Monday, 25 July 2016

Klingon Confrontations: Manifest Destiny

When Manifest Destiny was announced there was some surprise amongst Star Trek comic fans as this spot had previously been occupied by the Countdown series leading into the movies.

Ian Kimmins returns to take us into the latest graphic novel as Beyond hits cinemas...

As a fan of both of the Countdown series plus the Nero and Khan comics I wondered if we would get any clues here in relation to Star Trek Beyond. So be prepared for SPOILERS.

As this series kicks off we get to see the Klingons conquering a planet in the name of the empire. However when Commander Sho'tokh orders all the children killed we realise these aren't just regular Klingons. 

As the Commander kills one of his subordinates for questioning him, we switch to the Enterprise where McCoy and Scotty are in the middle of assisting with a birth. As we then switch to the bridge we realise McCoy is telling the story of the birth and here we see some great interaction between Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty which harks back to The Original Series

We get to see Sulu take command of an away team once more. The writers receive great credit for this in my opinion as they seem to have made a conscious decision in the comics to have Sulu in command regularly. Maybe someday we will see an Excelsior/Sulu reboot spin off?

As the away team realises it's a trap, they try to contact the Enterprise but there is no response as they are occupied with a Klingon ship which has just decloaked .

As both the away team and ship are under attack it's looking bad for the crew and things take a turn for the worse when McCoy gets separated from the rest of the away team. As he manages to take down the Klingon away team after him in a way only McCoy could - the Enterprise is fairing worse - a lot worse. 

As issue two kicks off the Klingons boarding the Enterprise and as Kirk and Spock lead security teams, Chekov is left on the bridge to try to contact the away team on the surface. 

The away team is being over run and the Enterprise is being over run by Klingons and as Kirk orders the bridge to be evacuated it looks like all is lost. 

The Klingon away team has a proposal for our heroes to help the them kill their captain and in turn they will be freed. As the away team considers this, the Klingons finally take control of the Enterprise bridge. As Kirk and the crew regroup in Engineering they realise these Klingons are mercenaries and will stop at nothing in the name of conquest. 

As the crew aboard the Enterprise make their stand, the Klingon away team have returned to their ship with their Starfleet counterparts. As they plot the downfall of their captain, he is meanwhile onboard the Enterprise and has captured Kirk. 

As we launch into the final issue the Klingon captain explains that his crew are all outcasts. With the Enterprise's crew now in the brig it looks like all is lost however Spock had evaded capture and manages to free some of the crew including Kirk. As Scotty initialises a warp core breach the Klingons decide they have had enough and abandon the Enterprise

However Kirk gets to the shuttle before they leave and stuns all the remaining Klingons except his counterpart. Kirk overcomes the Klingon in hand to hand combat to retake his ship. 

As Scotty gets the ship up and running again, Kirk realises what has happened to the away team and that there is now a new Captain in charge-they exchange the away team for the Klingon Captain and promptly leave the area as more Klingon ships arrive.

This story ends with the crew having to deal with the deaths of some of their comrades and realise they have become more than a crew-they are a family. 

Great credit goes to Mike Johnston and Ryan Parrot who wrote this story. They are both longtime writers for the IDW run and it shows that they have such a great handle on the characters. Angel Hernandez has again got the look of the Kelvin timeline spot on with his artwork. Special mention must go to the tribute movie covers that were done for this series (see The Motion Picture one above) As the Kelvin Timeline's continuing missions are being wound down lets hope we get to see these great talents take on some more Star Trek

As I touched on earlier this story was a replacement for the usual Countdown "movie-intro" story. From the Beyond trailers we do get to see a slightly more weary Kirk who's feeling the pressure of being the captain of the flagship and that's seemingly carried over here as we see that losing some crew here, including recurring characters such as Lt Kai, has an effect on him. Remember in Into Darkness that Kirk told Pike he'd not lost a crewmember since taking charge of the flagship.

So while this isn't an official story related to the movie as the Countdown ones were, it does help set the mood and is one of the best stories that we have seen so far.

Read it!!!!!

Star Trek Manifest Destiny is available in all good comic book stores or in graphic novel form from the usual outlets. 

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