In Review: Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #6

This should only be purchased by completists. Disappointing.

The covers: Three different covers for fans to find on this final issue. The Regular cover is by interior artist Angel Hernandez, with Esther Sanz on colors.This is the image to end the series: giant bust shots of Khan and Sinestro flank the green power battery, which is emanating emerald energy. Before the battery are, from left to right, McCoy, Guy Gardner, Uhura, John Stewart, Kirk, Hal Jordan, Spock, Star Sapphire, Scotty, and Kilowog. The Enterprise is flying forward, between the two foes. Great illustration, though the coloring could have been brighter to really make this cover explode on the stands. The Subscription cover is by George Caltsoudas and has Hal Jordan in the foreground, with Kirk behind him, and Spock and Uhura visible over each of the captain’s shoulders. This has good art for all four characters, but like the Regular cover, the colors are too passive. Granted, it’s this way because Hal’s ring is giving off a glow that’s dominating everyone, but brighter colors would have made this better. The final cover, thankfully, has the brighter colors I’m looking for. Elizabeth Beals is responsible for the Retailer Incentive cover. The top half of the illustration has Kilowog’s face in the center, with bust shots of Scotty to his right and Sulu to his left. The Enterprise is speeding from left to right, just below the native from Bolovax Vik. The bottom of the cover has Spock in the center, holding a phaser ready, and to his right is John Stewart, while Guy Gardner is on his left. This features the supporting characters of this issue and they look fantastic. Plus, the colors are strong. Overall grades: Regular B, Subscription C+, and Retailer Incentive A-

The story: James T. Kirk is on the ground on Oa. He’s been hit from a blast from Khan Noonien Singh, who wears the red power ring. He thinks, ‘I’m not dead. I should be dead.’ He remembers that he had just charged his own ring, a green one. He looks around and sees that Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Hal Jordan, and Kilowog are also alive, but they’ve lost their rings’ abilities. He’s suddenly hit from a joint blast from Khan and Sinestro. The Korugarian states, “You have no idea what to do with that ring, do you Kirk? It’s almost too cruel to watch.” That’s all Kirk needs to have a thought about the device and suddenly he fires a blast of energy into the ground, felling both villains. This allows the original lanterns to power their own rings and they are once again green lanterns. Mike Johnson has things proceeding quickly in this final issue, with Kirk’s victory being short lived when Sinestro uses little effort to best him. I was glad to see Johnson do this, as the antagonist should take him down quickly. Naturally, Sinestro has his hands full when the other lanterns join the fray. In space, the crew of the Enterprise is under fire from several Klingon ships, who are following the orders of their new leader, Khan. How the Federation’s finest defeats the Klingons is smart and quick, which is what would happen when that individual gets involved. The remainder of the book is set on Oa, with Sinestro and Khan being dealt with. One foe goes down easily, while another does not. The action on 16 was okay, but wasn’t really satisfactory, because the door is left open for his return to cause trouble. Worse still is the reminder of another character’s fate on 18, as there is no conclusion whatsoever for him in this plot line. In fact, the book ends with “The End…For Now!” There will obviously be another mini-series for these characters. This series has no ending. This is frustrating. I would rather this take a hiatus for several months and resume with the same numbering, than start a new series. The lack of conclusion for two characters makes this series seem incomplete. Overall grade: C-

The art: The visuals are very mixed. Angel Hernandez does an excellent job on making the characters from the Trek films look like the actors who portrayed them. Things get a little iffy for Khan in his conclusion, but he is still close enough to Benedict Cumberbatch. The first page of the book shows other pluses, as well as some issues. The first panel replays the first encounter between Kahn and Kirk after the human got his power ring. Yes, the energy released by both is supposed to be massive, but it’s difficult to make out what’s happening. Hernandez could have cheated more for the reader to make the characters more clearly shown. The second panel is good as Kirk is rising. The third panel uses a computer effect to distort Kirk and again the artist could have cheated more so that the character could have been more easily seen. The final panel shows the powerless lanterns rising, but the text doesn’t follow the characterd correctly, leading to some problems for new readers or those unfamiliar with the heroes. The double paged splash that follows has these four lanterns being suggestions of characters, rather than fully rendered ones. The villains attacking look terrific, they are easily identifiable and their power easily seen. Kirk is on the third page, trying to deflect their blasts, but he’s at a very awkward angle and his hand and deflection are hard to see because they fall into the gutter of the two pages. Two smaller panels are set into the third page, but there’s no reason for them, thematically, to be shaped as parallelograms. Artistically, they fit easier onto the page with the way Kirk is posed, but some reposing of the character, which is needed, would have solved this problem. The action that tops the fourth page is difficult to make out: the hero is too far from the reader and the villains are covered in speed lines issuing from a questionable source. Every page has pluses and minuses. There’s stuff to love and stuff that interrupts the reading of this book. I’d like the next Green Lantern/Star Trek series to have a different artist. Overall grade: C-

The colors: Mark Roberts does an okay job with the colors, but everything seems faded. The two panels that show the powerful blasts that attack Kirk are done with light colors. Wouldn’t brighter colors have made these stronger attacks? The two smaller panels that show Kirk and the lanterns rising are brighter than those with the blasts. Yes, they could be faded because they’re a memory, but, as with the art, Roberts could have cheated. Pages 2 and 3 have welcome bright colors for the villains and their abilities, but Kirk is a very, very weak green. Even when he realizes how to use his ring, his emeralds are too light. The uniforms of the Enterprise‘s crew are perfect in their intensity, but the battle in space they are fighting also contains dim colors. The climatic attack on 15 is also very weak in its colors. The brightest colors of the issue are on Page 19 — after the conflict has ended! Very disappointing. Overall grade: D+

The letters: Dialogue and narration (the same font), an iconic chant, screams, yells, sounds, and the tease for the next series are created by Andworld Design. Dialogue and narration should be a different font, as they are different forms of communication, set apart in this book only by the shape of their balloons and coloring. The iconic chant and the sounds are well done by AD, though the action would have been much improved if there were more sounds, though this decision was not Andworld Design’s to make. Overall grade: B 

The final line: A disappointing conclusion and shaky visuals make this a letdown. I expect better from this publisher. This should only be purchased by completists. Overall grade: C-

To order a print or digital copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/star-trekgreen-lantern-vol-2-6/

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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