Star Trek / Alien Spotlight Vol 1 : 3 of 5

I've really been getting into Star Trek comics lately, focusing mainly on the Original Series characters. Thankfully, there seems to have been a lot of great graphic novels produced recently that fit the bill (possibly anticipating the success of the Star Trek movie), and there are so many that I want to buy and read! I decided to check out Alien Spotlight mainly because it was from the same publisher as the excellent Star Trek Year Four books, and even though it includes stories from all over the Star Trek timeline (all the way back to Captain Pike and forward to Picard and Janeway), I really enjoyed each of the six stories that focus on a different alien race and culture. The best one by far is about the Romulans, which is actually an insightful prequel to Balance of Terror (the best Original Series episode), providing an amazing look into life on Romulus, the unveiling of the first Bird of Prey with a cloaking device, and even revealing Klingon involvement in the Romulan/Federation war! As a bonus, this story is illustrated by the incredible John Byrne, who was one of my favorite artists back when I was a serious comic collector. The story on Vulcans is wonderful as well, since it's about Spock's early days on the Enterprise under Captain Pike, and shows the various conflicts among the crew when dealing with an emotionless officer. The other stories are all interesting (but definitely not as good as the Romulan and Vulcan tales), and I enjoyed the various styles of artwork and use of color. The chapter on the Gorn was fun since they try to assist after a shuttlecraft accident (in reverence to Kirk's sparring the Gorn's life in Arena), but of course things don't go exactly as planned. The Borg story is well-executed, but I'm not really a Borg fan, and the complex time-travel plot was more confusing than interesting. The final chapters covering Andorians and Orions (green girls!) were both fun, especially since they are set in interesting places, such as Babel from the Original Series. Overall this is a really cool series that I'm glad I picked up, and I'm looking forward to Volume 2. Until then, I'm going to scratch my Star Trek itch with the other graphic novels available!

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