Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #1 Story by Roberto Orci & Mike Johnson Script by Mike Johnson Art by David Messina Ink Assist by Marina Castelvetro Colors by Claudia Scarletgothica Letters by Chris Mowry IDW Publishing Release date: January 23, 2013 Cover price: $3.99
There’s a lot of anticipation for this summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek, which rebooted Gene Roddenbury’s beloved scifi universe and showed the popular crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise back in their Starfleet Academy days. For the 2009 film, IDW Publishing released Countdown, a limited comic book series that served as a prelude. For the sequel, IDW is doing the same, with the Countdown To Darkness, a 4-issue miniseries that bridges the gap between the two films.
Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #1 finds the newly assembled Enterprise crew months into their mission to explore strange new worlds. Unlike the experienced crew we’ve come to know from the original Star Trek series starring William Shatner, these officers are novices, having only recently graduated from the Academy. Sure, they’ve been through a lot in their young careers – having to face the vengeful, planet-destroying Romulan Nero, for example – but the fact remains, they still have a lot of growing up to do. Therefore, it’s no surprise that James T. Kirk, now Captain of the Enterprise, is still getting acclimated to the loneliness of command, while First Officer Spock, whose Vulcan heritage dictates that he keep his emotions in check, is subconsciously struggling with the outcome of the rescue mission he embarked on while his home world was in the process of being imploded.
But, personal problems aside, Kirk and Spock, along with their fellow officers – Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, Bones, and Chekov – have orders to follow and their latest one is to have a look in on the ringed planet Phaedus, a world that has not made “First Contact,” which means they have yet to encounter life outside their own planet. At first glance, the crew accesses that Phaedus is far from ready for First Contact, but after a high-frequency energy field is detected, it’s time for an away mission! And as with nearly every mission they’ve encountered, this one’s going to be the toughest one ever.
Star Trek Into Darkness, which hits theaters on May 17, 2013, will insert a young Dr. Carol Marcus (played by Alice Eve) and John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch in what is said to be the villain role) into the reboot universe, while Countdown To Darkness #1 will also bring an old character out of obscurity.
For this new miniseries, Roberto Orci, co-writer on Star Trek and its upcoming sequel, provides the story, with Mike Johnson on script and David Messina on art. Together, they make a perfect team-up to tell this tale, which fits perfectly in the reboot universe. While I wish the characters looked more like the movie actors – a typical problem with film franchise comics – it was still easy enough to follow along. Matter of fact, Spock and Uhura are spot-on in most of the issue, as is the tiny glimpse of Scotty’s diminutive engineer sidekick Keenser. The writing is excellent and easy to follow, which is a plus in these types of comics, which usually try to cram in as much technical vernacular as possible into the word balloons. Sorely missing from this issue: Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy; let’s hope he shows up in the remaining issues.
Once I picked up Countdown To Darkness #1, I didn’t put it down til I was completely finished, and then I read it again two more times. I could not read it fast enough and once I hit the last page, I wondered what the hell this creative team has in store for us next. I totally can’t wait to find out!
If you’re a fan of the Star Trek reboot universe, then definitely grab this book and follow along with the 4-issue run, as you will want to know every detail possible leading up to Star Trek Into Darkness. Fans of the original Trek should be able to follow along simply enough and if you’re OK with seeing the universe shaken up a bit, you’ll find it enjoyable. If you’re not familiar with Star Trek, this issue isn’t the place to start, so first run out and see 2009’s Star Trek film, then grab this issue in preparation for the movie sequel.