Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Pike

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Star Trek: Captain's Log: PikePitched after the events on Talos IV, “which were detailed in the classic television two-parter, The Menagerie”, Stuart Moore’s script for “Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Pike” probably proved something of a disappointment to its 6,038 readers in September 2010. For whilst the twenty-two page periodical contains plenty of action-packed excitement, both aboard the Constitution-class starship as well as in outer space, and certainly features plenty of ‘screen time’ for the comic’s titular character, it seems a pity the prose novelist elected to create a new antagonistic extra-terrestrial species for this story rather than continue his narrative’s nostalgic feel by utilising one of the many races previously encountered on the Sixties Television series.

Admittedly, in many respects the Halogians do a stellar job of providing the U.S.S Enterprise and her crew with some formidably powerful opposition. Their “suspicious” spacecraft design, which initially “matches no know configuration” to Mister Spock’s records, definitely gives the Federation vessel a run for its money in the firepower stakes, and some “twelve years later” causes almost catastrophic damage to Captain Colt’s Class J Ship due to its “radiation beam… generating intense heat.” Likewise, the tendril-covered crustacean-looking beings are clearly capable of posing a considerable threat when encountered at close quarters as their phaser-fight with Pike, Yeoman Colt, and Ensign Stevens, which is dynamically-pencilled by J.K. Woodward, attests; “Wonderful. Two more deaths… For no reason whatsoever. Maybe someday…”

But surely of all the Rim Worlds “not currently Federation-affiliated” the American freelance editor could have selected one that was a little less arguably clichéd and much more familiar to his audience, such as the Tholians, the Gorn, the Andorians, the Klingons, the Romulans, or even a ship of political refugees from the planet Chero? Perhaps then, Moore wouldn’t have had to invent such a contrived case of jeopardy in this publication’s second act, where the Halogians have somehow managed to penetrate Earth’s Solar System undetected and are about to ignite Jupiter’s core, having discovered the “giant ball of gas” is actually a failed sun twinned to our own “G-type main-sequence star.”

Somewhat less perplexing, though similarly frustrating, is this comic’s lack of Number One and Spock. Both bridge officers prominently appear in the tale’s opening moments, yet are then conspicuous by their absence throughout the remaining tome as Captain Pike suddenly selects to take J. Mia Colt with him on a boarding party instead of the half-Vulcan, and the entire book’s script unexpectedly shifts to arguably focus more upon the “pert and shapely” Yeoman from Operations Division, and her sky-rocketing career to becoming a Starfleet Captain.

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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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