Review: Star Trek Countdown To Darkness Trade Paperback

Review of: Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness
Product by:
Mike Johnson & Robert Orci

Reviewed by:
On April 10, 2013
Last modified:April 9, 2013


Countdown To Darkness is a fantastic prequel mini-series that lays the groundwork perfectly for the upcoming “Star Trek” sequel “Start Trek Into Darkness”. Definitely one not to miss out on.

I am a fan of Star Trek, a trekkie who loves the folklore and it’s characters of the series. New life was breathed into the iconic series by way of a new stylized film detailing the alternate reality caused by the time rift as the Romulans chased after Spock prime. Since then, the characters and their stories have been quite different and gave the film series it’s new canon to follow. A film later, we’re now counting down to darkness as the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, hits theaters May 17. Like the last film, a comic prequel by IDW was created detailing the events between it’s predecessor and the upcoming sequel. As the issues were previously reviewed by Cody, how does the story hold up as a complete trade?


The story was indeed interesting as Kirk, Spock, Sulu, and Red Shirt beam down to planet Phaedus IV in the middle of the civil war as the inhabitants are on the brink of being wiped out by the dominant race The Shadows. The main conflict of this story was the “Prime Directive”, as it forbids any involvement in the planet’s affairs. This didn’t sit well with Robert Kelly (argubly the first Enterprise Captain), the older Enterprise Captain long thought to be dead, but in reality beamed himself down to the planet with as much tech and weapons he could to aid in their defense. The morals of the enterprise crew are challenged and this is where I feel Kirk is coming to his own as Captain seeing the effects of the directive first hand. The story was easy to follow through and had many surprises and “a-ha!” moments at pivotal points of the trade. I was indeed all smiles when I saw the daughter of renowned con-man and smuggler Harry Mudd, and the inclusion of the Klingons shed light on the reason behind their involvement in the movie.

The characters truly evolve into their own throughout and are a joy to follow. Spock and Robert Kelly were the most engaging in my opinion and to see Spock rationalizing his decisions to look more logical to cover up his hurt and emotions from the aftermath of Vulcan, and possibly to cover up his death wish. His relationship with Kirk is touched upon here again an though they are growing into fully trusting one another, it seems they have more ways to go to get to that strong bond they’re known to have. I loved the detail and the art and honestly, it did take me long to notice the Starfleet insignia designs on the uniforms. Slow? Possibly, but I can argue that I was too engaged into the story to notice. The colors are bright and beautiful when needed and captured the essence of Enterprise wonderfully.

Robert Orci, Mike Johnson, Penciler David Messina, Inker Marina Castelvetro, Colorist Claudia Scarletgothica, Letterer and Collection producer Chris Mowry, Creative Consultant Anthony Pascale, Editor Scott Dunbier, and Collection editors Justin Eisinger and Alonzo have done a wonderful job with this prequel series and if you’re a trekkie, trekker, or someone who loved the movie I recommend you adding this to your collection.

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness
Mike Johnson (w) • David Messina (a & c)

The countdown to the motion picture event of 2013 begins here, in this blockbuster 4-issue prequel mini-series that sets the stage for the upcoming STAR TREK film! Like the best-selling STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN in 2009, this all-new series leads directly into the next movie, with a story by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson (STAR TREK ongoing series), and drawn by the original STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN artist, David Messina! STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS is the can’t-miss lead-in to the new adventures of the Enterprise crew!

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 104 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-623-0


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