Spoilers IDW Star Trek - New Visions - John Byrne

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Villordsutch, May 14, 2014.

  1. Villordsutch

    Villordsutch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My review of New Visions #1 "The Mirror, Cracked" by John Byrne

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    New Visions begins by going through the looking glass to tell the story of what happened after the classic “Mirror, Mirror” episode of the original series. In issue #1, “The Mirror, Cracked,” the crew of the Starship: Enterprise discovers two strangers in their midst, and things take a turn when they learn that one of them has made a pact with one of James Kirk’s oldest foes.

    It could be easy to be glib about this bi-monthly Trek release and “Pfft!” at it whilst decrying, “someone (in this case John Bryne) has just Photoshopped stills from Original Trek and made a comic out of it!?” I can honestly say that my rather shallow outlook concerning the first few pages was the above, but then my feeling of being cheated turned to confusion, then later enjoyment, back to confusion and finally I honestly couldn’t wait for the end to come.

    Possibly not the greatest opener to a review, with no suspense as to how I felt here, but this isn’t the greatest of Star Trek comics. What guiles me the most though is that part way through this comic book (if I can call it that) I felt like I was enjoying it! However on a mo...

    Full review can be found here - http://www.flickeringmyth.com/2014/05/comic-book-review-star-trek-new-visions-1.html
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    It's John Byrne (sounds like "burn"), not Bryne. You got it right in the headline here, but not in the review itself.

    And yes, there's no reason a work created with photomontage can't be called a comic book. Comics have been created by various techniques including painting and computer graphics as well as more conventional pencil and ink. As long as it tells a sequential narrative through still images, dialogue, and written sound effects, it's a comic book. Not to mention that many comics artists over the decades, including Jack Kirby and Byrne himself, have experimented with photographic collage in their comics work, e.g. superimposing a drawing of a character or spaceship against a photographic background.
     
  3. Villordsutch

    Villordsutch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    Lord knows how I missed that! Thank you :D

    All changed :D
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  4. vegaslover62

    vegaslover62 Commander Red Shirt

    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    "The web flew out and opened wide. The mirror crack'd from side to side. 'The curse is upon me,' cried the Lady of Shallott." -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    And that's your culture for today, kids. Run along and have fun, now!
     
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  5. Villordsutch

    Villordsutch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    If I had a Like function I'd click it now Vegaslover :D
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    Puzzled by the cynical review. You were never a fan of the twelve Mandala/Bantam TOS "Fotonovels", to which this series is an affectionate homage?

    Well, don't read the 12 Fotonovels then. They're not new stories, just adaptations of episodes! ;) Byrne's new comic series features all-new story sequels using classic photo stills.

    Huh? You didn't realise that John Byrne has written lots of TOS comics for IDW already, that he has a huge following as a comics writer, and that his past IDW Trek stuff sold very well?
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    I think it's more than that. It's not copying the Fotonovel format, but is very much a John Byrne-style comic-book composition that just relies on photomontage and image manipulation rather than drawing. As an extremely accomplished veteran artist, Byrne is stretching himself by experimenting with a new medium. Even if the Fotonovels were an inspiration, what he's doing is more than just an homage.

    If anything, I think it owes more to the Italian fumetti genre. Photo-based comics are a long-established genre in Italy. Arguably TV and movie "fotonovels" are merely a subset of fumetti.
     
  8. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    I read it yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a bit condensed and dialogue-heavy but the story was fun and Byrne made good use of supporting characters, including Kyle, Moreau, and Masters, as well as the recurring main cast.

    In some ways it's most endearing quality and greatest weakness is that it plays heavily on Trek lore and I think the casual reader might be a bit baffled. He references and re-uses a few clever tricks from earlier episodes to good effect. It's a shame that Rand didn't get a cameo in the final scene though.

    I may be biased because I did my own photo-comic using stills from TMP but I will certainly keep an eye out for any more of these.
     
  9. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    Just finished reading it. I can only imagine the complications involved in trying to fit a new story to existing images -- or the work involved in "remixing" those images to create something new.

    I enjoy Byrne's take on the Trek universe, so I'm glad to have him back, but I'm not a huge fan of this format experiment. I'm willing to ride along, however, and see how it plays out. Byrne is fun to read, even when he's experimenting.
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Review - New Visions "The Mirror, Cracked"

    For TOS there are a lot of hi-res images to play with but there are some complications such as differing hairstyles in different episodes. It was trickier for TMP because there are only 2 hours worth of images, they keep changing uniform, some characters barely get up from there stations, Chapel and Rand don't have many scenes, there are very few decent Scotty images, and there are almost no action shots. I had to use quite a lot of head swaps.
     
  11. Villordsutch

    Villordsutch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Star Trek - New Visions - Time's Echo - Review

    My review of Time's Echo from John Byrne.

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    Villordsutch reviews Star Trek: New Visions #2 – Time’s Echo…

    "From the raging heart of the galaxy comes a message that summons the crew of the Starship: Enterprise on their most bizarre and dangerous mission. A message sent by their own captain… ten centuries earlier!”


    It really doesn’t seem like two months since the last photonovel from John Byrne, but in looking back to my last review for The Mirror, Cracked it’s been close to three months since the last one. For those of you that didn’t read my review of The Mirror, Cracked, in a very brief nutshell a lot of work clearly had gone into producing this comic however I found the story somewhat lacking. At the beginning of the week Flickering Myth gave a preview of this issue’s first few pages here and I’ll return to the look of the comic shortly but I’ll discuss the stories first.

    The stories – (plural) as we have two – are cracking Trek tales involving a mysterious message from Galactic Core and a very brief goodbye tale to Yeoman Rand. In the first story a Federation listening outpost receives a thousand year old message from Captain James T. Kirk close to the Galactic Central Core with instructions on how to get to a certain unknown, unmapped planet. The Enterprise is sent to investigate and when they arrive they discover a destroyed Enterprise, pieces of it strewn across the planet’s surface and buildings built across its hull, which have been there for centuries. It’s an excellent Trek story which stays within the realms of Original Trek too, and then a goodbye to Rand tale and a silent send off from Kirk is the proverbial cherry to the Trek-like cake.

    The photonovel on a whole again is good and it’s clear from this issue that John Byrne has put a lot of work into making this look as near-flawless as he can. However and this really is a big “HOWEVER”, there is something that ru...

    Full article<<<
     
  12. YJAGG

    YJAGG Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek - New Visions - Time's Echo - Review

    I found the main story to be lack luster, and not worth the cover price if I knew the spoiler code I would greater detail why, but for the moment I will simply say it was uninspired.

    The supporting story was ok
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek - New Visions - Time's Echo - Review

    I find the artwork in the sample to be a lot rougher and less convincing than in the earlier Byrne photomontage samples I've seen. The virtual sets are unconvincing, the characters' poses are often awkward and don't seem to fit the scene, and yes, the Resnick character is really badly done. Maybe the problem with doing these as an ongoing series rather than a one-shot is that there's less time to do each one.
     
  14. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The main story, "Time's Echo," is a disappointment.

    Essentially it's the DS9 episode "Children of Time" -- but with zero characterization of the descendants, no moral or ethical conundrum concerning the obliteration of the descendants' existence, and an ending with a hollow and inexplicable platitude expressed by Kirk that in no way corresponds to the context of the story.

    It's as if John Byrne just threw up his hands for the final panels of the story and wrote the first ridiculous thing that came to mind.

    Utterly baffling.

    I thought Byrne might redeem this volume with the back-up story featuring Rand. After reading the first two issues of the "City on the Edge of Forever" comic adaptation that reveals a capable, kick-ass Rand, I was hoping to see a Janice Rand spotlight that gave her more depth or shined a light on some unseen facet of her character. Sadly this was not to be.

    We get a story that stars many of the female characters on the Enterprise (Rand, Uhura, McGivers, Chapel, etc.) interacting with each other. On the surface, this is a very cool thing and ripe with potential. However, EVERY single exchange between these characters is about a man. Incredibly, a story (almost exclusively) featuring numerous distinctive women conversing with one another...fails the Bechdel test.:cardie:

    Rand is leaving the ship to care for her newly disabled ex-fiancé (:rolleyes:) and EVERY conversation is about the ex-fiancé or Rand's relationship with Kirk. Ugh.

    Technically speaking, this is a wonderfully executed story. The pacing and panel choices/layout are superb but the story it tells is rubbish and a wasted opportunity.

    I hope the next installment of this series is at least moderately better.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2014
  15. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    Merged issue 2 thread with issue 1

    Villordsutch - since you're usually the first with the reviews, can you do me a favour and just add each new issue's review to the existing thread? That way we'll have one thread per comic book series.
     
  16. Villordsutch

    Villordsutch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Trampledamage - Will do. My apologes, I rather stupidly searched for Echo and Time's rather than my ruddy self to add it to this post.

    I'll remember for the next one.

    Sto-Vo-Kory - I agree with the Kick-ass Rand to this Rand however with two different writers I still thought it was an excellent tale for her, we can't all be hard centres all of the time, though I did like the Time's Echo tale this time.

    Christopher - The Resnick character really shows spoils it, there are some other elements I could highlight but Gabriel Rodriguez as Resnick spoils instantly ruins the comic look.
     
  17. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    :lol: No worries. Thanks :techman:
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Umm, what's so wrong about guest-starring Gabriel Rodriguez? (I had to Google him).

    Do you mean you don't want Byrne ever using faces that haven't been in Trek before? Or do you mean some of his images or expressions were inappropriate to the panels they were used in?

    By the way, the pink/purple-skinned alien woman is probably meant to be the same species as the ambassadors glimpsed in both "Journey to Babel", and movies ST IV and ST VI. (The makeup artists revisited several JtB aliens for the extras at the conference in ST VI.)
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Unnamed_humanoids_%2823rd_century%29#Purple_Federation_members
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  19. Villordsutch

    Villordsutch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Ha! There's is nothing wrong with Gabriel as such there is just everything wrong with the way in which he's been added in. Nothing has been done to smooth him in, I'd go so far as to say you can almost see the sellotape where they've stuck down his head (obviously my tongue is in my cheek here).
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^That's right. I have no idea who Gabriel Rodriguez is, but the compositing of his face into the images is very poorly done.