Review: Star Trek/The Legion of Superheroes #4 by Chris Roberson & Jeffrey Moy

Star Trek/The Legion of Superheroes #4 (of 6)

Written by: Chris Roberson
Pencilled by: Jeffrey Moy
Inked by: Phil Moy
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Lettered by: Shawn Lee

Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

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

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts with the Emperor receiving a report that time travellers have defeated his Elite Guard. The Emperor is concerned about a mysterious “he” who should have alerted him to the prescence of time travellers.

Meanwhile, the time travellers in question, the Legion and Enterprise crew, have split into two teams to try and figure out what exactly caused this alternate time line to branch off this way. One mixed team heads to the past while another is trying to track down a temporal anamoly in the current time.

The team that goes to the past consists of Bones, Saturn Girl, Chekov, Cosmic Boy, Spock, and Brainiac. Once there, they find a tribe of primative cavemen who are all armed with high-tech weaponry. Including elephant rocking cybernetics.  You know, as soon as as I saw this scene, I immediately thought of Vandal Savage (it helps that I’ve been reading Demon Knights, Villains United and Secret Six, so I have Vandal Savage on the brain).  Turns out to have been a good prediction…but more on that later…

They quickly realize that the tribe is under mind control, so Saturn Girl tries to track down the source of the mind control.

Back in the present, Kirk, Shadow Lass, Sulu, Chameleon, Uhura, and Lighting Lad have decided to infiltrate the Emperor’s palace in order to track down the anamoly. They ambush some guards and steal their uniforms.  They are quickly found out and end up in a running gun fight through the palace.

Both teams’ searches bring them to the same person Vandal Savage in the past/Flint (who is the Emperor in the present). By the way, I have no idea who Flint is, but Kirk recognizes him by that name. Wiki pointed me to this episode of the Original Series, which I have never seen. Turns out Flint and Vandal Savage are the same guy, just a few thousand years apart. But it doesn’t matter what they call him, because now he wants to be called:

Oh…and Cable (or a reasonable fascimile) shows up again…

Review: One thing I have noticed about this mini-series is that the covers and alternative covers have just been terrific. They got quite a few classic Legion artists to come back to do covers for this book, including what might be the best cover I’ve ever seen on a comic, this Mike Grell cover for issue 3:

I am especially glad they didn’t go with Grell’s Cosmic Boy costume from the 70’s. I still don’t know what happened with this one…

I actually didn’t recognize who did the alternate cover for this issue, and sadly it wasn’t credited in the digital version.

Like the rest of this mini, the characterizations in this issue were great. I love the interplay between the various Enterprise crewmen and Legion members. Bones’ caution about telepaths like Saturn Girl, Chekov and Cosmic Boy’s friendly competition, and Chameleon’s comments about Kirk’s brashness really helps make the characters stand out. Ever since the two teams came together in issue 3, this mini seems to have found it’s footing and is doing a great job making this book accessible even to readers who might not be familiar with Star Trek or the Legion.

I also love that the last two issues have featured a lot of terrific action sequences.  The battle with the Elite Guard last issue, and the two teams’ battles this issue with the advanced cavemen and their attempt to take the Emperor’s palace were just high energy and really fun to read.

I also really love the parallel storytelling that’s been used throughout this mini.  In the early issues, it flipped back and forth between the Enterprise crew and Legion, but this issue is just kept seamlessly transitioning back and forth between the two mixed teams.  Yeah, sometimes it feels a little overly coincidental that the team’s actions would be so parallel throughout, but it is pulled off well enough that you can easily forgive them this narrative technique.

Jeffrey Moy’s art continues to be terrific.  Some of the scenes did seem to be less detailed than others, but that’s really just me looking for something to gripe about.

Having Vandal Savage by the same guy as a Stek Trek villain makes a lot of sense, but him declaring in the end that he wants to be called Vandar the Stone turned what was a great comic into something almost bordering on parody I really am not sure what the point of all that was, but it really kind of tainted the issue for me. It didn’t quite ruin the series, but it did make me go “WTF?”

All in all, Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes has been a real fun crossover.  The characters blend together really well, and there definitely is a great story to be told here.  It is definitely in my top five of comic crossovers.

Final Score: 8.5 I was really enjoying this comic until the last page seemed to take a strange turn into almost parody.

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