Cleanup in aisle 5!!!!
This book is a herculean effort at cleaning up the horrid clusterfuck that was J.J. Abram's STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, which I absolutely hated. (You can read my hate-filled screed HERE....)
The collection is bookended by Kirk and Spock serving as guest-prosecutors in Khan's trial, which I guess is kind of like the cop that arrested you for murder being brought in as a prosecutor, but, whatever. It's better than the movie, so I'm happy. Kirk and Spock badger Khan into revealing his origin, and writer Mike Johnson finally explains how Ricardo Montalban became Benedict Cumberbatch.
THANK YOU, MIKE JOHNSON!
Because the fact that a guy whom was supposed to be Indian is now practically a British Albino named John Harrison really bothered me when I saw the shitty film last spring. Johnson does pretty much what I figured (Admiral Marcus subjected Khan to reconstructive surgery, memory tampering, voice-altering implants, yadda yadda yadda...), but would it have killed them to drop a little of this into the leaden, overlong film...? Johnson deftly skirts around the mess that Abrams and his shitty team of Orci & Kurtzman left, and tells the story of Khan's rise to power in the 20th Century, The Eugenics War, and his eventual exile from Earth. I still can't buy the fact that Khan pretty much conquered Earth in the 20th Century, and the 23rd Century has NO RECORD OF IT. We know what cavemen ate for lunch....and no one from the time of The Eugenics War could leave a little handwritten note telling future generations about the superhuman legions of nutballs that enslaved Earth...? I call bullshit. BULLSHIT! But, again, whatever.....Johnson does a decent job of filling in the cracks, and shuffling Khan offscreen so we (Hopefully...) never have to see him again. Thanks for ruining TREK's one great villain, Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman! Now go wreck STAR WARS! (Too late!)
The art is handled in minimalist fashion by Claudia Balboni, and it's serviceable, but nothing special.
I'm glad that IDW stepped in and filled in the backstory, and delivered a relatively satisfying coda to the Khan debacle. I loved Abram's first TREK film, so INTO DARKNESS was a huge disappointment....it was pretty much a franchise-killer for me. I had a brief glimmer of hope for the inevitable third film, but Orci being tapped to direct has killed that tiny glimmer entirely.
I can't really give STAR TREK: KHAN a high recommendation, but it was a decent little piece of continuity cleanup, and if it keeps us from seeing this iteration of Khan onscreen again, it's well worth it.
IDW provided a review copy.