Review: Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever #2
Harlan Ellison’s Hugo and WGA Award-winning teleplay, visualized for the first time! Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Yeoman Rand return to the Enterprise following their first encounter with the Guardians of Forever, only to find a darker, more vicious crew of renegades awaiting them! Can they return the timestream to its proper state? And will they even survive long enough to try?
IDW’s adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s mega-successful Star Trek teleplay continues this month with the release of Star Trek: City On The Edge Of Forever #2. The story is of course from Ellison’s original story, but Scott and David Tipton handle the comic script. J.K. Woodward provides painted art with Neil Uyetake rounding things out with lettering. The first issue showed a few small breakaways from the original, but how far does the second issue go?
Kirk, Spock, and Yeoman Rand don’t quite understand what has happened with the Guardians of Forever, but they do know that something bad happened when Beckwith jumped into the time stream. When the crew beams back aboard the Enterprise, they see just how much things have changed. There are no familiar faces on the Enterprise. In fact, there is no Enterprise. Kirk and company beam aboard The Condor and run into a bunch of renegades. Due to some quick thinking from Kirk and a few well-placed punches, time is bought and Kirk and Spock are beamed back to the place where they met the Guardians of Forever. The duo make their case for being sent back in time to correct Beckwith’s mistake, but the Guardians aren’t so receptive of the idea. Can Kirk and Spock set things back the way they should be? If they get sent back in time, will they even be able to find Beckwith at the crucial moment the Guardians warn them about?
The Tiptons do a great job of adapting Ellison’s original story. The first issue started off very similar to the way the finished project on TV did, but this month starts to break away from what we’ve already seen. Much like the altered timeline Beckwith causes, this month brings an alternate version of the TV story fans know, the way Ellison originally intended. It still has the emotional range and action bits of the first one, but it’s different and a little more edgy. You can definitely see the edge when Kirk and Spock arrive to the past. The rhetoric being spouted on the street plays with some of the same ideas of the TV show we’ve seen, but it’s a little more pointed and sharp. Woodward’s art is top notch. He perfectly captures Kirk and Spock’s look for the majority of the issue. There is an occasional panel or two where things are a little hectic and have a smudge effect, but those are few and far between. Woodward’s art really shines when we start to see the city Kirk and Spock find themselves thrown into when they arrive in our past. Woodward is even able to convey a sense of motion in his action sequences, something a lot of painted comics doesn’t always do well.
Bottom Line: City on the Edge of Tomorrow is the comic Star Trek fans have been waiting for. From here on out we’re in fresh territory. Fans have been wanting to see what the original screenplay would look like, and thanks to the Tiptons and Woodward’s realistic art, we’re getting as close as possible to finally seeing it play out. 4/5
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