New Comics Week 10/28/16: In Which Star Trek Waypoint Boldy Goes to the Top Of the Read Pile

I’ve recently rediscovered my inner Trekkie after years of denying it when a sleepless night caused me to give the Enterprise pilot a shot at one in the morning. Fast forward a few months and I’m working through the last season of Voyager and wondering what I’m going to do with my nights when it’s done. Luckily IDW is here to help with Star Trek: Waypoint, an anthology series. Let me take a minute here to say that anthologies rule. They’re so great. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-plotted 6-24 issue run as much as the next nerd, but the anthology format can give you so much while taking up such little space. It’s a great place to try things that may break down under the weight of the scrutiny a full story recieves or ideas that seem too out there to work. Ideas like a TNG story set a while after the show where Geordi commands the Enterprise aided by a Data who has shed his physical form to serve as the ship’s computer and projects multiple holograms of himself the man the ship. Writer Don Cates (The Paybacks, Interceptor) and artist Mack Chater do a brilliant job capturing the classic dynamic of the two, while subtly showing the way this shift in existence has altered their relationship. It’s a dang near perfect TNG tale that should please any fan. The second story comes from Sandra Lanz who goes the opposite route and makes a small story out of a moment rather than an out-there idea. When a storm causes a transporter malfunction, Uhura finds herself alone on an alien world, waiting out a storm and making first contact. It’s a quiet, sweet story that really feels like a moment that would be in an episode if they had time.

Frostbite #1 from Josh Williamson (The Flash, Nailbiter, Birthright) and Jason Shawn Alexander (Empty Zone) is a fun, if familiar debut with just enough on to keep it interesting. The setup is pretty basic- in a world weathering both a second ice age and a plague that turns people to ice, a gruff but likeable group of couriers take on a job to get some people (who are more than they claim to be!) from point A to point B. Despite being built on a foundation of well trod tropes, the story succeeds purely on the talent of the creators. Alexander’s right in his comfort zone with strong work on the design and scenery and his choreography and framing keep things interesting. Williamson’s script is solid, and there’s enough going on that it feels like the story could take a turn at any point.

I’m still loving all the Rebirth titles for the most part, which is just such a good feeling. I mean, there have been 7 issues of some of these things! And I’m still interested! Crazy! Action Comics #964 kind of gives us some answers about this not-Superman Clark Kent that’s been running around and while it’s not as satisfying as I would have hoped, it’s certainly enough to keep me interested. The main thought I had while reading Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #5 was how epic it feels. There’s almost an Episode IV vibe to the whole thing with the Sinestro Corps ruling the galaxy with an iron fist as a ragtag group of Green Lanterns begins to oppose them. It’s also shockingly new reader friendly- if you haven’t tried this book out yet, you can pick up this issue and pick up all of the plot you’ve missed. Even more impressive is the fact that this exposition doesn’t make the issue a slog if you have been reading since the beginning. All in all, this is EXACTLY the kind of Green Lantern comic I want to be reading. Suicide Squad has really grown on me over the course of its three (or one and a half, depending on you look at it) issues. The format (designed around negating delays *cough* Jim Lee *cough*) of half an issue being main story and the other half being solo/origin stories has kept the main story zippy and utilized the backups to do the character work the main story doesn’t have time for.

Teen Titans Rebirth kind of surprised the heck out of me. The Titans are kind of a glaring hole in my comic book knowledge as aside from a few scattered bits of the Wolfman/Perez run, I haven’t much of them at all, so I was a bit worried about how much I’d enjoy this one. Turns out, I shouldn’t have been. For starters, Ben Percy is on writing duties here and after seeing how well he’s nailed Green Arrow, it was obvious I had nothing to fear. The structure is pretty basic zero-issue stuff- we jump from place to place spending a few moments with each of our cast before they’re incapacitated by a mysterious figure. It’s simple, but frankly it works with the Beast Boy segment in particular being a great example of introducing and effectively familiarizing a new reader with what the character is all about. I wasn’t a huge fan of the art from Jonboy Meyers (it’s very sharp and stylized) but it grew on me as I read and by the end I didn’t mind it one bit. The last page reveal was a bit obvious, which still doesn’t make it any less fun and hopefully it just keeps getting better from there.


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