countdown to Darkness has been a solid Star Trek book, but it doesn’t feel like we’re getting hints and clues about the movie it’s promoting. You do have to give it credit for being a story accessible to all audiences while still giving nods to longtime fans of the series. With things in place now, hopefully Countdown to Darkness can kick it into high gear 3.5/5

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