Authors: Mike Johnson / Tim Jones | Illustrator: David Messina | Page Count: 98
"Friends, Romulans, countrymen... we share the same ears."
Countdown is a prequel to the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise. A comic prequel is usually easy milk from the cash cow, but Countdown is 99% water. The script reads like a first draft from a high school student. It attempts to link The Next Generation cast with events from the film, acting as a kind of passing of the torch, but it’s ham-fisted. Cameos from TNG crew exist for no reason other than to have cameos from TNG crew. They act and speak nothing like their TV show counterparts, so could be anybody under the facial likeness. Speaking of which, the artwork is good, with characters looking like the actors they represent. Both light and shadow are handled well.
Pictures of the new film crew precede each chapter. Why? They’ve neither place nor part in the story, except for Capt Kirk, once, and he looks like William Shatner, not the new guy. (If you want to know who's in it, look at the cover.)
The book will have limited appeal to non-Trek fans, and Trek fans will have almost no interest in the wafer-thin plot and uncharacteristic actions and dialogues of the cast. It raises the questions of who the target audience really is and why the publishers even bothered to produce it? I think both questions have the same answer: to exploit money from existing fans - fans that recognise the cow for what it is but can tolerate a glass of watered-down milk with their TV snacks.
The book collects together Star Trek: Countdown issues 1 - 4
1½ (is the guy dead or alive? Oh, you forgot to write that part) out of 5