Review: Star Trek/The Legion of Superheroes #1 by Chris Roberson & Jeffrey Moy

Star Trek/The Legion of Superheroes #1 (of 6)

Written by: Chris Roberson
Pencilled by: Jeffrey Moy
Inked by: Philip Moy
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Colored by: Robbie Robbins

Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from Comixology

One of the coolest things about being a digital-only reader is that I get to see all the alternate covers for comics I read.  While for the most part I am down on “chase variant” covers, I do like when a comic has a few really cool covers to choose from.

This time Keith Giffen (who is one of my all time favorite Legion writers and artists) did one of the covers. I actually think that this cover is a little odd looking. It reminded me of Giffen’s work on Lobo and Trencher, but I still think it was really cool that he did one.

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts off with a great swerve. It seems like a Federation ship is doing the whole “Seek out new civilizations and boldly go where no one has gone before” thing. Until you reach the second page, and realize that this is part of a fleet that is looking to conquer the universe. This alternate reality version of the Federation uses soldiers that resemble the various Legion species. I particularly love that they have a character who seems to be a combination of a Vulcan and a Coluan.

We get a quick flashback explaining the origin of this human-driven fleet of conquerors, including a real odd glimpse of someone that I swear is Cable:

I guess this is the big bad guy who the Enterprise crew and Legion will have to deal with over the next six issues, but we don’t get to know much about this guy (or girl) right now. HEY! Maybe it’s Mystery Woman from DC Relaunch!!

The scene cuts to “limbo” where we see Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl. Cosmic Boy, Shadow Lass, Chameleon, and Brainiac 5 travelling back home via a time bubble. Something odd happens to the time stream, and the bubble starts to crack. They are forced to make an emergency landing.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Enterprise has been recalled to Earth so that Kirk can give the commencement speech at the Federation graduation ceremony. Kirk and crew beam down to Earth.

Both groups find that they are no where near their destination. They have both arrived on the parallel Earth that started this comic. The Legion are being hunted because of Chameleon being a shape shifter, and the Enterprise crew for using an unauthorized communications frequency when they try to call their ship to figure out what is going on. Chekov is shot in the back, and is in pretty bad shape.

Brainy and Spock both realize that they are in the wrong Universe.

Review: Maybe I am in the minority here, but for the most part, I love crossovers because they expose me to characters that I don’t normally get to read much of. Even if a crossover featuring characters I’ve never read before, out of curiosity I would often check them out. Even during the worse DC crossovers in the 90’s (Genesis comes to mind), reading the various crossovers got me interested in some characters I had never thought twice about.

This is especially true for intercompany crossovers. I hadn’t really read much Spawn before the Batman/Spawn crossovers, and I definitely became curious about the character.  These are unique marketing moments, and they need to be taken advantage better. This is the second time I’ve read a crossover by IDW (the first was Infestation), and once again, IDW doesn’t seem to know how to take advantage of this opportunity.

If you are not someone who has followed Legion or Star Trek, you might as well skip this book. It doesn’t make any effort on making you feel comfortable with these characters. It’s even odder since this story dumps the characters from both universes in a third alternate universe…but since a reader might not even know what the Legion or Star Trek universe looks like, this is going to be completely irrelevant to them.

I am a big subscriber to the Claremont philosophy that any comic can be someone’s first comic. Why not try and make them as accessible as possible? Granted, sometimes Clarement did that in an “overstating the obvious” manner, but I would rather see comic writers err on that side than leave the readers feeling left out.

I actually am a huge Legion fan, and my wife is a Trekkie, so I felt very comfortable with these characters and I enjoyed the story quite a bit. Even though the story was happening rapid fire, and Roberson needed to flesh out the alternate reality along with giving each Legion and Star Trek character some time to shine, he really balanced this out well.  I thought he dropped some great characterization moments, especially the banter from the Enterprise crew.

Jeffrey Moy’s art is also top notch. I could probably gripe a little that all the aliens had very human features, but that really is how most artists draw Legion, and Star Trek was mostly humans wearing makeup, so that really would be a petty and nitpicky concern. I especially loved some of the parallel shots:

Despite my griping about how inaccessible this book was for new readers, it still was really well done. I really miss the quirky comic crossover (Star Trek/X-Men is still a comic and novel I loved), and I hope that we see a lot more series like this. Back in the day, it seemed like there were cross-company crossovers all the time. Not saying I want there to be that many again, but definitely more than there have been lately.

Final Score: 8.5 A really well written and drawn comic, but not particularly accessible. Definitely written for fans of Star Trek and Legion (which I happen to be both), and won’t bring in many new readers for either.

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