Some pre-information going into this next batch of reviews. The stories in this arc take place right after Star Trek II: The Search For Spock. How much of these stories can possibly take place between that movie and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is probably up to debate. It had to be hard on the writer or writers around this period to produce a monthly comic that doesn’t run counter to the movies but still played in the version of Star Trek that DC had created. I’ll get more into that when it comes up, like the later appearance of characters Barr created for the comics–Konom, Nancy, and Bearclaw. I will bring up but not fault him for whatever continuity errors were beyond Barr’s control in this arc but what he should have gotten right I will call him out for, as well as any faults in the writing itself. This arc is eight issues long, or at least that’s what in the collection I’m reviewing from.
Star Trek #9
DC Comics (December, 1984)
“New Frontiers” part 1: “…Promises To Keep”
WRITER: Mike W. Barr
PENCILER: Tom Sutton
INKER: Ricardo Villagran
COLORIST: Michele Wolfman
LETTERER: John Costanza
MANAGING EDITOR: Tom Condon
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Robert Breenberger
EDITOR: Marv Wolfman
With Spock’s katra restored, the former Enterprise bridge crew (minus the recovering Spock) takes the stolen Klingon Bird Of Prey to Regula-1 for the funeral of David Marcus, a marker left in the Genesis cave, which is still holding up. At first Carol blames Kirk in her grief but later apologizes at the funeral. Meanwhile, Starfleet sends the repaired Excelsior to bring the crew in, and Captain Styles doesn’t mind those orders a bit after his humiliation. While all this goes on, the Enterprise arrives at Regula-1, demanding Carol’s information. She blames him for killing David, which he did because he claims she turned David against him. So he’s very happy to blow up the station on orders…from the Empire! You see, those last three sentences took place in the Mirror Universe.
What they got right: The movies never gave us David Marcus’s funeral so it was nice to see as well as Kirk and Carol in mourning. It makes sense that Spock isn’t well enough to join them given the fact that he just had his mind shoved back into his body. We also see the others realize what the consequences for their actions will be, but even the more nervous Chekov admits it was the right thing to do and none of them have any regrets saving Spock. They also a good job hiding Mirror Spock’s famous goatee and the symbols for the Empire until the last panel, making everything seem odd until the reveal.
What they got wrong: Barr has a bad habit of adding in references to previous stories. We get a variant of the “your name is Jim” line as well as the Kobyashi Maru namedropped. So apparently Barr did see the third movie (and probably also wrote the adaptation. At least the name drop made sense in the conversation.
Recommendation: It’s worth it just for the funeral. As for the Mirror Universe arc, I still think Marvel/Paramount did it better if only because it was set in the proper time period rather than drawing it out to the movie period but I’ll reserve judgement on this arc until we’ve gone through it a bit further.