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"Countdown To Darkness" If Ever There Were A Foreboding Title The Aptly Named Prequel Comic Definitely Fits The Bill
Providing an eagerly awaited perspective on the “Star Trek Into Darkness” reboot sequel, issue one begins with its own revelatory perspective through Spock’s narration of his recurring dream. Symbolising the inner conflict of logic versus emotion; we witness Spock beaming to the planet Vulcan to rescue the High Council through logical thought and action; however in Spock’s dream his mother survives and is beamed to the Enterprise. This becomes the catalyst for emotion to corrupt Spock’s manifest world of logic as the surroundings deteriorate, falling apart. He is pushed away by his mother, pushed through a window and flung away from the enterprise as it disintegrates then explodes in a blinding light.
The dream sequence gives us a unique view on Spock’s struggle to maintain control over his emotions through a time of grief.
Meanwhile, the illustrious captain is adjusting to his new position with his own charismatic perspective as the Enterprise encounters their destination — a planet with a young civilisation several millennia behind Starfleet.
As can be expected within the Star Trek universe (and the reboot clearly intends to maintain the trend) there is no such thing as a routine mission and this is proven by the sudden awareness of a high energy field from the planet that alludes to an unexpected level of technology far in excess of its inhabitants.
Deciding that the prime directive is no longer relevant, Kirk decides to shuttle down to the planet, joined by Sulu, Spock, and the token red shirt “cupcake”, who, despite the warm reception delivered to the shuttle in the form of a series of lasers, manages to survive and remain on hand to deliver medical assistance to an unconscious Sulu.
Outside the shuttle, Kirk and Spock debate staying or exploring but their discussion is cut short with the appearance of a large army of insectoid creatures, presumed to be the inhabitants of the planet, sporting a form of laser assault rifle, a translating tricorder, and a clear lack of patience.
The scene reaches the pinnacle of intrigue as an off-frame voice precedes the introduction of Robert April, “Former Captain of a ship called Enterprise”, delivering the all important cliff-hanger for the next issue.
The comic promises an expansive 22 pages, delivering a warm up to the long-awaited film. As the countdown begins, the major players are moving into position, and we catch our first glimpse of the new enemy within.
The first issue of Countdown to Darkness features a choice of four covers; covers A and B feature James Kirk fading into a star filled space scene, and the leather coat wearing figure standing atop a pile of rubble that forms the Starfleet insignia shape, matching the official poster for Star Trek Into Darkness.
The remaining two covers are a limited “Enterprise Edition” and a Hastings exclusive.
The Enterprise edition is a limited edition cover with only 1701 copies, matching the registration number of the Enterprise. The cover is also the only one of the four to feature the Enterprise in all its glory; alongside an artistic depiction of James T Kirk sporting a pensive look. The artwork for this edition is credited to Stephen Molnar; veteran artist for an array of Star Trek comics in the reboot. This limited edition comic can be purchased whilst stock is still available from www.enterpriseedition.co.uk
The Hastings Exclusive adopts a different approach with less style shown in the artwork depicting Spock, Kirk and McCoy, who overlap a star-filled Starfleet insignia which sits upon a stark white background. Spock and Kirk are firing hand phasers in two different directions whilst McCoy is holding a medical tricorder in an unseemingly defensive posture.
The Enterprise edition is certainly a clear favourite; and definitely one for the collectors. With a lot of thought and consideration placed in the Artwork, and a numbered certificate of authenticity, it promises to be a fitting and unmissable collectible for Comic collectors and Trekkies alike.