Sunday, July 24, 2011

IDW news

After a long run of months with next to no Star Trek comics (aside from some reprint collections and two issues in the Infestation crossover), IDW has made some big announcements you already know about.

There's been a bit of a fuss over the Legion of Superheroes crossover. It doesn't bother me; it's not going to be an ongoing thing, and it's not unprecedented (see the X-Men crossovers). The idea doesn't appeal to me mainly because I don't know anything about the DC universe; I currently read their Vertigo titles, and when I was young and read superhero stuff I was much more a Marvel reader. But this isn't likely to hurt a comic book line that reportedly has had really low sales. Not that this will change that. Maybe there are a lot of Legion fans who haven't previously bought Trek comics who will pick this up and be intrigued... but they won't have an ongoing original series Trek comic to latch onto. It's not a gateway for new readers, it's a dead end.

The bigger development is the ongoing monthly set in the new movie continuity. The bestselling comics have been those that tied in with the movie, so it make sense. IDW switched over to an ongoing monthly for Doctor Who some time ago, though not exclusively.

My concerns here are that, well, I haven't enjoyed the movie continuity comics. I liked the movie itself a lot more than many of the first ten Trek movies, and I was excited about the Pocket novels that ended up getting canceled at the last minute -- I still want to read those some day. I believe it is possible to get some compelling, original, and worthwhile tie-in fiction in this new continuity. I don't think I've seen it yet. The YA novels are entertaining in their own right, but they're more Hardy Boys at the Academy than anything uniquely Star Trek. As for the comics, Nero and Spock: Reflections made next to no impact and Countdown made plenty, all of it negative.

If it's true that the comics will visit original series stories to see how they play out in this changed timeline, though, I'm a lot less convinced that this is going to have much lasting appeal. The movie worked because it treated its elements as something new and not tied down to the past. The best argument for the comic, really, is that it may keep the movies from following the same path.


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