To boldly go into Blackest Night . . .
You got your Paramount in my DC! You got your Power Ring in my Warp Core! It’s madness in IDW’s big summer crossover, and it seems like everybody’s gonna enjoy something. Two universe’s versions of Space Cops/Galactic Protectors meet in this first issue that feels very right for reasons I’m not quite sure I completely understand. I’ve been a Trek fan since reruns of The Original Series and though I’ve come upon the Lantern Corps a little later, I still have a good handle on both franchises. The biggest question I have so far is “Why hasn’t this already been a thing?”
Mike Johnson has been handed the heavy task of bringing together these two well-known properties and seems to have jumped in with gusto. The crew of the Enterprise stumbles upon five Power Rings of varying allegiance and, of course, brings them to the ship to study. Taking a page from JJ’s reboot-o-matic, the valiant crew is set upon by a ret-conned adversary from another time (though I doubt he’ll be quoting Shakespeare over tumblers of Romulan Ale . . . Christopher Plummer made The Undiscovered Country truly one of the best of the original movies, am I right?), and he has plans for our new Kirk and party. One of the truly great things about this issue is that there’s a lot going on, but Johnson manages to capture the spirit of both series very well. Moments and relationships between characters that have been established in the new, Alpha Star Trek timeline are wonderfully maintained in this event (which makes sense, since he’s been penning the new adventures on the page for its entire series) and serve to carry the fun of the first movie with plenty of action. Wait ’till the last three pages; it’s kind of what you’d been hoping for the whole issue.
Angel Hernandez handles the artwork in this issue and does so with a great grasp of the design of both worlds (which makes sense after handling duties on INFINITE CRISIS: FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE). Everything looks the way you feel it should, and the characters look to be spot on from both worlds. There are some beautiful space panels in this issue, and the action both outside and inside the ships is fantastic.
If you’ve enjoyed the new crew of NCC-1701 and enjoy test pilots with galactic powers, this is the event you’ll not want to miss. Hopefully, the balance will lean back toward the Lantern’s universe a bit more in future issues (though based on the ending of this one, I don’t see that as a problem at all), and we’ll all get something great out of this supremely stellar mash up.
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