Advance Review: Spock Evolves In `Star Trek- Strange New Worlds – The Illyrian Enigma’ #2
by Tom Smithyman
While comic book tie-ins are often just money grabs, this limited series is a great addition to the story. With strong writing and simple, but effective, visuals, this series leaves readers wanting more.
When Star Trek first appeared on television screens in the 1960s, all eyes were on the one non-human member of the bridge crew, Mr. Spock. The half-Vulcan first officer with the pointy ears captivated audiences – even to the point of elevating him to an unlikely sex symbol.
With a younger Spock now playing a key role in the prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, writers are challenged with making the familiar character a little less familiar as he grows into the first mate that we know and love. That effort is on display in the second issue of this limited series – which is made to bridge the gap between the streaming show’s first two seasons.
In the opening pages, we see a young officer who is unsure of himself and struggling to contain his emotions in a high-pressure situation. Still, it’s Spock, so we have considerable faith in his abilities, give if he doubts himself. It’s a slight shift in storytelling techniques given the comics’ first issue – but a welcome one thanks to writers Kristen Beyer and Mike Johnson.
Beyer’s work writing the Paramount+ series adds to the comics’ authenticity. While we have only had a handful of episodes to learn about these characters, reading their dialogue in the comic is like watching another installment of the streaming series. For example, at one point, Pike leaves helmsman Erica Ortegas in charge of Enterprise she takes her place in the captain’s chair. When Pike is unexpectedly transported back to the bridge without Spock, he yells out, “No!” Wisecracking Ortegas immediately responds with: “Was I not supposed to sit in the chair? I thought I could sit in the chair.”
Artist Megan Levens draws simple, but clean images of the Enterprise crew, doing a great job of nailing each character’s look. While it may not be the most dramatic or beautiful renderings of the familiar ship and her crew, Levens gets the job done.
With the comic series now halfway through it’s run, it will be interesting to see how the creative team is able to tie up loose ends in a satisfying way, given they won’t be able to spoil the streaming series’ story. If what we’ve already seen is any indication, this team will do it effectively – while leaving us wanting more.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – The Illyrian Enigma #2 will be available for purchase on Wednesday.