Star Trek: Early Voyages #4
Marvel/Paramount Comics (June, 1998)
WRITER: Glenn Greenberg
PENCILER: Michael Collins
INKER: Keith Williams
COLORIST: Matt Webb
LETTERERS: Chris Eliopoulos & VC
EDITOR: Tim Tuohy
With Kirk, Spock, and McCoy on a diplomatic mission, Sulu is command of the Enterprise when it’s called to investigate a scientific discovery. A science team has found a creature that feeds on subspace signals (among other electromagnetic impulses) and can enhance those signals to travel greater distances faster. However, the Orion pirates learn of this and attempt to take the creature for themselves. In the battle the Enterprise is damaged but the crew still manage to rescue the scientists. However, the pirates injure the creature as the crystals it’s sitting in are actually part of its body. Despite supposedly not being sentient the creature’s had enough of these yahoos and transmits itself somewhere they aren’t. Despite some setbacks during the mission Sulu is looking forward to someday commanding again.
What they got right: One of the complaints against Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan was Khan and Chekov recognizing each other when he wasn’t in the episode. The comic has an answer for that and has fun with the debate. The creature (one of the scientists call it The Crier, which makes me think of that old book & record) is an interesting idea and they make a good story around it.
What they got wrong: It was really just a MacGuffin in the end though. The story is about Sulu and company battling the pirates, Sulu fighting a moment of self-doubt before stepping in (Scotty notes at one point “it’s like Jim Kirk never left”) and saving the day. No debate as to whether or not the Crier actually is non-sentient or any of that. I feel there could have been an interesting story there, even though what we got was good too.
Recommendation: This is certainly a book Star Trek fans should check out.