Review: Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #1

Green Lantern Star Trek 2“The Crossover Event of 2015!” is the tagline on the many variant covers of IDW‘s Star Trek and Green Lantern miniseries. Unfortunately, that’s the overstatement of 2015.

The lukewarm first issue contains hardly any Green Lantern at all, so fans of that universe will find little to excite them. Instead, it takes place almost entirely on the Starship Enterprise, but it leaves behind the wit and depth of character that make IDW’s ongoing Star Trek series such a pleasure these days. Mike Johnson also writes the ongoing series, and he gets in a few fun moments of banter between Kirk and Spock. But he has so much plot to cover that his dialogue lacks its usual spark. Bringing the Green Lantern rings into the Star Trek universe shouldn’t take too many narrative somersaults, but somehow, this gets bogged down in setup.

Angel Hernandez‘s art is another weak link here. The current penciler for the ongoing series, Rachael Stott, and her predecessor, Tony Shasteen, have set a high standard for Star Trek comics art- both have a talent for capturing not only the facial features of the actors, but the nuances of their performances. In comparison, Hernandez’s characters look expressionless and stiff, like he’s trying so hard to get Chris Pine’s nose right that he overlooks the mischief in Kirk’s eyes. Space-scapes and even wide shots of the Enterprise‘s sickbay look oddly flat and distorted, deadening the drama of explosions and alien planets. Hernandez’s minimalist settings and angular character designs make sense in his work for DC, but his style doesn’t translate here.

The crossover’s premise is cool enough that I really wish it worked. A fan-favorite villain from the pre-reboot Star Trek movies makes a welcome appearance, but he feels wasted so far. If you’re looking for your Star Trek fix, stick to the excellent ongoing series. If you’re here for Green Lantern, you’ll see so little of him here that you’ll feel ripped off. It’s too bad, because with a lighter touch and less ambitious mythology, this could have been a fun crossover.

Story: Mike Johnson Art: Angel Hernandez
Story: 6.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.