Villordsutch reviews Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever #3…
Harlan Ellison’s Hugo- and WGA Award-winning teleplay, visualized for the first time! Stranded in the past of old Earth, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock search for the focal point that altered the timestream and changed everything about the universe they knew. And once they find her, they could find themselves foiled by a force even greater than the Guardians of Forever—love!
We’ve hit the middle of our comic book translation of Harlan Ellison’s original teleplay of Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever. After this we’ve got only a mere two issues left of this hugely impressive series , and our story has now brought in Edith Keeler and Kirk is smitten.
Obviously this isn’t just a love story – far from it; those who know the tale will have some knowledge of what is happening and where it is going. I did say some, as what this story introduces is the more grimy world of the USA Depression which was lacking from the TV show including racist terminology thrown at Spock either off the cuff or aggressively, youth crime and employers ripping off illegal aliens (sic). Granted this may not have made interesting television at the time, but here it expands the world in which Kirk and Spock are truly alien. A few things I did find extremely interesting was the aggressive tone Spock was taking towards his Captain in relation to the human savagery he observed. This, along with his lack of patience towards Kirk wanting the Tricorder to be fixed – was this a correct portrayal of Spock from Ellison? Is this a Spock dropped in a savage, human environment for a week with only cabbage and asparagus to eat? Midway through Edith Keeler enters the story and Spock, again, is clearly irritated by Kirk’s infatuation with her and our final panel we see Spock skulking in the shadows as Kirk and Keeler – smiling – burst through the doors into the new wide world together.
The Tipton Brothers have excelled themselves, they truly have, and have also managed – so far – to convey what Ellison had placed on paper a half a century back so well that it’s a joy to read. This issue is crammed with story, emotion and true feeling. There is a scene it particular – which is helped with the perfect art from J.K. Woodward – in which Kirk says to the landlord (as he over hears a conversation between Spock and himself), “Some friends of his are in trouble” and it cuts to one panel showing Yeoman Rand and Security Officers in a vicious phaser fight in the far future, then cuts back to the main story. That alone threw me as I forgot about those poor souls holding the transporter room in the far off future that may never happen.
Star Trek City on the Edge of Forever is becoming one of the greatest Star Trek comic book series ever published and you need to be reading it.
For those that missed it Flickering Myth recently caught up and interview J.K. Woodward and Scott Tipton about the City on the Edge of Forever comic book release and the interview can be found here.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.