“These look like….rings?”
It seems like a crossover between Star Trek and Green Lantern is something that should be old news by now since they seem to be such a logical fit together. But until the release of the first issue of IDW’s Spectrum War limited series the two iconic science fiction franchises have not shared a storyline together. Mike Johnson’s initial issue is heavy on set up but just seeing Kirk and crew stepping foot on Mogo and witnessing their first encounter with power rings something fun and special.
The opening pages establishes a grim set of circumstances as it appears that Ganthet alone has survived a conflict with an as yet unknown adversary. Jumping forward the U.S.S. Enterprise investigates Mogo as a dead rogue planet and discovers the Guardian’s corpse along with six power rings. As the crew takes the body and rings aboard ship to examine them the Klingons arrive to confront Kirk for his actions against their empire. As to be expected something happens to force both plots to come together as the rings are activated and seek hosts just as the Klingons are about to open fire on a defenseless Enterprise….until Hal Jordan inexplicably arrives to save the day.
There are obvious assumptions made that the intended audience is familiar enough with both franchises to eliminate the need for too much background narrative, but Johnson’s script also doesn’t rely on the reader requiring intimate knowledge of them, either. As what is essentially an out of continuity story, readers of the current DC Green Lantern franchise will need to cast aside any lingering questions about where in Green Lantern history this story takes place. Ganthet is still wearing the familiar post-Rebirth robes while Hal is shown on the pages wearing a pre-Rebirth uniform while on the cover sporting the New-52 design. The visual information makes parsing the timeline difficult so for those who find those kinds of details essential read this issue knowing that those things aren’t important to enjoying the ride.
Seeing the power rings choose their bearers was not too surprising as Uhura receives the Star Sapphire ring while Dr. McCoy gets the Indigo ring and Chekov gets the blue. The Sinestro ring enters the Klingon ship to land on the ring of General Chang, familiar to Trek fans as one of the main antagonists in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It was great fun to see him show up so much earlier in Star Trek history knowing how the 2009 cinematic reboot that this series is based on created an alternate timeline where pretty much anything goes without being tied to the continuity that began back with the original television series began airing in 1966.
But what’s more interesting is seeing rings who don’t find a wearer. The red and orange rings head off into space and while the Trek fan in me hopes that the orange ring finds Harcourt Fenton Mudd and perhaps a Gorn for the red ring. While not much more happens in the debut issue of the series as Spock would say, “There are always …..possibilities” and this event has a great number of possible directions, all of which have the potential for being a very fun and satisfying journey. The irony of seeing the Chris Pine version of Captain Kirk meet up with Green Lantern, a character that may also end up on Pine’s resume, is not lost on me, either.
Artist Angel Hernandez does a nice job with the art chores and he has a real affinity for the new Star Trek universe’s crew and design style. Not too much can be said for the Green Lantern side of things as this issue definitely leads more to the Trek side of the equation, but what we do see here looks fine.
The initial outing in IDW’s Star Trek / Green Lantern limited series is definitely geared towards establishing the groundwork for the main plot and while it could be faulted for not doing enough this first issue does a good job of whetting the reader’s appetite for the bigger meal to come. With the foundation set and some elements from each franchise starting to mingle together writer Mike Johnson gives us a team up that surprisingly is only just now being published. Eight Vulcan lanterns out of ten.