Originally published on Set The Tape
‘Captain Kirk has found himself all alone on the Enterprise before – but what happens when each individual member of the crew finds themselves in a similar state? And who is behind this… isolation?’
The ongoing Star Trek: New Visions photo comic continues to tell bizarre and oft times baffling stories with its latest issue, ‘Isolation’.
The latest story sees the members of the Enterprise crew suddenly finding themselves all alone on the ship following a mysterious power surge within the ships systems. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the others appear to be in the same place, but somehow in separate planes of existence where they cannot see, hear, or touch each other.
The initial splitting up of the crew makes for an interesting moment, especially on one page where we see the crew members standing alone one at a time in identical panels, where just moments before they were all together. Whilst it may seem like something of a cheat, using the same background over and over again, it works surprisingly well at showing that they are each isolated and alone, yet because they are all on one page together it reinforces the notion that they are split across several planes of reality.
Once alone the crew begin to search for solutions, with each character doing so in their own way. Spock takes a logical and scientific approach, and is the first to fully figure out what’s going on. Scotty uses his engineers mind to try to create a way back to his friends. And Kirk, as to be expected, Kirk soon finds himself with a beautiful woman and fighting a number of aliens.
As the story unfolds both the reader and the characters learn that they are at the mercy of Aaruu, a member of a pan-dimensional race of beings called the Twii, who has been studying the ship and its crew for years. No longer content to just watch the crew, he has now directly interfiered with them, splitting them up, and even pitting them against imagined foes.
This gives some interesting interactions between characters, such as Sulu and a fake Uhura who is trying to seduce him, but is used to its best when Kirk is made to fight against the Klingon Kang, and the Gorn that he fought in the iconic episode ‘Arena’.
Whilst the story is fairly engaging it does drag in places, with several of the scenes of the crew stumbling around the ship alone feeling overly long and unnecessary.
Another area that lets the story down, unfortunately, is the artwork. Unlike a traditional comic, Star Trek: New Visions is created using images taken from the original series show, as well as brand new computer graphics and photographs merged together. Whilst this does have the effect of making it feel like each panel is a screenshot from an episode, it often times feels disjointed.
For example, there are frequently panels where characters have been placed into new backgrounds, which sometimes results in scale or dimensions being slightly off. There are also some panels where the colours seem to have not been checked, as costume tone changes completely between concurrent panels.
The new alien, Aaruu also looks completely out of place in every panel he is in, mainly due to the fact that he looks like an obvious photo edited CGI character next to real people. The artwork drew me out of the story several times because of these inconsistencies and badly rendered effects, and I can’t help but feel that the book would have worked a lot better if it was traditional art instead.
Whilst not a bad story in itself, some poor pacing and at times inconsistent art lets the book down.
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