Photomontage: by John Byrne
Created by: Gene Roddenberry
Edited by: Chris Ryall
Published by: Ted Adams
I have been a big fan of Star Trek since before I can remember, probably born that way. Some of my earliest memories of TV time with my family were of watching Sesame Street and Star Trek. I have enjoyed every Star Trek TV series, movie, and book that I have encountered thus far, and have enjoyed the current run of Star Trek comics from IDW Publishing. When first saw New Visions, I was skeptical. It is not a traditional comic book, relying on existing footage from the original series rather than drawn artwork. But, I do enjoy Star Trek, so I decided to give New Visions a chance.
I was not disappointed to read it. At first, the photomontage style was a bit distracting, but after the first couple pages, I became accustomed to it and any distraction melted away. The story here is pretty standard for a classic Trek episode. The Enterprise finds a ship adrift and investigates. The Enterprise and crew are then lead to a planet where the populace is forced to wear masks all the time, hiding their faces from everyone. Captain Kirk and the rest of the landing party are captured, and now must escape before they are put to death. Beyond the standard, almost cookie cutter Star Trek plot line, I felt that this story was too short and left me wanting more. After ten minutes of reading, I had reached the end of the comic. I’ll grant that I am a fast reader, but I didn’t feel like there was enough conflict and obstacles for the Enterprise crew to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it, I just wanted more.
The photomontage is actually put together rather well, using still images from the original series. New images look to be computer rendered images of decent quality and are generally placed well, though sometimes the edits of existing images come off as a bit less sophisticated. Overall, I was pleased with the quality of the edits. As much as the story felt like a classic episode, the art did as well.
Overall, Star Trek New Visions: The Hidden Face is a fun, if quick, read for fans of the classic series. The art is good, the story is decent, and John Byrne definitely captured the spirit of Star Trek. I recommend giving this one a try.