Star Trek: The Key Collection #4
by various writers & artists (Checker, 2005)

My first reintroduction to the Star Trek comics -- I'd first seen them in their original incarnation as individual issues from Gold Key Comics in the early 1970s -- was via a volume of collected reprints from Checker Publishing. The fact that I'm recommending this book is a victory for nostalgia over substance.

The artwork in these books is pretty bad. These beloved characters rarely look like their famous TV/movie counterparts, and Uhura is fair-skinned -- by which I mean lily-white -- in nearly every panel in which she appears. Plotting and dialogue are amateurish, too -- as an example, a "light-year" is used as a measurement of time, not distance. Spock, too, is uncharacteristically light-hearted, laughing and joking around with his shipmates.

OK, so the writers more than three "light-decades" ago might not have been too familiar with the source material, but heck, I had a ball reading these cheesy stories all the same. I mean, Star Trek had been off the air for several years and had not yet returned in any palatable form; even at such an early age, I can remember enjoying these bonus adventures for the good captain and crew of the starship Enterprise.

Don't pick this up for fine art or literature. But for a trip down Memory Lane -- to the future, no less -- this collection is a hoot.

review by
Tom Knapp

23 February 2008

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