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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Star Trek


Authors: Mike Johnson and Tim Jones
Artist: David Messina
Titan Books
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 664 4
Available 26 February 2010

In Star Trek: Countdown, the best-selling prequel to JJ Abrams’s blockbuster Star Trek, we were introduced to the Romulan Nero and discovered what drove him to perform such heinous deeds. Now, in Star Trek: Nero, a story set within the same timeline as the film, we learn of the cold, dark and lonely years Nero spent waiting for his nemesis to arrive, the one he is so driven to exact vengeance upon: Ambassador Spock of Vulcan...

This is the second graphic novel to expand upon the decidedly underwritten character of Nero, the villain in the 2009 Star Trek movie. This volume (the contents of which were originally published as a four-issue comic by IDW) explains what happened to Nero, his crew, and their mighty vessel the Narada during the 25 years that elapsed between the destruction of the USS Kelvin at the start of the film and the arrival of the old Spock in the altered timeline. You don’t need to have read Countdown in order to the follow this story (I know because I haven’t), though you do need to be familiar with the plot of the film.

In order to keep fans entertained while they wait for Spock to show up, authors Mike Johnson and Tim Jones (working from a story by movie scriptwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci) throw a number of other familiar Star Trek ingredients into the mix, including the Klingons and their penal asteroid Rura Penthe (from The Undiscovered Country). These events tie in with some of the deleted scenes presented on the 2-disc DVD and 3-disc Blu-ray release of the recent film. The third chapter really just marks time until Nero finally locates Spock, but it does contain an impressive appearance by a being whose identity I won’t give away here.

David Messina’s art is generally pleasing to the eye, though the depictions of hardware are often more realistic than those of people. The likenesses of characters from the movies vary according to the availability of reference material. The contribution of colourist Giovanna Niro should not be overlooked, as is evidenced by a gallery of coloured and black-and-white art at the back of the book: Niro adds a glossy sheen to the entire story.

Nero is not as exciting as the film, but a good accessory to it - worth a look.


Richard McGinlay

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