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REVIEW – Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1

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Today from IDW Publishing is Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1. Picking up soon after the events of The Motion Picture, we see Kirk in command for one “final” mission before moving back to his role in Starfleet Operations. The gap between TMP and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan is one I’ve long since wanted to be expanded, and this looks to be doing just that. It’s even got plenty of surprises in tow, with some massive twists I didn’t see coming.

So, who is this mysterious general? What does this have to do with Chekov? And how does this square up as a follow-up to Star Trek: The Motion Picture? Let’s find out as we delve into the latest Star Trek adventure.

A Doppleganger Interloper

Cover Artist: Jake Bartok – Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1

Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1 opens with what we saw in the preview. A mysterious General, giving chase to an equally unknown ship. For a franchise that specializes in the alien, the fact it can still feel so completely different from everything I’ve seen before is astounding. It makes sense with the reveal that both of these ships are from yet another parallel universe and that this General is none other than the Enterprise’s own Uhura.

We’re currently not sure just how these ships ended up in the prime timeline. I’m sure this will become a lot clearer as the villainous Akris is revealed later in the series. Nonetheless, this brief action spectacle makes for really thrilling reading. As much as I adore The Motion Picture as a visual and philosophical spectacle, I don’t think saying this scene has more action than the whole film would be controversial.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1

There’s a brief scene between the two Uhuras that teases something potentially larger going on. War is pretty much always multifaceted, full of people with all sorts of allegiances. Outside of a flash of a Bajoran Orb’s destructive path, we’ve seen nothing of this other universe. There’s no proof this other Uhura is telling the truth. I’d love for the rest of the series to continue along this path, exploring these people’s complex motivations.

Havoc on the Enterprise

You can’t have an intruder on the Enterprise without a punch-up in sickbay and a fight in the hallway. When I tell you Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1 absolutely relishes in that, believe me. Not only do we get to see Uhura kickass, beating up multiple security officers at once, but she also punches McCoy in the face. As much as I appreciate a continuation of the drafting joke from the film, as well as Chapel getting to do literally anything, I’m far too fond of a good punch-up.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1

I’m not sure quite how the human Uhura was so immune to Spock’s nerve pinch though. Perhaps it’ll be explained later, but it’s also not something I’m all that distracted by. At least she wasn’t immune to being thrown around by him. Spock’s written really nicely too, with just the right amount of humor, befitting of the story’s placement in the timeline and his recent time away on Vulcan.

I also appreciated how the reveal’s handled in Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1. In hindsight, it’s obvious with all the words she was throwing around, with Uhura being a linguist. However, it still caught me off guard. I really wonder what twists the other future issues in the series could bring. The scene change was a little jarring, however. I feel we could’ve benefitted from seeing the characters’ immediate reactions, even bringing the Prime Uhura down. But that’s just me nitpicking, seriously this part was so much fun.

The Multiversal “War Criminal”

The Enterprise is given two full-page panels dedicated to indulging in the majesty of the ship, and that’s well before the space battle. In this way, I guess it’s this series version of the lengthy shots seen in the movie. Very clever. However, this parallel universe must be very different from even the mirror universe. The parallel Uhura doesn’t recognize the ship, or anybody on it with the exception of Chekov, who she brands a “war criminal”. Due to the ambiguity of Uhura’s story, that’s staying in quotes. I can definitely feel a twist coming.

Cover Artist: Oleg Chudakov – Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1

From this, I guess that Akris, the villain of the series, will be a version of Chekov. This is only reinforced through him being an unseen character, that his identity will be revealed next time. Parallel Chekov being a proper villain is also the logical stepping stone from the scheming Mirror Universe Chekov from “Mirror Mirror“. Having both characters in the same universe also presents an interesting opportunity for impersonation down the line, another thing I really hope the rest of the series indulges in.

Akris also either has or has at least used a Bajoran Orb. I’d love for this to tie into the Orb drama in the 24th Century comics at the moment, even if it is a long shot. He’s also a skilled pilot, holding his own against the Enterprise at the end. However, with the fight cut short by the Neutral Zone, I wonder if he aligns himself with the Romulans he meets at the end (beautiful job with the Bird of Prey by the way). As an underused TOS-era villain, it’d be cool to see a bigger conflict in the 23rd century, one with potentially massive stakes.

Issue Preview

Available from: Star Trek: The Motion Pictures ‘Echoes’ Issue #1 via Amazon

Conclusion

I mean, it’s written by Marc Guggenheim. The man is a legend, and his work on Arrow in particular had a profound impact on my nerdom. As admittedly biased as I am, it’s a lovely setup, filled with all sorts of visual nods to Star Trek: The Motion Picture. As cool as the whole story is, it’s so fulfilling to see those underused uniforms getting such an action-packed multiverse story. This is a Star Trek story not to be missed, with a lot of potential to be my favorite comic yet!

Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #1 is available in all good comic stores, as well as from Amazon and IDW’s own website. For reviews of IDW’s ongoing Star Trek line, and generally talking all things Trek, be sure to follow Trek Central!

Issue Credits

Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: Oleg Chudakov
Colorist: DC Alonso
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry

Cover Artists: Luke Sparrow
Rod Reis

Star Trek: The Motion Picture ‘Echoes’ Issue #2

Cover Artists: Jake Bartok
Liana Kangas
Liana Kangas

In the next issue: With the fugitive criminal Akris having escaped into Romulan space, Nyota Uhura and the crew of the USS Enterprise must quickly devise a plan if they’re to prevent an alliance between the agent of chaos from a parallel universe and one of the Federation’s most dangerous enemies.

Release date: June 14, 2023


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Connor Schwigtenberg
Connor Schwigtenberg
All round science fiction geek and a passionate Star Trek enthusiast. Can reliably be found nerding out online. Currently exploring the expanded media. A writer at heart, look out for deep dives, reviews, and feature articles.

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