Comics Did anyone else wonder as they left the rebooted Star Trek how this new version of the familiar crew would be coping with the stories from the original tv series? Yes, me too, and that urge has led IDW, current licensees, to turn the first official comic into a spin on that idea with a whole series of adaptations of the existing episodes, beginning with Where No Man Has Gone Before, the second pilot, and the episode that led to the rest of the series being commissioned. We’re in production rather than transmission order, people (good thing too since the original network choice, The Man Trap, was never a representative place to start).
Turn the cover and we’re straight back into this strange new world, with a first page featuring a Scotty that looks like Simon Pegg, artist Stephen Molnar neatly capturing his essence without being slavish, and his alien helper, and a joke about whether anyone really listens back to Chief Engineer’s logs. From there everything is as you might expect, the story plays out as it did on screen with various changes reflecting the characterisations from the new film, with Kirk and Spock on slightly less chummy terms with Bones and Chekhov in attendance.
It’s relatively early but already there are a couple of fault lines. Barring one major omission that would be unfair of me to give away because the reason’s funny, the story still roughly plays out much as it did on-screen with plenty of dialogue carried over. Which is logical of course since these are (roughly) the same characters. But that means the main interest is noting what the actual changes are rather than the story itself, in other words not that much different to reading a more typical movie adaptation comic of the kind tending to be developed from a shooting script and so always had slightly different dialogue and lost scenes.
Which is weird of course since that's what we wanted and expected the experience to be, but perhaps it's that the action isn't different enough from Samuel A Peeble's original script. Writer Mike Johnson does at least have a good sense of the movie even if the ensemble element isn’t quite as clear yet, another bi-product of IDW (or CBS/Paramount) choosing to adapt rather than going into original stories. This is Kirk’s story about one of his old classmates so difficult to pull of from Sulu’s perspective. Plus this isn’t the most thrilling story anyway, the first rumblings of Roddenbury’s God complex.
The really interesting stuff comes later. How will nuTrek deal with Harry Mudd? The time travel stories? The “no beach to walk on speech” from The Naked Time now that Spock’s in a relationship? How about Amok Time, how does Pon Farr work when there’s no Vulcan to retreat to? There are also episodes somewhat busted by the film’s desperation to get everything in, not least Dagger of the Mind who’s entire plot essentially exists to introduce Spock’s mind meld ability, and as this issue demonstrates, Spock's already less secretive about that. It’s for all these curious reasons alone my order is in at the comic shop for future issues.