In the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” Captain Kirk is casually mentioned as the man with the most temporal violations on record: seventeen. “The man was a menace,” one of the Temporal Investigations agents says. So, it is fitting that John Byrne’s second tale in his photomontage series depicting the continuing adventures of the original Enterprise and its crew is a time travel story, since those were basically the show’s bread and butter.
The first issue of New Visions used a mirror universe plot and a recurring Klingon villain in order to allow Byrne – who both writes and composites the book – to reuse shots of the actors for almost everything. In the main story of this second issue, “Time’s Echo,” Byrne gets a little more adventurous, incorporating entirely new characters and species, if only in small parts. This doesn’t end up working very well: human (or nearly human) Starfleet officers who are not taken from shots of the original show do not blend well with the rest of the images, and those that are less human (or clothed in body-concealing cloaks and masks) look poorly added, like the book got printed when Byrne was only halfway through fleshing them out. While, at times, these visual flaws – the clearly computer-generated landscapes, for instance – work insofar as maintaining classic Star Trek’s campy lo-fi style, they too often look simply unfinished in “Time’s Echo.”
That said, the story itself is classic Star Trek through and through, with many beats that will be intimately familiar to fans of the series, and as long as the story is dealing primarily with the Enterprise crew on the bridge, it is easy to imagine these events happening on screen nearly fifty years ago. The story is not quite as interesting as “The Mirror, Cracked” from New Visions #1, but it is also shorter, allowing room for a brief backup story featuring Yeoman Rand.
Ultimately, though, this is a series that I really like. Sure, it is targeting a niche audience within a niche audience, but the experimental aspects of the photomontage style are interesting (even if they sometimes come off poorly), and Byrne has a handle on classic Star Trek flavor. Fans of the classic series, for all its faults, will still find much to like in New Visions – for all its faults.
Final Verdict: 3/5