In Review: Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #5

An epic story with strong visuals make this a solid read.

The covers: Three very different frontpieces for you to find on this penultimate issue. The Regular cover is by interior artist Angel Hernandez, with colors by Esther Sanz. This has the Enterprise flying up the center of the cover, with Sinestro’s face on the left and Spock’s on the right. A shocking development is that the saucer section now features the pattern of yellow lanterns. This does not bode well for this series’ heroes. Excellent design and illustration from Hernandez and bright coloring from Sanz makes this shine. This is a great cover. The Subscription cover is by Hugo Petrus and has Sinestro front and center. Behind him are five top-to-bottom vertical panels featuring, from left to right, Chekov, Saint Walker and Star Sapphire, Uhura, four lanterns (Kilowog, Guy, John, and Hal), and McCoy. The likenesses of the film characters are okay (But what’s up with McCoy’s hair?), with the comic book characters faring better. Sinestro’s face is really shiny, making him seem like he’s sweating. The Retailer Incentive cover is by Chris Mooneyham and is extremely sketchy. Hal stands on a dais — the remains of a power battery?– and holds his ring high, while Kirk and Spock guard him below. This looks rushed and the colors looks slathered on sloppily. Just a mess. Overall grades: Regular A, Subscription B-, and Retailer Incentive D

The story: Classic Star Trek comes to life on the opening page as McCoy and Spock council Kirk on his next decision: go after Sinestro or go after the newly powered up by the red king Khan. Spock has the most weighty advice, “The logical course of action is to trust Hal Jordan.” Using the technology of their new allies, the Manhunters, who also want Sinestro, the Enterprise is able to use a teleport gate to get Oa. However, before writer Mike Johnson shows the reader what the crew find, he moves the story to Kronos, where Khan is brutally slaughtering some Klingons. He wants to stop the killing because he has a “mutually beneficial proposal” for the council. They are hesitant to trust him, since they pledged their allegiance to the last ring bearer who came to their world — Sinestro. Khan knows exactly what to say to the Klingons, as he is a master of words, and the reader is left wondering what their decision will be, because Johnson then moves to Oa where the Guardians are under attack from Sinestro. He absorbed Parallax last issue and has the power of a god. What isn’t happening in this issue? Johnson has got this issue packed with events. Everyone arrives at Oa, with guns, blasters, and rings blazing, with an event occurring on Page 18 that is a game changer for this series. If there was a soundtrack to this book, it would soar on 19 and became triumphant on 20. Johnson expertly writes every character in this book, remaining true to their origins on the silver screen or the illustrated pages. He’s especially adept with Sinestro and Kirk’s voice. His Khan is also well done, coming off much better than the character did in the actual film. The action and twists and turns in this story make this sure to please fans of both franchises. Overall grade: A

The art: Angel Hernandez’s artwork on this issue is good. It is a huge improvement from the visuals of Issue #3. The Trek characters look close enough to the film actors, with the first page showing a well done job on the holy trio. The interiors of the Enterprise are sketchy, with the colors completing shapes, rather than the lines closing them up. Page 3 has a graphic, though sensational, panel of a Klingon being killed by Khan. The Klingon looks horrific as the augmented human crushes his head. There is an infamous Green Lantern character that Khan is holding on Page 4 and it’s a terrific reveal. On 6, Hernandez pulls in slowly to Khan, showing how his words grow on his listeners, painting him in a sympathetic light. Nicely done. The partial double page splash of 8 and 9 of Sinestro’s wrath is spectacular. He’s supposed to look like a god and he most certainly does. What he does to a trio of Guardians on 9 is frightening. His actions on 11 are terrific. The arrival of the characters at the bottom of 12 are okay, but as the background is only composed of speed lines, it lessens the effect of their appearance. The top of 15 has an impressive number of ships. It’s not a large panel, but having such a volume makes them seem overwhelming, and it’s great! I’m a sucker for villains having heroes at their mercy and Hernandez creates a beautiful panel at the bottom of 17; villains need to look undefeatable before their fall and this is a super pose. Page 19 is a glorious full page splash that captures the energy and emotion of the moment stunningly. The final image of the book is great, and, with it looking this good, I heard the dialogue clearly in the actor’s voice. This is some work that any collector would be happy to have in their collection. Overall grade: B+

The colors: Big and bright work from Mark Roberts on this issue. The issue opens with the cool pale blue interiors of the Enterprise and the characters popping out against it. The Manhunters’ stark colors have them really taking stage on the second page, as they should since it’s their technology that the Federation heroes are dependent on. Kronos has orange and brown coloring, to match the primitive setting, which allows the crimsons of Khan to gather the reader’s focus. Oa begins with beautiful, familiar greens and transitions to hellish yellows when Sinister begins to rage. Phasers are gloriously red in space, which provide a slick transition to Khan’s colorings. The color that commands Page 19 is fantastic and will make the reader’s heart soar. Roberts is doing a great job. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dialogue and scene settings (the same font), Manhunter speech, sounds, augmented Sinestro’s dialogue, and the tease for next issue are created by Andworld Design. The scene settings should be a completely different font style from the dialogue; it looks clumsy to have it be the same. The Manhunter speech looks wonderfully robotic, though, and Sinestro’s god dialogue is a perfect match for the epic illustrations by Hernandez. Overall grade: B+ 

The final line: An epic story with strong visuals make this a solid read. Trekkers and Lantern fans should be satisfied with this. Overall grade: A-

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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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