In Review: Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #1

If you enjoyed The Spectrum War, you'll enjoy this.

The covers: Five covers to “seek out” on this premiere issue. The Regular cover is by Angel Hernandez and Mark Roberts and features Hal Jordan, Spock, John Stewart, and James Kirk at the bottom, looking toward their right. Above them is the Enterprise, which has just looped around Sinestro and several klingons. The wielder of the yellow ring laughs as his enormous figure reaches for the heroes. Sinestro is the eye catcher on this cover, looking menacing and vibrant in yellow and pink. The Subscription cover is by Rachael Stott and Roberts, focusing only on Sinestro. This super close up of the super villain shows him snarling in rage as he smashes a green construct of the Enterprise in his right hand. This was the cover I purchased because it looks amazing and when I saw it was illustrated by Stott I smiled, because I’m a huge fan of hers. There’s a Blank Sketch Variant cover that has only the text at the top and the two publishers stated in the bottom left. This is a good way to get a one-of-a-kind original cover illustrated by one’s favorite artist or to take to a convention and have all the creators sign it. I like sketch covers, but on its own it’s lacking. The Retailer Incentive cover is by Angel Hernandez and Esther Sanz and it has nine characters smiling at the reader; going clockwise there’s Star Sapphire, Uhura, Kilowog, Spock, Hal, John, Saint Walker, Kirk, and Guy Gardner. Walker is especially fun because he’s trying to make the Vulcan hand gesture, but he only has three digits and a thumb. This is a fantastic cover and I would have purchased this cover as well if I had seen it. The final cover is the Nerd Block Exclusive cover by the same artistic team. This has the Enterprise at the bottom of the image with its energy outburst creating four different panels that contain Hal, Kirk, Spock, and Sinestro. This is also a good cover, with the coloring making it particularly striking. Overall grades: Regular A, Subscription A+, Blank Sketch C, Retailer Incentive A+, and Nerd Block Exclusive A 

The story: Mike Johnson has his story begin at Starfleet Academy where Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kilowog tell some cadets how they came to their universe. Guy summarizes the events of the Spectrum War quickly and then shows his audience how his ring works. His monologue ends in a humorous fashion, but typical of Guy. The story then moves to space where Star Sapphire and Hal Jordan are assisting the Enterprise. The lanterns have a very interesting problem with their rings and it comes to light (no pun intended) at the worst possible time. Kirk and Jordan have good chemistry together as leaders. They both agree that the lanterns’ problems have to be addressed. One surprising aspect of this book was the relationship between one lantern and one crew member; it was unexpected and welcome. Saint Walker has the Enterprise zipping off to world because of something there, but unfortunately the Blue Lantern has been discovered by another group and his fate appears to be very dark. There’s a discovery on Page 18 that could solve the lanterns’ issues, though another ring bearer looks to stop them. This issue picks up nicely from the previous series, The Spectrum War, and continues with the lanterns trying to exist in this timeline. Johnson captures all the characters’ voices well and sets the pieces up in this issue for all the action to follow. Overall grade: B+

The art: The book begins very quiet visually with three green lanterns speaking before some cadets at Starfleet Academy; everything is as one would expect in a school lecture hall. The final image on the first page is a good establishment shot of Guy beginning to summarize what happened during the Spectrum War, and that’s what the four images on the following page entail. However, it’s on Page 3 when Guy takes to the sky that artist Angel Hernandez shows he can illustrate the super hero elements of this book — I really like how he sprinkles just enough aliens in the crowd and not everyone is calm at Gardner’s display. On the next page Hernandez gets the opportunity to draw a very technical 20th century vehicle and he does so well. The double-paged spread of Pages 6 and 7 really show the power of the lanterns’ rings combined with the power of Starfleet’s flagship; the energy on the page is solid and Hernandez’s ability to capture the Trek characters’ likenesses to their respective actors is also good. There are several panels where the lanterns’ rings fail and Hernandez has created a really cool peeling away of the ring’s abilities on Hal. The villain of the book, Sinestro, looks great, looking practically Shakespearean at his location. Page 17 has the heroes beaming onto a planet’s surface and photographs, or their ilk, have been employed for parts of the rocky backgrounds. They really stand out negatively. Much better is when distant planets are created using this method. but those rocky — blurry — cliffs took me out of the comic. Thankfully, it’s only for that one page as something surprising is discovered which Sanchez illustrates well, while the final page is the perfect visual cliffhanger. There is just the one visual bump in an otherwise fine looking book. Overall grade: B+

The colors: The rebooted Star Trek is not a particularly bright universe, but the Green Lanterns’ universe is exploding in the colors of their rings. Colorist Alejandro Sanchez walks a fine line in maintaining the realism of both settings that have now merged. The first two pages are fairly dark as the lanterns speak, punctuated by some colors during the summary of the Spectrum War. When Guy activates his ring on Page 3 he’s outlined in a strong, deep emerald that instantly sets him, and his ring’s ability, far apart from his audience. The construct on 4 is every better looking, glowing in a luminescent green. The colors really assist the art on 6 and 7 with the lanterns and the Enterprise doing all they can to save a structure in space: the colors are outstanding. Sinestro has the best colors of any character in the book, with his vibrant pink skin and overpowering yellow suit making him a stand out in every panel he appears in. Special mention should be given to the transporter’s colors on 17 when the heroes beam down to a world for it looks absolutely vibrant. I’m really enjoying Sanchez’s work on this book. Overall grade: A

The letters: Andworld Design is responsible for the book’s scene settings, narration, and dialogue (all three being the same font), the sounds, and the tease for next issue. I really wanted to see those first three be in different fonts, as they are different forms of communication. Instead, the reader must rely on the coloring of those dialogue balloons and boxes to be able to tell them apart. At least the sounds are very strong. Overall grade: B-

The final line: A good beginning, but nothing exceptional. If you enjoyed The Spectrum War, you’ll enjoy this. If you’re a fan of Trek or the lanterns, you’ll enjoy this. If you’re not a fan, this will be an average comic. Overall grade: B+

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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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