‘Star Trek: Best Of Klingons’ is a book of two halves, more or less. The first half consists of four issues originally published by DC comics as Star Trek # 1-4. The second half was originally issued by IDW Publishing as Star Trek: Klingons: Blood Will Tell # 1-5. The first story follows on directly from the film ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan’. The second is a sort of prequel to ‘Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’. As these are generally considered the two best ‘Star Trek’ films of the old order this is no bad chronology into which to slot.
After the Khan adventure, Kirk manages to stay on as captain of the Enterprise and is sent on a mission to the Klingon border where another starship has been destroyed. At this point, Mister Spock is dead so Saavik is trying to fill in for him. Investigating events, the crew soon discovers Klingon involvement but there is more to it than first meets the eye. The script by Mike W. Barr is excellent, as is the art by Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran. Prejudiced in favour of old-fashioned comic art, I preferred the pictures in the first half of the book. Getting the likenesses right is not easy on a comicbook work schedule but Sutton generally does a pretty good job. Kirk is hard to capture but in odd panels he manages to convey something of the beauty of Saavik and Uhura. He tends to use smaller panels for quiet narrative chatty bits and let rip with big ones for the space battles. Overall, the storytelling, the most important thing in comic strips, is well done.
To be fair, the art by David Messina on the second half of the book is also very good but it seems computerised. Nothing wrong with that but it’s not my style. One’s prejudices are set early in these matters. The story is by Scott Tipton and David Tipton and it seemed odd at first but grew on me quite quickly. Kahnrah is a member of the Klingon High Council and has the deciding vote on whether or not to ask the Federation for help following the crisis on Praxis. If he votes not to ask for help, it means war. The Klingons will try to take what they need. Weighing up the matter he is reviewing previous clashes with the Federation and, to this end, we are told favourite old encounters from a Klingon point of view, namely Star Trek episodes ‘Errand Of Mercy’, ‘The Trouble With Tribbles’, ‘A Private Little War’ and ‘Day Of The Dove’. Kahnrah discusses these with his adult granddaughter. At first, this retelling seemed pointless to me but it became interesting and led to a grand conclusion.
Whether or not this is the best of Klingons I couldn’t say, not having read all the other Klingon stories in comic book format, but it’s certainly jolly entertaining. Story and art are top notch in both parts and I enjoyed it very much. The quality of the printing and reproduction is also excellent, making for a classy product overall. A worthwhile purchase for any sentient being worthy of the designation ’Trekkie’.
Star Trek: Best Of Klingons
(pub: IDW Publishing. 234 page graphic novel. Price: £17.07 (UK). ISBN-13: 978-1613777251
check out website: www.idwpublishing.com