Friday, February 10, 2017

Fun But Utterly Inconsequential: Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War

The Good: Moments of artwork, Moments of character
The Bad: Incredibly basic plot, Some underwhelming artwork, Fails to capture the villains in a compelling way
The Basics: Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War is a marginally interesting idea with a pretty middling execution.

Back in my youth, I did not read comic books. In fact, it was not until late middle school, when I became obsessed with Star Trek that I ever recall picking up a comic book. Throughout high school and college, I read the various incarnations of Star Trek in comic book form, in addition to the vast array of novels in the Star Trek franchise. Back then, there were very few crossover events; it was a big deal when the original Star Trek crew had any sort of interaction with the crew of the Enterprise-D! In fact, the first out-of-universe crossover event I recall was when Marvel published the Star Trek/X-Men crossover.

Now, things are different and crossovers happen between even vastly incongruent universes in comic book forms. Last year, for example, I found Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation (volume 1 reviewed here!). Today, I discovered Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War. Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War is set in the universe of the 2009 film Star Trek (reviewed here!) during the five-year mission, after Star Trek Into Darkness (reviewed here!). And Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War is about as good as one might expect for a compilation of six issues that try to combine two such big universes.

Opening with the final Guardian about to be killed on Mogo with the last of the power rings, the Black Lantern is unable to kill him because he traverses universes. The U.S.S. Enterprises comes across a rogue planet suddenly, the dead Mogo, and on its surface they find the remains of the dead Guardian and a single example of each of the power rings. While Scotty and Kenser run tests on the power rings, a Klingon Bird Of Prey with General Chang decloaks, demanding Captain Kirk surrender to him. Scotty's test activates the power rings and Chang, Uhura, Chekov, and McCoy are chosen to be ring bearers. Hal Jordan appears with his Green Lantern ring to save the Enterprise, while Kirk advocates retreat.

While Yellow Lantern Chang seizes control of Kronos, only to be put in his place by Sinestro, the Orange and Red rings find their bearers on Romulus and the Gorn Homeworld. Hal Jordan explains how his universe ended when Nekkron tried to kill everyone in the universe again and that Ganthet must have used his ultimate escape plan to enter Kirk's universe with the rings. Hal Jordan was not teleported alone; Sinestro, Atrocitus, and Larfleeze also were saved from the destruction of their universe and they set out to stop the new ringbearers of their color rings. When Star Sapphire leader Carol Ferris arrives on the Enterprise with the near-dead St. Walker, she reveals that Nekkron was teleported to the universe as part of Last Light as well. Soon, Sinestro and the Red Lanterns are at war and Sinestro unleashes the power of fear on the Enterprise crew. With the Enterprise crew incapacitated, Hal Jordan takes control of the Enterprise and gets it to safety. When Nekkron resurrects Vulcan as Black Lanterns and Hal Jordan is rescued by other surviving Green Lanterns from his universe, the various Lanterns work to save the universe with the Enterprise crew.

Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War seems to be built on the premise that readers know who all of the various Green Lanterns are, as their characters are entirely glossed over. Hal Jordan is glossed over some in the book, while Guy Garner is given no distinct character; even John Stewart is characterized more. But the Star Trek characters are each given a few moments where readers are told explicit character traits that either contrast the DC Comics characters or apply to the ring color they were granted.

The very basic premise of Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War is much dodgier than its execution. The ridiculous notion of a Star Trek/DC Comics Universe crossover is somewhat negated by limiting the crossover to the interstellar characters from DC Comics - it's not like trying to integrate Wonder Woman and The Flash into the Enterprise crew. Nekkron is the appropriate villain for the combined Corps to justify the crossover, but characters like General Chang from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (reviewed here!), get somewhat under-served by the speed of the narrative.

On the artwork front, Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War is a decidedly mixed bag. Writer Mike Johnson smartly includes a named Romulan from the correct era - the 23rd Century of Star Trek - in the form of Decius. But the Star Trek fans geeky enough to know who Decius is will see absolutely no resemblance between the aged Centurion and the character on the pages of Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War. In a similar fashion , the Gorn in Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War look nothing like the Gorn of Star Trek or Star Trek Enterprise.

Ultimately, Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War is momentarily diverting and fun, but not at all an enduring, timeless or essential graphic novel.

For other graphic novel reviews, please check out:
Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation, Volume 2
Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness
Green Lantern: Sinestro


For other book reviews, please check out my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment