The Longbox Hunter: STAR TREK: UNTOLD VOYAGES #2

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In the back of my house, I keep my most prized possessions. My long boxes.  Filled with issue after issue after issue (Guess you could say I have issues) of comic books dating back thirty years or longer.

This is just one of them.

Star Trek: Untold Voyages #2

This issue was published in February of 1999 by Marvel Comics under the “Marvel Presents Paramount Comics” imprint with a cover date of April 1998 and a cover price of $2.50. It was written by Glen Greenberg, and the art was done by Michael Collins and Keith Williams. The issue is titled, “Worlds Collide”.  Star Trek: Untold Voyages was a mini-series of 5 issues that takes place after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture but before Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn.

Let’s talk about the big character highlight in this issue, Saavik. Saavik was a character first seen in Star Trek II as Spock’s protégé. She was played in Star Trek II by Kirstie Alley. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, she’s played by Robin Curtis. I know there are people who prefer Kirstie’s performance over Robin’s, but personally, I’ve always like Robin’s better.

Something that was left out of the movies, (and therefore out of canon) was that Saavik was half-Romulan. It was revealed in the novelizations, but only the most die-hard fans read those.

Now, let’s discuss this issue. It opens with the Enterprise exploring a world that’s about to be hit by a planet-killing asteroid. Kirk, McCoy, Uhura, Chekov and Ensign Omal (who is taking Spock’s place while he’s taking care of other matters) beam down to observe the local creatures. Large four-legged beasts. The landing party can’t determine too much about them so they take their readings and leave…or they would if Bones wasn’t arguing with Kirk about leaving these creatures to their fate.

Will Kirk decide to intervene?

Meanwhile, Spock arrives at the Vulcan embassy on Earth. He has been summoned to deal with Saavik, a young Vulcan-Romulan hybrid child that he rescued from an abandoned Romulan Colony. It seems the Romulans were trying to do some selective breeding, crossing Romulans with Vulcans. The Romulans eventually deemed their efforts a failure and left the offspring behind to die. Spock and a Vulcan expedition found the youths and rescued them.

Now all the other children have accepted the Vulcan way and left with new families…except Saavik. She doesn’t want to control her emotions and she’s acting out. So Spock was summoned to assist her.

What will Spock do with young Saavik?

Now, let’s see if this issue stands the test of time.

Artwork: Michael Collins pencils are pretty darn good. He gives plenty of detail in the close-up shots that you don’t have to guess what you’re looking at and the characters LOOK like the original actors. The Enterprise is drawn well and there are no real problems with perspective.

The only real problem I have with the artwork is some of the color work. Matt Webb, the colorist, does great when it comes to the planet, ship, regular people and uniforms. But for some reason, the Vulcans have a coppery orange skin tone. I know that Vulcans live on a hot desert planet. But the skin tone is supposed to be slightly green, not orange.

Story: I really liked this story. The Kirk/McCoy story is a classic Star Trek style story. They come to a planet and have to make a decision about what action to take, the moral one or the logical one. The one thing this story lacks is Spock to back up the logical side of things. You have McCoy being McCoy and Kirk having to argue what Spock would argue. In the end, compassion wins out…but is not necessary since the inhabitants solve the dilemma anyway.

The Spock/Saavik story is pretty good. Spock tries to deal with Saavik logically, but that won’t work. She may be half-Vulcan, but she’s still a child. She wants to be like Spock — able to control her emotions — but she just can’t find that hold. Spock senses Saavik has a kindred spirit. Someone who is the product of two worlds, neither of which he would entirely fit into, not without practice. He even tells her about his experiences as a child and tells her that she can learn from his experiences. In the end, he finds her a home that will accept her. It’s not a fantastic story that the cover promised,but it’s a good one.

This is a lost era of Star Trek, one that is found only in books and comic books. It’s refreshing to read these stories. It’s a shame the “Marvel Presents Paramount Comics” imprint has never been collected in a trade paperback or digital format, but I’m sure it’s a rights issue.

So if you want to read a copy, start hunting!

 

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Thomas Townley

Thomas spends hours playing games, reading books and comic books and watching genre tv. You should too.

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