Star Trek Encounters Stats and Records

Stats time!

Character Cards

Enterprise 4/5
Star Trek 4/5
Next Gen 4/5
Deep Space Nine 5/5
Voyager 3/5

Level Stats
Incursion Silver
Xindi Superweapon Silver
The Expanse Gold
Savior Silver
Cat and Mouse Silver
A Specter’s Shadow Silver
Dead In The Water Gold
Battle at Genesis
Shadows and Dust Silver
Into The Wormhole Gold
See No Evil Silver
Behemoth Silver
Into The Badlands Gold
Fire At Will Gold
The Chase Silver
The Luddite Prophecy Silver
My Enemy’s Enemy Gold
The One Who Is Many Gold
The Orion Syndicate Silver
Against All Odds Gold

Star Trek Encounters Review

It’s time to look at a game that I got a very long time ago. I found this one at an obscure Gamestop on a random day and thought it looked interesting enough. It’s not exactly what I expected and had a bit of a slow start due to the game not explaining things very well, but it picked up quite a bit as the game went on. It’s not the ideal Star Trek game but if you’re really just interested in the space aspect then this is certainly the game for you.

The story mode features 3-5 levels from each of the Star Trek shows. Classic, Enterprise, Voyager, Star Trek, Next Generation, and probably some others. There are also two final levels which crossover the whole franchise. Maybe more like 1 to be honest as the first one just sets the stage for the event. There’s not much of an actual plot as each mission or series of missions are essentially stand alone adventures. You get some text at the very beginning which tells you what is happening and mini cutscenes during the level. Only very small parts of the game have any real voice acting.

You figure out early on that you need to be playing this game for the gameplay and not the plot. You never get to see a single character as the ships are then only things on the screen. As I mentioned, the gameplay isn’t explained too well as it’s actually fairly complex and intricate. It’s an overhead airplane shooter. Of course you’re a spaceship and not a plane. You explore the universe, fight aliens, and help people out. You have your primary weapon which you can switch from two different options and your sub weapon. The sub weapon has around 6 options and some of them are not actually meant for combat like your tractor or energy fuel. They all serve a purpose though so you’ll want to know what they are when tackling a level. You can use R2 to target an enemy so that you can transport some of your crew aboard or to shut down their engine without destroying the ship. You can alter your ship’s stats during the level as well by putting more power into shields at the expense of weapons or vice versa. Throughout the game I always kept weapons and engines on maximum with shields and scanners on minimum. It’s just the best call for me as otherwise the weapons take a really long time to load up.

After you get the hang of the controls, the levels start to feel a lot easier. There is also the occasional race level which is a nice change of pace. When the Borg Queen attacks you are not strong enough to stop her so racing through a bunch of portals is your only way out. The races can be reasonably difficult as missing more than a few portals can be fatal and crashing into enemy ships is just as lethal. They were some of the most fun levels in the game as I do like racing quite a bit. The most tedious levels where the ones where you’d have to do the same thing multiple times like transporting bombs. Plus, I just don’t like having to protect things (Like the bomb) as I prefer to just fight and knock everyone out. It lets me just go all out.

So the difficulty is pretty reasonable and the game’s length isn’t bad. I could usually only complete 4-5 levels in one sitting and there were around 20 if I’m not mistaken. It should last you around 6-7 hours if I had to make a ballpark estimate. There are a lot of checkpoints throughout the levels and you have infinite lives so you don’t have to worry about replaying a large segment or anything like that. One unfortunate thing is that you cannot skip cutscenes. If you lost in a place where the cutscene is particularly long, you have to watch it over and over again.

The graphics for the game are pretty nice. They may not pop out at you quite as much as in the cover, but it’s aged really well for the PS2. The colorful levels towards the end like being in the pink monster were really intense and I liked the last level’s design as everything would keep spazzing out to show you that you were in a time loop. The soundtrack is quite bland though. I feel like there were only 2-3 songs that just kept repeating over and over again. None of them were catchy either so that’s a little disappointing.

There’s a little replay value here, but not much. You can try to find all of the collectibles which honestly weren’t that hard to find. I grabbed about 80-90% of them without even trying during the normal play through. Hopefully it tells you which levels have the rest though since it would take a while to go through all of the levels. I can’t imagine that the reward is really worth the time to be honest so it’s not something I would pursue. There is also Skirmish mode which sounds like endless fighting and multiplayer so that definitely helps the replay value quite a bit. It’s no Star Fox, but I can see you having some fun here.

On a final note I do have to say that the final level was a little anticlimactic. There wasn’t a final boss or anything which was a little disappointing and the level just ends. We were actually losing against the legion of enemy ships, but the time stream just ends up warping them away so everything is happy again. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that a full win would have been a lot more satisfying than the villains simply being whisked away. The only true boss in the game was probably the Borg Queen which was handled well. The final level should have absolutely done the same thing.

Overall, Star Trek Encounters is a fun game. I really think it could have used more of a plot but at least the gameplay was solid. The final level was pretty epic as it was great to see all of the Starships from the Star Trek franchise team up. We may have only been all together for the final part of the level but it felt like a really good payoff. Since this was a crossover Star Trek game, I would have felt a little cheated if this didn’t happen. The game did a good job of including all of the iconic Star Trek enemies like the Klingons and the Borg as well so it had a nice attention to detail. I’d recommend checking the game out, I think you’ll like it more than you’d expect. You should play it straight through though as forgetting the controls can be fatal in a title like this one.

Overall 7/10

Star Trek: The Cage Review

It’s time to take a look at the pilot that began the whole Star Trek craze. It will feel very familiar even if you haven’t watched the pilot before since the original TV show re-adapted this story. It’s definitely not the best one and I don’t imagine that it would have went over very well with the fans, but it’s not terrible either. The main cast just isn’t all that likable and I can see why many of them got the axe.

Captain Pike received a distress call when his ship was in proximity to a nearby planet. He wasn’t thrilled about checking it out since he prefers not to risk his life for perfect strangers, but the others prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is down there and now Pike must help or risk looking antagonistic. He reluctantly beams down and is kidnapped by a group of aliens. They used illusions to trick the heroes and their telepathic abilities are formidable. They let Pike know that he has to live a fairy tail illusion life with a woman they rescued a while back or he will be destroyed. Pike half heartedly resists the whole time so he continues to get zapped along with the girl. The rest of the Enterprise tries to help, but it’s no good. Can Pike talk his way out of this one?

I feel like the special intentionally tried to make Pike unlikable. I’m just not sure what the rationale behind such a decision was. One of his lines would be pretty infamous nowadays as one of the lieutenants shows up to give him something to sign and Pike says “I don’t like seeing women on the bridge” That may not be word for word, but that’s essentially what he said. Only men may walk in the main offices and even if they have tasks for him to do, they are to wait downstairs. He even reminds the same lieutenant of that at the end of the film to ensure that they know nothing has changed. It’s not the kind of thing that you would expect from the main character and this was a trait that you wouldn’t soon forget.

Pike also made things hard on the other captive. She lets him know that she’ll be punished if he continues to ask her questions and defy the captors, but Pike continues on. I’m fine with him resisting since he should in this situation, but he should try to keep her out of it. He always brings her into danger by asking all sorts of questions. She tried to switch the topic at least 10 times at one point, but Pike kept bringing it back. Pike’s will power did start to fade by the end, but that’s when two of his crew mates showed up. We learn plot twists about them that we didn’t really need to know and it certainly made the problem a little trickier.

I do have to say that the aliens were lucky that the crew was so docile though. The heroes had actually broken through to the villain base a while back, but didn’t know it because of the illusions. This would have been found out had any of the heroes actually tried to touch the mountain though. I feel like they usually would at some point right? Apparently nobody did and that was that. It was still clever of Pike to figure out this weakness and while the aliens could have still won by using a lot of other illusions and making the heroes walk in circles all day, they had clearly had enough by the end. At least they claim that they won’t try to do the same to any more people. Their goals and motives still seemed to come out of the blue and based on how they actually helped the other captive back in the doesn’t make much sense. Even if she was disfigured, she should have gone back with Pike and the others. I wouldn’t have stayed with the aliens for anything in the world.

It’s just a sad special though and that ends up hurting it in the long run. Lets ignore Captain Pike. Even without him, it would be hard for the special to be too good because the villains are just too powerful. It gets annoying to keep seeing them zap the heroes whenever they try to make a move. They didn’t have many options and you’ll especially feel bad for the old captive since she was apparently treated well at the start of things. I guess the aliens just got corrupted and Pike’s presence was too much for them to resist.

Overall, This special didn’t have a whole lot of Trekking in it, but it still feels like a Star Trek kind of plot. At least we didn’t have a lot of forced romance, but seeing as how the whole episode revolved around the premise of the captive trying to seduce Pike, it was felt anyway. There wasn’t any easy way out of the situation, but I’m sure that a better main character would have made it all more interesting. I’d recommend just watching the actual Star Trek TV show if you’re looking for some interesting plots and you can just skip the pilot. It is just a pilot for a reason after all and I’m sure that they used the critiques from the early viewers to improve upon their original ideas and to make the show solid. I’m sure that one complaint was just that the special wasn’t all that enjoyable. It’s pretty grim the whole time and if that’s what viewers thought they could expect from the show, they probably were not all that interested. It was fun to see the retro special effects though. They’ve actually aged pretty well so that’s impressive. This is just a pilot episode so it is pretty short in case you do decide to watch it. It’s not as if it’s a big investment of your time.

Overall 4/10

Star Trek Beyond Review

The trilogy of Star Trek films ends with this installment. Does it go out with a bang? Not exactly, but the film doesn’t end on a whimper either. Rather than feeling like the climactic finish, this film decides to take the unique approach of being “just another day in the office” for the Star Trek cast. It succeeds in acting like an extended Star Trek episode which is a good thing in some areas. We finally get to see more interaction between the crew and the banter between “Bones” and Spock is something that the films had been lacking. However, the fun dialogue and adventure on the planet does come at the expense of stakes. Sure, the crew is in danger and technically the threat is real, but Beyond never feels quite as intense as Into Darkness. It’s a good film and Beyond is content to stay in that realm.

As you may remember from the ending of Star Trek Into Darkness, the crew has been tasked with a 5 year expedition into deep space. Naturally, this could be a little dicey for the rest of the Federation since the Enterprise is their greatest ship and the universe could probably use Kirk and the others if a firefight starts. Ah well, they’ll manage I suppose. 3 years have passed and Kirk’s group has to dock on a planet to grab some supplies. After doing so, they receive word that a ship is stranded past a cluster of asteroids. The crew walks into this trap and the ship is torn apart as all of the members are left to fend for themselves on this planet. Can they escape this ruthless alien race or is this the end for the crew?

One thing I feel that I have to point out is that the Federation feels doomed if they were to ever encounter a competent alien race. The Enterprise is apparently their best ship and it is extremely weak. For starters, while its design is legendary and iconic, it is not suited for combat in the slightest. There are weak points everywhere and it is not very agile. The villains in this film exploit this quite easily. It doesn’t bode well for the smaller ships in this alliance. In the entire trilogy, I don’t believe that we have gotten to see Kirk’s ship win a single round. Maybe in the first film as it has been a while, but I don’t recall that occurring. They definitely need a new ship.

I’d also like to point out that the plot does seem a little iffy when you take a close look at it. I’m keeping this review spoiler free, but the villains are not in a position to obtain a whole lot of resources. Even if they got off of their planet and toured the universe for a while, I don’t see how they could get such advanced weaponry. It’s one thing to see their ships take the Enterprise down after a quick fight, but it’s extremely one sided and apparently these mini ships can take down an entire planet in the blink of an eye as well. I feel this was definitely exaggerated a little too much. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot hax luckily due to the weakness working well, but I think the ships should have been nerfed a little.

As one would expect from a Star Trek film, the special effects were very well done. The space fights look great and the environments are also very good. That being said, I was super glad to see the city return at the end. Everything feels fairly glossy and futuristic as opposed to being super realistic, which is a positive for me. The alien world could have felt very Tarzanish, but instead it feels like a film version of the location, which is a definite improvement for me. The soundtrack is less impressive, but we get a throwback or two to the classic themes and one of the music themes from the first film of the trilogy returns. It definitely works well for the scene and I’m always ready for something that’s fast paced. It’s not a bad soundtrack by any means, but it does come across as a little generic.

As mentioned earlier, one of the strengths in this film is the banter. As a whole the writing was fairly good as well. Some language as I’ve come to expect, but not all that much and nothing super drastic. For the most part, if Kirk, Bones, or Spock is present in a scene it’s going to end up being a good one. It is good to see the team actually do some exploring for a change and we finally get to see more TV show related items. The team has their communicators out, they use the phasers a lot and we even have the Tricorder that Bones uses.

This is probably the first time that I can ever say this, but Captain Kirk was actually portrayed as a really good character. In the second film he was greatly improved from the first, but still had a pair of scenes to remind you that he was not going to rank too highly anytime soon. There is nothing like that here. He is still having some doubt issues, but they don’t play a huge role here and I do agree with him to an extent. A 5 year cruise in the middle of nowhere seems completely pointless and they should be doing something constructive instead. Unfortunately, Kirk is only human so he doesn’t do too well in the fight scenes, but he still tries his best. He actually comes up with plans and makes saving his comrades top priority from start to finish. He was definitely surprisingly good in this film.

Meanwhile, Spock is a fairly good deputy as well. One thing that definitely does get old is the fact that Spock is supposed to be the emotionless character, but he breaks character constantly. I think the classic show did a better job of only having him break character once in a blue moon. He still does look good for the most part though. I will be glad to have his romance drama with Uhura done with since the back and forth throughout the entire trilogy got old really fast. Considering that they are all stuck on the ship for such a long time, the constant separating and coming back together would make things awkward. On that note, it is completely Spock’s fault this time. It was Uhura’s in the second film, but Spock basically gave her no real choice in this one due to his making some fairly bad decisions. He gets one fight in this film, but is unable to join the fray for most of the film so that’s too bad.

Bones is the stand out character this time and is easily the best one here. His small role in the first two films may be part of the reason why the films never had a whole lot of witty banter up until now. Granted, there wasn’t a whole lot of time for it, which is one of the reasons why having more of an everyday adventure is a good idea once in a while. When the big events happen, it’s typically one fight after the other so there’s no time for dialogue. If you think about any great TV Show or film, you’ll remember that dialogue can be important as well. Just look at Yugioh, how much fun would the duels be without the constant trash talking and witty puns? It would certainly lose some of its depth without that element. Hopefully Bones gets a large role in the next film as well.

The main heroine of this title is Jaylah. Debatably Uhura’s role is almost as large, but Jaylah was made up for this film (As far as I’m aware) so she was more integral to the plot while Uhura spent most of her time trying to reason with the main villain. Jaylah’s a good warrior and she does a better job of being the hardened female veteran than most of the iconic ones. The lady from Alien, the warrior from the Hobbit, Gamora, Jaylah’s a better character than all of those if you ask me. Perhaps it’s because the film doesn’t really go into her tragic past all that much. It could also be due to the fact that the film doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to overhype her or having the characters all make statements to support this. Truly cool characters only need actions to back them up and holding her own against one of the main villains is a good way to accomplish this.

On that note, did anyone else feel like the hand to hand fight scenes had too much shaky cam and cutaways? Some of the fights were super chaotic as a result and hard to follow. The action scenes were still solid though and I would have liked to have seen more of them, but the camera work could have been better. Back to the characters, Scotty has a fairly large role here, but with Bones back in the center stage, Scotty didn’t seem as charismatic in comparison. I also don’t really care for his sidekick. It’s not at the point where he is a unlikable character yet, but I think reducing his role for the next film could be a good thing. Chekov has probably surpassed him for me although I suppose he may not return for the next film or he’ll be recast. Sulu’s role here is also a little larger than last time, but it’s mainly just used for real life politics. To the point where we got a whole press release statement about it. As a result, he doesn’t really contribute to the story at all. Seriously, he’s present in many scenes, but it’s always another character who actually performs the action. His only big moment would be letting the ship fall and then signalling someone else to activate the boosters. With the politics out of the equation, the next film should hopefully give him more to do. He’s one of the team’s best fighters so giving him a close quarters fight scene would be a good start. (I was actually expecting that. Overall, the film had less fight scenes than I would have liked)

As for the main villain, he’s quite possibly the worst one yet. I didn’t care for the villain in the first film either though so it’s a tough call. I liked the minions though as they looked like the foot soldiers out of Halo or something super sci-fi like that. It was a good armor, even if the actual aliens were incredibly weak. Uhura takes down a few of them pretty easily and most of the others prove to be human level as well. The main villain’s deputy can fight, but doesn’t have much character beyond that. The main villain goes for sympathy and is the classic delusional fellow who believes in the ideals of the past. Needless to say, this didn’t help his cause. I do appreciate the fact that his final moment wasn’t him going for the power of friendship or something like that. I thought this angle may have been taken and while it’s usually great to see a villain redeem him/herself…it would have been extremely unrealistic in this case.

If there’s any real issue with most of the cast here, it’s that they don’t care all that much about the supporting characters. Like always, the red shirts die by the dozens/hundreds. Everyone’s still fairly chipper by the end though and I suppose you must be good at getting over things to be in this position, but it does make you feel bad for all of the new recruits. It’s like being the best friend in a horror movie, you always know that the character’s days are numbered.

Now for the big question….did Star Trek Beyond manage to defeat the latest Star Wars film? I have to say that it did. As it stands now, Star Trek’s current trilogy has been handily defeating Star Wars no matter which trilogy you pit against it. While Star Wars may easily be the better franchise due to the superior video games, concept, and characters, Star Trek definitely has the monopoly on the films. If the rest of the upcoming titles for Star Trek hold onto this solid level of quality, the franchise really could make a nice rebound and become more of a well known product like the good ole days.

Overall, Star Trek Beyond does a good job of checking the right boxes while avoiding the mis-steps that plague many films. It was good to see that the critics got this one right. It’s a well written film that doesn’t go for any crude humor or inappropriate jokes like other titles. Captain Kirk was portrayed very well and the supporting cast did a good job of supporting the film. The fight scenes were handled very well and the movie never dragged on. There was a good deal of plot hax and I don’t really follow the logic of how this villain amassed such a powerful amount of resources to deal with the Federation, but no film can be perfect on that regard. I still wouldn’t call this film great as it would either need to be a little more exciting or be extremely funny to get that extra star. As it stands, this is a solid “lost episode” for fans of the original Star Trek. As an added bonus, Captain Kirk even sniffs out a trap for once! I’m also liking the new Trek costumes. The classic yellow is good, but the blue navy-esque uniform looks really sharp as well. I’m inclined to say that the next film will win as it’ll probably be more of a big event film like the last two, but at the same time it needs to be careful not to lose the fun factor that this one acquired.

Overall 7/10

Galaxy Quest Review

I saw this film a while back, but the review has been in limbo for quite a while. I’m always up for a parody even if they can get a little dicey at times. This one is pretty well done for the most part, but it still does have enough dicey moments and plots to hold it back quite a bit. The bright side is that this film is much better than some older Sci-Fi films like The Forbidden Planet. The bad side is that it’s no Star Trek and the parody should always be better than the original.

The plot revolves around Peter. (Again?) Well, Jason to be more specific, but he played Peter in the Star Trek parody show and it still has a very strong following among its fans. The problem is that the show was too popular and aliens from other solar systems have seen it as well. A group of them come to Earth to enlist the aid of the actors who they believe to be the real characters. Jason naturally agrees since he loves to be in the spotlight, but his comrades are a lot more reluctant. Jason may have been good in the show, but can he really hack it against a group of tyrannical aliens who have come to destroy everything that we know and hold dear? It’ll take a lot of gusto to hold these guys in check!

First, I’ve definitely gotta say that the TV show looks pretty hype. It definitely feels like Star Trek, but possibly with higher stakes. I wouldn’t mind seeing a movie that adapts the actual show rather than showing the real world. As it stands, the actors…range from good characters to iffy ones although luckily none of them are downright terrible or even really bad, which is good.

The best member is easily Alexander. He really disliked his role in the TV show and tries to forget it, but that task is incredibly difficult when the fans always recite your famous lines. He dislikes the fans and isn’t afraid to show it, but Jason always plays on his ego. Alexander wants to be a great stage magician or something like that so he must answer the curtain call or he’ll be a fraud. Towards the end he lives out some of his lines and learns the values of friendship, but I’ll definitely miss his cynical/dramatic self from the opening.

Jason’s the lead and well…he’s a little dicey. He’s actually similar to the Peter from Men In Black Alien Crisis, but he’s a little less obvious and also doesn’t seem as far gone. We learn through exposition that he basically was like Kirk and he flirts with Gwen a lot during the film, but luckily he is typically shot down. I was glad that he actually took the alien situation in stride and talked tough to the villains even if he thought it was a dream. He certainly has more guts than the rest of the crew so it is one of those cases where he has a lot of good traits, but tries to balance himself out with bad ones. It’s not as extreme as it could have been though.

Gwen’s a decent character although the film sadly uses her for fanservice on more than one occasion. One scene in particular makes no sense as her outfit just happens to rip during the climax. It’s a shame since her other gimmick of repeating the computer was a pretty original one. I think her character would have been fine with just that one trait. Gwen lacks the charisma that Jason and Alexander have, but she’s better than Fred. Fred was a decent character, but his romance at the end really was unneeded and wrecked his emotionless front. He would typically just go along with whatever plan Jason thought of and that was also enough for his character. I think the film just went overboard with how much personality it wanted each member to have.

Unfortunately, the same can be said for the alien allies as well. They all have very annoying voices and their lack of knowledge about Earth can also drag on and on. I’ve never liked the trope of aliens not knowing Earth’s customs which makes them look bad for long periods of time. We get that they don’t know about Earth, but there’s no need to dwell on it. The sounds that the alien allies make when they panic can also be annoying and it doesn’t grow on you the same way that Chewy’s roars do. I just didn’t like any of the allies from the get go. If they were less naive and a little more hardcore then that could be different, but at it stands, they needed more vigor and gusto.

The main villain is fairly decent. He’s a little on the generic side of course, but the main thing that matters is that he has a cool design and he can fight. He isn’t here to ask for help from the humans and he doesn’t back down to their threats either. His army is also pretty intelligent and there was a pretty big shock moment towards the end as the villains took the ship. It’s a good thing the heroes are in a place that houses a legendary weapon with an unknown power. I can definitely buy into that twist and I wouldn’t even call it all that plot haxed. Well…okay, there was plot hax involved.

Now, I can buy the fans figuring out the true purpose of the device, but how? The explanations in the film that were given were unsatisfying to be honest and this may be a parody, but I still want to know how the deux ex machinas are known to the general public. It was great to see the fans getting their props and it proves my age old theory that sometimes the fans know the characters better than the writers. A little plot hax never hurt anyone and it doesn’t hurt the film either, but it’s something to think about. Hopefully the main characters will keep this in mind the next time they have a press conference.

A sequel dealing with the fallout from this film could also be fun. After all, they probably suspect that aliens exist now since a spaceship was launched in the middle of the awards and Jason actually disintegrated an alien. It’s easy to play off the alien as a trick, but the spaceship? I don’t think so. A sequel with the government recruiting the cast into their space program to fight off some invaders would be pretty hype even if a reboot is probably more likely at this point.

Overall, Galaxy Quest is a decent parody. It certainly has its flaws, but I’d still call it a “decent” film in the end. This is a classic one and done film as you’ll never need to re watch it. It has enough solid moments to keep it afloat and Alexander definitely steals the show even if you end up feeling bad for the fans at some points. They didn’t ask for this! They just wanted to have a good time, but they really took a verbal beating at times. The romance can be iffy and the characters can be dicey, but the film never goes too far with these points. The part that made this film get to a 5 was the alien allies and I think they were just enough to tip it down. It all adds up of course, but they were the main culprits. I could recommend this to you all to watch, but you may be better off checking out Star Trek Into Darkness! That film has the right blend of action and hype!

Overall 5/10

Star Trek Golden Key Archives Volume 1 Review

The Golden Key Archives bring together some of the first ever comics for the Star Trek franchise. It’s fun to see the original cast from the TV show get back together and they look even better than in the show. It’s no secret that I wasn’t a huge fan of the show and I definitely do not like Captain Kirk, but he actually looks like a pretty good character here. I mainly blame it on the comic format since it tends to make the main characters look good no matter who they are.

There are 6 comics in this collection and each issue deals with a situation of unprecedented adventure. Star Trek is about going to various planets to meet aliens and discover other ways of life so the issues are pretty faithful to that. One story sees the crew land on a planet where large robots are threatening to destroy the world due to the fact that they keep on creating more and more cities. Soon, there will be nowhere for the inhabitants to live so it’s a pretty sticky situation. The issue was pretty interesting, but one of the original characters was pretty annoying. He didn’t want the heroes to help since he thought that it would make him look bad. He hogs the glory and then he allows the heroes to help. The problem is that the comic still portrays this guy as a hero even though his motives were completely selfish.

In another story, Spock was possessed by 5 ghosts who wanted him to help their land go free. He had to blow some things up because the world was very dangerous due to its constant shifts in climate and land. Kirk and friends almost decided to stop Spock, but they allowed him to continue and it was certainly good for the alien race that he did. Of course, one of the stowaways did happen to be evil so that certainly threw a wrinkle in the situation.

The best story was probably the one where Kirk and friends land on a planet filled with inhabitants who crashed from their spaceship, but we quickly learn that the situation is more sinister than they let on. It’s like a classic Klingon episode since the heroes have to escape back to the ship within 24 hours (Since the planet will explode) but they dare not allow the villains to go with them. Kirk will have to outsmart these guys somehow and that’s definitely going to prove to be very difficult.

One story that did not involve a lot of fighting was the final issue. Two planets are on a collision course so the Star Ship Enterprise is tasked with stopping this from happening since it could wipe out the solar system. They want to blow up one of the planets, but then they find out that they are both inhabited. How can they possibly move the planets out of the way before impact? It’s a pretty good story and you may be able to guess the outcome, but that doesn’t take away from the drama of the moment. It’s simply a fun issue without too much stakes.

The other two stories aren’t quite as remarkable. One of them deals with a dangerous planet where the plant growth has gotten a little too extreme. The heroes simply have to deal with this as they attempt to survive. In another comic, the heroes wander onto a deserted planet and wonder why it is so quiet. Let’s just say that it has something to do with a Civil War. It’s not a very original plot, but at the time it may have been so I’ll give it a pass there. It’s still a good issue.

The main reason why the collection’s enjoyable is because the writing is sound. A good writer is can make any situation exciting and that’s just what happens here. Some of the stories certainly had the potential to not be very good, but this came out during the golden age of comics where most of them were very interesting. I have my doubts on whether a current Star Trek series could be of comparable quality to this one, but I suppose that there is always a chance. The right writer coupled with a good artist can bring hope to any franchise.

The art is decently good. It’s in the style of the old Marvel and DC comics. Back in the days of hand drawn issues, which are always fun to read. The one reason why I didn’t say that the art is very good is due to the fact that a lot of the characters are interchangeable. Kirk looks about the same as Henry Mc Coy or the random red shirt of the day. If not for the uniforms, you would probably mix up just about everyone in the series. The artist just doesn’t do a great job of making the designs unique for the characters. Beyond that, the art is pretty solid and definitely easy to read.

Captain Kirk is your average leader from this era of comics. He makes all of the tough calls without letting any casualties become a part of the equation. He’s pretty confident and he’s also a capable fighter when he needs to take part in a battle. There’s really nothing wrong with him here and he’s certainly a lot different than the other versions of Kirk that we have seen over the years. I could get used to this incarnation!

Spock is pretty true to character and aside from Kirk, he’s the only member of the TV show cast to really get a big role. He has two comics devoted to himself and he’s a main supporting character in the others. He’s the voice of reason and he’s definitely a good character although he’s not as likable as Kirk. He tends to leave Kirk and the others lost as he only lets them know of his plans at the very end. It’s a risky gamble, but it tends to pay off.

The other characters are technically around, but they’ll only get a line or two and it’s easy to forget that they are there. That’s all right though since Star Trek is more about exploration than character development. All that we need are two good characters to hold the plot together and the rest will go along smoothly. I definitely look forward to reading more Star Trek comics in the future. So far, Star Wars definitely has the best comics and Dr Who would be second in the Sci-Fi race, but Star Trek is chasing them down at number 3.

Overall, Star Trek Golden Key Archives Volume 1 is a great way to get introduced to Star Trek. It may set the bar a little high for the franchise, but watching Star Trek Into Darkness after this is a great way to keep enjoying the series on a high note. Captain Kirk is actually a capable leader here and Spock certainly looks intelligent as he should be. The art is solid and it’s just a fun collection. I can see why Star Trek was a fun franchise for everyone if they read the comics. It’s not quite The Avengers or Justice League, but it’s certainly a fun read from start to finish. I recommend this title for your reading pleasure.

Overall 7/10