Star Trek: Countdown #4

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Countdown4-minDespite “Imagine Games Network” supposedly “positively” reviewing Issue Four of “Star Trek: Countdown”, it seems doubtful that many of this comic’s ever-mounting 14,544 readers would have agreed with the “IDW Publishing” pre-release boast that the mini-series’ final instalment brings “the Romulan villain Nero’s vengeful crusade against the Federation… to a stunning conclusion!” In fact, it’s arguable as to whether Mike Johnson and Tim Jones’ narrative even satisfactorily “serves as both a lead up to the film” or “as a continuation of the Star Trek: The Next Generation franchise.”

The writing partnership’s main problem is probably their portrayal of the Narada as such a seemingly invincible vessel that it can now take on the entire Klingon Defence Force’s fleet single-handedly, and still maintain “their shields… at full strength.” Plus the enormous spacecraft can both conceal itself and “fire while they’re cloaked” without any apparent energy-loss or engine distribution difficulties whatsoever. Considering that such technology has been fitted to just a simple mining ship, one has to wonder why the Romulan ruling council never saw fit to apply this technology to their D’deridex-class warbirds and give the antagonistic Star Empire a truly formidable edge over their neighbours at the conference table? Or how the U.S.S. Kelvin later lasted anywhere near as long as it did against the Borg-enhanced craft considering that its technology was already inferior by a couple of hundred years? If some of General Worf’s “late 24th century” Birds Of Prey couldn’t last five seconds against the Narada, how did the Federation Kelvin-type starship temporarily survive long enough to actually damage the superior vessel..?

Disappointingly, there also appears little logic to Nero’s decision to want the son of Mogh to both “board a shuttle and come to me”, as well as “surrender on behalf of the Klingon Empire”. The heavily-tattooed miner would surely know that his aggressive foe would never yield to such demands, especially to such hated race rivals, and therefore smacks of the creative team rather indolently contriving to arrange a set of circumstances which allows the U.S.S. Enterprise’s former Strategic Operations Officer to kill a few of Vulcan’s “biological cousins” in hand-to-hand combat and subsequently be ‘gutted’ in a gratuitously overly-bloody scene pencilled by David Messina, which appears far more appropriate to a narrative set within the “Alien” franchise than Gene Roddenberry’s universe; “You fight well, Romulan! But not well enough! Tell me where your coward captain hides!”

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5

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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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