Tokyo Pop have released the definitive Manga version of Star Trek
the Original Series that collects a variety of stories into one
impressive volume. Star Trek: The Manga Ultimate Edition starts with
a bang which introduces the Borg to the original mythology and is an
origin story entitled “Side Effects” of how the Borg were formed.
Thankfully Kirk and crew defeat the Queen and she will not be seen
for decades to come.
The next story entitled “Foreign Alliances” focuses on the Vulcan
race and how a “virus” forces these emotionless creatures into a
primeval bloodlust with McCoy coming to the rescue. Following
Foreign Alliances is the “Art of War” that is an interesting story
which shows two interpretations of human and Klingon. When Kirk and
a Klingon commander are forced to form an uneasy alliance, they must
report to their superiors the reasoning behind this “madness” that
leads to a shocking ending.
The next story “Orphans” is your clichéd Manga tale that revolves
around children and Mech’s which joins forces with the Star Trek
universe. Unfortunately Mech’s don’t sit too well in the Star Trek
universe and this story seems a little forced and contrived, however
the scenes with Kirk and one of the children are still well written.
“Communication Breakdown” focuses on Uhura whose memory is wiped
through a nefarious individual and it’s great to see a female take
the lead role as opposed to the original series that was generally
quite sexist, even though it was revolutionary in this department.
Following Communication Breakdown is “The Humanitarian” that follows
Spock as he is charge of the enterprise and is forced to make the
ultimate sacrifice as a commander that truly pays homage to the
original series with some great characterisation. Even though Spock
attempts to be “Vulcan”, his human side always comes through in
times of need.
“Till Death” is your classic Star Trek the Original Series tale and
involves two dead aliens who have been resurrected, however the crew
of the Enterprise are forced into sexes to fight an ancient battle.
Finally we have “Bandi” that revolves around a species of aliens
called the Bandi Bear who have strong emotional powers which
ultimately effects the entire crew of the Enterprise and is
extremely reminiscent of “Tribbles” and considering that it was
written by the same author, it’s easy to see the similarities. The
artwork really suits these giant cuddly bears and the artist has
really captured William Shatner as Kirk.
Although this volume was based on the original series, there is a
bonus Star Trek the Next Generation story entitled “Sensation” which
follows Deanne Troi that as a telepath must use her powers to solve
the current predicament. At the end of the day, the majority of
stories in this volume would not look out of place in the mythology,
however there is a touch of Manga that links its nicely to both
genres. Interesting and in-depth stories, great artwork, this is
definitely for the Star Trek fan that will keep you busy for hours