Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 4 by John Byrne

Byrne has a strong sense of who the characters are and puts them in compelling stories.
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In Star Trek: New Visions, John Byrne tells of the lost missions of the Starship Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. Through the use of images from the Original Series combined with new material such as dialogue, narration, and photos of actors playing new characters and bodies of old ones, Byrne creates adventures for the crew that have an air of authenticity because we see the familiar faces of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, et. al. Volume 4 collects issues #9-11 which includes a treat for fans of the Animated Series.

Occurring about two years after the first season's "This Side of Paradise," "The Hollow Man" sees Mr. Spock take leave of the Enterprise for reasons he prefers to keep secret, which doesn't sit well with Dr. McCoy who is concerned about his friend. What is most enjoyable about the story is seeing the human side of Spock come through in his actions. For some inexplicable reason, Byrne uses the face of actor Harry Landers, who portrayed Dr. Arthur Coleman in "Turnabout Intruder," as the unnamed captain of the Rigel Queen.

Set before the events of "Space Seed," as Kirk has no idea who historian Lieutenant Marla McGivers is or why the ship has one, "Mister Chekov" tells how the Russian-born ensign moved from an Engineering red shirt, under the command of Mr. Scott, to becoming the "wessel's" navigator.

"Of Woman Born" expands upon an abandoned ending of second season's "Who Mourns for Adonais?" with the crew dealing with Lt. Carolyn Palamas being pregnant with the child of the god/alien Apollo. Scenes from the end of the episode are adapted in the prologue.

The five panels that make up "I Sing of Arms and Heroes" is not so much a story but a brief introduction of a character from the Animated Series. The title is a dead giveaway to the identity. Unfortunately, its appearance, like much of the new material, looks a bit odd, a frequent complaint I have had throughout the series. But the writing makes up for it as Byrne has a strong sense of who the characters are and puts them in compelling stories.

This latest volume of New Visions continues to be a worthy addition to any Original Series Trek fan's library.

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