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‘Star Trek: New Visions #11 - Of Woman Born’ - Advance Comic Book Review

John Byrne’s eleventh issue of his classic Star Trek photoplay series offers two tales of the voyages of the Starship Enterprise composed of images from the series and whatever Byrne can make from them.

The first story, “Of Woman Born,” is another sequel to an episode of the series, in this case “Who Mourns for Adonais?,” a second season episode where the Greek god Apollo captures the Enterprise.  This episode belongs to one of the series’ most well-trodden tropes, in which Kirk comes up against a god-like being, sometimes one who literally served as a deity on Earth centuries or millennia earlier.  That episode concludes with Apollo’s death; Byrne’s story picks up a short time later, before the Enterprise has even left orbit, when Dr. McCoy detects that the ship’s anthropologist – Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas, who Apollo attempted, with some success, to seduce – may be pregnant with Apollo’s child.  That unorthodox conception proves dangerous to not just Palamas, but the Enterprise and her crew.

The story is a fine bottle-episode epilogue to “Who Mourns for Adonais?”  The concept of Lt. Palamas having a child after her encounter with Apollo is not a new one – the idea was contained in the original teleplay, and at least one novel has dealt with the fallout of such an offspring.  Of course, Byrne’s story doesn’t look far down the line, but deals only with the moment.  In that, the story feels a little shallow when compared to the heavy philosophizing of the episode on which it is based.  The story also offers some spotlight to both McCoy and Scotty which is then, ultimately, taken by Spock.  Though Byrne no doubt writes Spock well, the Vulcan is starting to feel a little like a crutch.  There is no doubt that Byrne has taken on quite a challenge with this series – especially considering how much more screen time characters like Kirk and Spock had relative to many of the other Enterprise crew – but many of New Visions' best moments have been when Byrne has stretched for an inventive solution to this problem.

The backup story, “I Sing of Arms and Heroes,” is really more of a page-long joke, though perhaps not entirely a bad one.  It features the appearance of a character from beyond the live-action run of Star Trek, and perhaps – I like to think – is Byrne’s answer to anyone wishing he might stray a little farther afield with the content of this series than he has so far.  I found it amusing, but you have to be a certain kind of Trekkie to get the joke.  But, then again, you are reading a review for a comic series made of photos from TOS.  So, maybe that’s you.

The main story in this issue is interesting in that it’s less of a “lost episode” than a “lost act,” a speculation on what “Who Mourns for Adonais?” might’ve looked like if it had had another twenty minutes of running time, but in many ways, that scale feels right for this series.  It grabs a plot thread that other creators have taken and approaches it from the most direct – and often ignored – angle, so for veterans of Star Trek’s expanded universe, the story may feel at once familiar and refreshing.  In all, New Visions #11 keeps up Byrne’s normal level of quality on this series while perhaps falling short of its highest heights.

Brandon Perdue, Fanbase Press Contributor
Favorite Comic: Top Ten by Alan Moore and Gene Ha
Favorite Tabletop RPG: Fireborn
Favorite Spacegoing Vessel: Constitution-class Refit