Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Star Trek: The Key Collection is here!

I mentioned this in the blog once or twice when I was wondering if it would ever actually show up. My comic shop finally got my copy last week. So, here's a version of the comments on the book that'll be going on the Complete Starfleet Library website in the next day or two (I have a couple of other items to add, too).

This is a reprint of the first eight issues of Gold Key's Star Trek comic, first published in the late 1960s. Though to some extent modeled on the old Enterprise Logs collections from the 1970s, there are significant differences for better and for worse.

The good news is that this is a nicely bound book with sturdy, glossy pages. All eight issues are reprinted in full.

The downside? Well, the little extra features added to the first Enterprise Logs are not included, which may annoy completists. Much more important is the problem with the colour. Where the hell is the blue? Compare page after page even to an old, yellowing newsprint copy of Enterprise Logs, and you'll see that the colours here just aren't right. I wonder if the green shirts (instead of yellow) worn by Kirk and other Enterprise crew members looked like an error to someone at Checker, who colour-corrected much too vigourously to make the shirts look closer to yellow. Unfortunately, this changed the look of a lot of the other art. It's too much to expect that original inked pages without colour could easily be found, allowing for new colour work to be done, but I doubt that this is the best that could be done.

And the stories still aren't very good. The comic did get better over the years, and I think any hardcore TOS fan should at least take a look at this (for nostalgic reasons if nothing else), but I can't honestly say these are good in any universally shared meaning of the word "good."

Still, even though I have the four Enterprise Logs collections already, plus almost all of the other Gold Key issues, I'm looking forward to more volumes in this series (volume 2 is scheduled for September). I hope they fix the colour problems. And I hope they reprint the entire run of comics.

(Now playing: Devo, "Beautiful World," New Traditionalists.)


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