Home / Comic Review: Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment #1 by D. C. Fontana and Derek Chester with Gordon Purcell

Comic Review: Star Trek Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment #1 by D. C. Fontana and Derek Chester with Gordon Purcell

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D. C. Fontana, the author of several of the best original Star Trek scripts ever written, returns to kick off the stories of the fourth year of the Enterprise’s five-year mission to boldly go where no man has gone before. Only three years were revealed in the television series, and subsequent adventures were only hinted at in the moves set well after that voyage had ended.

This initial series is actually a sequel to Fontana’s “The Enterprise Incident” and the capture of the Romulan cloaking device. That was the episode where McCoy equipped Kirk with the pointed ears that make him look so much like Spock.

Although the television series didn’t deal with the captured technology from that point on, Fontana chooses to make it a focal point in this first arc of new adventures. And that’s a great place to start for Trek fans: answering old questions!

In fact, Fontana and co-writer Derek Chester do just about everything right in this first issue. The story starts with Kirk and Spock together in a shuttlecraft trying to find the Enterprise while she’s employing the new cloaking technology. That relationship was the heart and soul of the series, but I do have to wonder – again – why the captain AND his XO were off the ship at the same time. But I digress. That particular die was already set a long time ago.

The conversation between Spock and Kirk is fantastic. Spock is pontificating on the differences between humans and Vulcans – again – and Kirk enjoys needling him. The brief interchange of dialogue quickly and efficiently brings the reader up to date with what’s going on. I love the effortless ease with which the writers have put the story onto the page.

Purcell’s art explodes with color. The space scene showing the shuttle on page 4 is awesome, and it’s bound to leave some old-time fans seriously jacked about seeing that dated hardware in action.

I also enjoyed seeing the environmental suits again. The crew very rarely used them, though I do recall one of the episodes where Kirk was trapped in limbo in one (which echoes some of the plotting of this comics arc to a degree) as well as another episode where Kirk was just out of phase with everyone. Still, this story just FEELS like ST:TOS so much that I felt like a kid again. Of course, they’re out of the suits in nothing flat.

Another aspect I really am enjoying is the inclusion of other races that aren’t quite human in the crew. I’m looking forward to seeing what other treats are in store now that the budgetary restraints have been lifted.

And we get a mind-meld in the first issue! That totally rocked! I love how this comic is coming together, and I love the artwork on this page. The story problem turns out to be anchored in science, which – hopefully – will be resolved in some creative way in the next issue or two.

Best of all, Kirk is facing off against a Romulan Bird of Prey in the final few panels of the comic! The hook for next month’s comic is definitely set. The cover of the second book, with Kirk and Chekov firing phasers and floating in zero-gee, has got me salivating. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out, and I’m betting if you’re a ST:TOS fan, you won’t enjoy waiting either.

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About Mel Odom

  • I thought this was a fun issue as well, and my reactions were similar. One thing, though, it’s actually the 2nd miniseries in the “Year Four” line. The Amazon link you list by the Sharps collects the first from last summer.