*Special thanks to IDW for the review copy of Star Trek: Manifest Destiny.*
IDW has run the table with the Star Trek comic series. The company has continued to publish quality series following the franchise, time and time again. This time? A standalone, four part series called Star Trek: Manifest Destiny.
Manifest Destiny uses the core elements now familiar to us thanks to JJ Abrams work on the previous two Star Trek films. That being said, besides a few minor references to the events of the films, you can go in and read the issue blindly. So, what’s the story about? Klingons have invaded a planet, lead by Klingon Commander Sho’Tokh. Tokh has the entire village brutally killed, or taken for his own plans.
Meanwhile, the crew of the Enterprise are on their maiden voyage, exploring the stars and dealing with the ‘minor’ life occurrences. This includes a quirky, cute, character developing moment with the ship’s doctor, McCoy. His character, like the others, including Kirk, Spock, Sulu, Uhura and Scotty are ripped right from the film. McCoy’s meaningful moment as a Doctor, is ripped apart by his ideology on society, while everyone banters around it, before being pulled to a random distress call. The distress call forces them to eventually deal with the Sho’Tokh and his Klingon armada.
Right off the bat, the action in Manifest Destiny is handled really well. While it doesn’t last long, the quick changes between the ship and the ground crew in battle is handled well. The art here is pretty phenomenal, and feels on par with something the films would be worthy of. The pencil work is pretty top notch, as well as the color. It blasts through the pages, and in this regard, is definitely worth the purchase.
The narrative structure is sort of hit or miss. If this was a regular monthly running series, this could work perfectly fine. That isn’t the case, and instead is built around four issues as a ‘mini series’. In this regard, the need for McCoy’s medical drama, and some of the bridge banter clogged the narrative. Which is a shame, because we all love these people, but not much motivation is established from Commander Sho’Tokh (unless we are resting on the fact that he is just a Klingon. *shrugs*). Regardless, the last general nitpick is the fact that Sulu is left really with nothing to do but be injured.
Great art work. Visual flair. Manifest Destiny is a solid extension to Abram’s Star Trek universe. Sure, it isn’t anything absolutely amazing (we are only one issue in) but for the pages, the content feels worthy at its asking price (3.99).