By Dustin Cabeal
I know what you’re thinking. Why is Dustin reviewing another IDW title? WHY? Someone save the book, pull it from his grasp and prevent him from reviewing it. We have to save the score! He’s going to tank the score!! WHY oh cruel gods of comics would you let this man review a Star Trek book from IDW!?! WHY! JACK KIRBY!!! DITKO… THAT OTHER GUY! WHY? Which I can answer for you easily. This Star Trek book is unlike any other IDW Star Trek book they’ve done. I wish that the rest of their Star Trek books were this good, but I’ll just be happy for one and hope it bleeds into the rest.
Waypoint is an anthology series. The stories are short and have no real consequences on the universe or timeline. They’re giant “what ifs” and that’s perfectly fine with me. I don’t need everything in Star Trek to be cannon.
The reason this works so well is that they’ve gotten up and coming talent both on the writing side and the art side. I was honestly fucking surprised to see how good the art was for both stories. It was not the “house style” that I associate with IDW, but rather new and different. If this is how IDW is going to test the waters with new creators, I’m all for it because it might actually bring about a change to the company in a way that would make me want to read more of their books.
The first story is by Donny Cates. If you’ve never read anything from Donny Cates, you’re in for a treat. I’m only going to tell you two aspects of the story because they were great. The story itself is great; there’s a lot of attention to detail in terms of the universe and a great deal of respect paid to the source material. Simply put, it didn’t feel like a cheap cash-in on the property. As for the two deals, Data is an A.I. because his body failed him and Geordi is the captain of the Enterprise. Yeah, awesome. And that doesn’t even make sense, but I loved it. He went from Chief Engineer to Captain, not exactly the natural progression for that career, but something about it made sense and felt right. I loved it. The story had a ton of heart and Mack Chater’s artwork was great. It was gritty and gave the story an edge. I waited for the shit to hit the fan and while it didn’t do that exactly, his art still brought back the freight you’d sometimes get from TNG.
From Next Generation we go back to OG Star Trek with Uhura landing on a new planet. Due to a storm, the landing team has been scattered, and they’ve all been asked to wait a while before they beam them back to the ship. She encounters an alien lifeform, and that’s all I’ll tell you. This story also had a lot of heart. Cates and Chater’s story brought the feels, but then writer/artist Sandra Lanz finished it off with a bang. That’s why I love Star Trek so much because you really can tell interesting and short stories in this universe. Lanz’s writing is sharp and to the point. The emotion of the story mostly resides in her artwork which was clean and detailed. The coloring was vibrant and looked like it came from the original show, but without that annoying dated look that so many try to do. It was still modern looking from the art to the coloring.
While these two stories both are deep and emotional at times, they’re the perfect contrast to each other as well. One is gritty and in the future. It feels like so much has already happened and sets the stage for even more to come. While the other is bright and beautiful, giving hope for the future. Both filled me with joy, even if that wasn’t the particular message of their stories. Frankly put, these are the two best Star Trek stories I have read in comics. Period. Pray for issue two. It’s already finished and just a month away from getting to my hands and it already has an uphill battle thanks to just how damn good this issue is.
Star Trek: Waypoint #1
Writers: Donny Cates, Sandra Lanz
Artists: Mack Chater, Sandra Lanz
Publisher: IDW Publishing