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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 8 comics last week: Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1, Nightwing Rebirth #1, Flash #2, Wonder Woman #2, Civil War II #3, Detective Comics #936, Action Comics #959 and Star Trek #59.
The best comic I read last week was Justice League Rebirth #1.
I am in a Star Trek mood. I’ve looked back over my past picks and I note that I’ve selected Star Trek a number of times. Okay. I am in a Star Trek mood.
Beyond that, though, Star Trek has been a terrific comic book. Tony Shasteen and Mike Johnson, artist and writer respectively, are a wonderful team. Perhaps most importantly, these two clearly love and understand Star Trek. Their affinity for the source material shows on every page, in every plot, through every panel. Johnson writes the characters perfectly. Shasteen draws them just as well. They have been a perfect team for this book – a book that has, primarily, been about the “Kelvin Timeline” Enterprise, the Enterprise of the Chris Pine Kirk. They’ve not had as much chance to play in the “Prime Timeline” featuring the William Shatner Kirk.
When I saw this cover, I thought featuring a story line from the Prime Timeline in the year of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek was a very nice touch. I thought it a great follow up to the recently concluded Spock arc and I was excited to read it.
Little did I know how excited I would be.
In a crossover which could really only happen in comics, Johnson and Shasteen bring together Shatner and Pine’s crews. How this happens is not as important as it happening at all. Rather than reading like “oh, my goodness, this is the shark jump. They’ve run out of ideas,” Star Trek #59 plays out with energy and excitement, sweeps the reader along for a fun ride and leaves us wanting the conclusion today.
Johnson has such a feel for the characters, one can hear them speaking. He has a sense of the Pine Kirk vs. the Shatner Kirk; the Doohan Scotty as opposed to the Pegg version. It’s very cool to read. And Shasteen really shines here. His renderings of the characters are distinct and very cool. It’s a treat, truly, to see Nimoy walking the Kelvin Enterprise alongside the Kelvin versions of the characters.
One of the best things about this title is that it has not taken itself too seriously. That trend continues in this issue. Simply put, this comic book is FUN.
I am so pleased that, though the cancellation of the title was announced a few months back, today came word that a new title, Star Trek: Boldly Go will pick up where Star Trek Beyond leaves off and the creative team is Johnson and Shasteen.