Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan #3

Star trek 2 at4w 3

December 19, 2011
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For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at this comic.

(Open on Linkara still on Comicron 1. He holds a ray gun in his hand and he looks around)

Linkara: Nimue, is Mechakara still on the bridge?

Nimue: Confirmed.

(Linkara stoops down next to the Cybermat)

Linkara: Cybermat, if I give you covering fire and you distract them, then you know what to do, right?

(The Cybermat beeps and shakes around. On the bridge, Mechakara, in Pollo's new body, hovers over the controls. Linkara fires his gun at Mechakara, but it turns around, dodges the attack and fires back. Linkara fires several more times as the Cybermat comes in and hits Mechakara in the back, knocking it away. It starts away)

Linkara: After him! Don't let him escape!

(The Cybermat leaves while Linkara walks up to the controls and pushes some buttons)

Linkara: Engineering, report.

Nimue: Information: internal communications are offline, due to powerful fluctuations.

Linkara: How's our orbit?

Nimue: Decaying rapidly. We will begin entering the atmosphere in approximately thirty minutes.

Linkara: How can the imbalance be corrected?

Nimue: Manual reorganization of power would correct the imbalance.

Linkara: Except that no one would survive the radiation coming out of it. Are there any other ways of correcting the imbalance?

Nimue: Yes. All would require more time than we have.

Linkara: Keep considering possibilities. I'm gonna finish the review.

Nimue: Why?

Linkara: Because I don't want to die without letting people know how the comic ends?

Nimue: Could they not just obtain the movie?

Linkara: I think if this review has taught us anything, it's that the movie and the comic are not the same thing. (looks into camera) Now, then, where were we?

Linkara (v/o): Khan, a tyrant seeking revenge on Admiral James T. Kirk, has stolen the USS Reliant. With his merry band of people in dirty rags, he has nearly crippled the Enterprise and has taken a device called "Genesis". Genesis has the power to terraform planets, potentially eradicate all life on a world, or just turn them into lands of confusion.

(Cut to a clip of the band Genesis performing "Land of Confusion")

Genesis: This is the world we live in...

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): So far, as an adaptation, it has been a complete disappointment, to say the least. I am not against adapting stories into different mediums.

(A shot of the comic version of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" is displayed)

Linkara (v/o): As I said in the review of the comic adaptation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, changing it to a different medium is a great opportunity to expand on the material or just see it from a new point of view.

(Cut to a cover of the novelization of The Wrath of Khan)

Linkara (v/o): I've even heard that the novelization of Star Trek II is pretty damn good and fills in some plot holes.

(Back to the comic again, sadly)

Linkara (v/o): But this one has had art that was all over the place in quality, dialogue and lines either changed outright or moved to different locations for no reason...

(Cut to a clip of Khan's "Moby-Dick" speech)

Linkara (v/o): ...or just scenes flat-out cut from the story, weakening the effect.

Linkara: But hey, we've got one more issue to go, so maybe there is still something to this. Let's dig into (holds up comic of review for today) "Star Trek II: The Raffle Khan #3".

(Title sequence plays; title card has Genesis' "Land of Confusion" playing; cut to a shot of the comic's cover)

Linkara (v/o): This is probably the weakest of all the covers. It basically amounts to Spock's face and the Vulcan salute pressed against glass. How exciting.

(Cut to two alternative covers)

Linkara (v/o): The alternative covers aren't exactly much to speak of, either: a cast and a drawing from the stomach up with the Reliant and a bunch of pink squares behind him. At this point, I think the creators just gave up on the thing.

(The comic proper begins)

Linkara (v/o): We open over Regula I, where the away team has just beamed back to the ship, and Kirk arrives on the bridge.

Kirk: Battle stations. There isn't time to explain. Suffice to say, Khan–a madman–has the Genesis device and is trying to kill us.

Linkara: (as a crew member) Uh, Captain, we've been here the whole time. Why are you summarizing things we already know?

Linkara (v/o): I love how he feels the need to point out that Khan is a madman.

(A montage of clips of Khan in the movie is shown)

Khan: I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia...

(Cut to Khan and Joachim on the Reliant after being attacked)

Joachim: We must withdraw.

Khan: No! No!

Joachim: Sir, we must!

(Cut back to Khan's "Moby-Dick" speech)

Khan: ...and round the Antares Maelstrom...

(Cut to Khan's other big speech to Kirk)

Khan: (whispering) Buried alive. Buried alive...

(Cut back one more time to Khan's "Moby-Dick" speech)

Khan: ...and round Perdition's flames before I give him up!

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Nah, really? Oh, and in case you're wondering, no, that dialogue was not in the movie. Also, Saavik's missing her rank insignia.

(Editor's note: "Correction: Starfleet Badge; not rank insignia")

Linkara (v/o): Anyway, the ship is still no match for Reliant in their current state. However, there's a nearby nebula that will disable shields and scramble targeting sensors. As such, if they go in, "the odds will be even."

(Cut to a similar scene in the movie)

Linkara (v/o): In the movie, when the ship approached the Mutara nebula, we got a sense of scale of the ship's operations, that all those little anonymous crew members don't just wait around to be killed on away missions, that they actually do things on the ship and prepare it for battle. It was a really damn good montage.

(Cut back to the matching scene in the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Here, it's two panels: one showing a bunch of crew members in the hallway, and another featuring a torpedo. I'd call it padding, but those two panels couldn't pad a glove, much less this comic. Khan spots the retreating Enterprise.

Khan: There she is. Not so wounded as we were led to believe, is she? So much the better. Follow her.

Linkara: (as Khan) She's breaking the speed limit! We'll give them a ticket! I'M SUCH A MADMAN!

Linkara (v/o): However, as they get in closer to the nebula, they start to slow. Joachim – and yes, I'm sorry I mispronounced it last time; my mistake – realizes that they'd lose their advantage if they followed them in and starts slowing them down. Kirk decides to get Khan to follow them using his own diplomatic style: hailing them and telling them that he's on board.

Kirk: We tried it once your way, Khan. Are you game for a rematch? Khan... I'm laughing at the superior intellect.

Linkara (v/o): Khan takes the insult well.

(Cut to a scene in the movie)

Khan: Full impulse power.

Joachim: No, sir! You have Genesis; you can have whatever you–

Khan: (grabbing him hard) FULL POWER!! DAMN YOU! (shoves Joachim away and walks up to controls)

(Back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Oh, I'm sorry, I once again meant, in the movie he takes it well. In the comic, he yells that while looking like he's going to start crying.

Linkara: (as Khan, about to crying) Full power, damn you! (sobs, then holds up a teddy bear) You're the only one who understands me, Teddy Khan.

Linkara (v/o): The nebula sends out energy discharges at random, which should make the ship shake, but instead just makes little sound effects like "FZZT" and "SKKT" and "ZZZHH". And hey, Spock has a little box that goes "ping". The battle of the Mutara Nebula is another great scene, with terrific music and phenomenal tension. And naturally, it's butchered to hell in this! The two major exchanges of fire are combined into one, making Khan look pretty stupid and ineffectual. Kirk immediately seizes on the point that Khan is intelligent but has never fought in a battle where you can move in three dimensions. As such, the Enterprise falls down and then comes up behind the Reliant...

(Cut to a clip of this very scene in the movie)

Linkara (v/o): ...which, in the movie, just looked badass!

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Here, it's a panel with the Reliant, and then BANG! Enterprise just pops in out of nowhere. We have an entire page where the only dialogue is "Fire! Fire!", like they were conducting their battle with Konami LaserScopes. The end result is that the Reliant is blasted to hell and in no shape to continue fighting, but the Enterprise isn't in great shape, either, with a radiation leak forcing them to take what little primary power they restored offline until they can repair it.

(Cut to a scene in the movie in which Khan cradles the dying Joachim in his arms)

Linkara (v/o): Oh, and because was mashed together and condensed, we lost the scene where Khan swears to avenge Joachim after he dies on the bridge. So, there's our answer why they cut the "He tasks me" scene from the last issue: they cut the ENTIRE CHARACTER OF JOACHIM!

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Khan is still alive, though his face looks like overdone pizza, and he crawls over to the Genesis controls. He sets it on an overload while quoting "Moby-Dick" to the end.

Khan: To the last, I grapple with thee... From Hell's heart I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath... at thee.

Linkara: (as Khan, clutching at his throat, raspy voice) Well, my lungs have been destroyed, so it's more like "I cough my last breath at thee," but you get my point.

Linkara (v/o): Spock detects the energy readings from Reliant, and David Marcus, who is on the bridge for some reason, identifies it.

David: It's the Genesis Wave. It's building up to detonation– 4 minutes.

Linkara: Wait, you rigged your life-giving planet creator so it could explode if you wanted it to? I keep telling you people that scientists are evil, and yet nobody believes me!

Kirk: We'll beam aboard and stop it.

David: You can't.

Linkara: (as Kirk) Don't tell me that, son! I've been convincing computers to stop their evil since long before you were even in diapers.

Linkara (v/o): Kirk calls engineering to get Scotty to hurry it up, but Scotty is passed out from the radiation. Warp power is offline, so they try to make their escape, but it's going to be too slow. Spock slips away in the background, though you wouldn't notice if you weren't looking for it like I was. In engineering, Dr. McCoy is helping with Scotty when he sees Spock heading right for the radiation leak.

McCoy: Are you out of your Vulcan mind? No human can tolerate the level of radiation that's in there.

Spock: As you are fond of observing, Doctor, I am not human.

McCoy: You're not going in there!

Linkara (v/o): And then Spock nerve-pinches him.

Linkara: (as Spock) I'm sorry, Doctor, but since it's likely I won't survive, I need to pose you in a humorous fashion at least once before the end.

Spock: Remember.

Linkara: (as Spock) Remember that you owe me ten bucks, and I expect it back when I get out.

(Footage of the movie is shown again, as Linkara explains)

Linkara (v/o): And here's where we have another one of those head-tilting moments I mentioned the last time. Spock goes into this closed-off section of engineering, opens up a big cylinder in the middle of the room, AND SHOVES HIS HANDS INTO IT! Just what the hell is Spock doing?! I'm showing clips of the movie, because in the comic, he does even less than that!

(Cut to the comic version of this scene)

Linkara (v/o): He just stands over the open cylinder and puts his hands over it like he's trying to warm them up! Hell, at least in the movie version, he took the time to grab some gloves. Not so much in this. I imagine anything glowing as bright as that in the engine room should be MELTING THE FLESH OFF HIS HANDS!!

Linkara: But seriously, what is he doing here?! Is warp plasma like silly putty and (makes molding motions with his hands) you have to put it into the right shape in order to make things work?

(The movie version of this scene is shown again)

Linkara (v/o): Why did he feel the need to do this at all? Is he the only person on the ship qualified in antimatter sculpturing? How is this fixing the ship?! How does he know this will fix the ship?

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): But the point is that at the nick of time, main power is restored and the Enterprise goes to warp, the artist once again screwing up the pylons on the ship, this time making them almost completely horizontal. Genesis explodes, taking the Reliant and the Mutara Nebula with it. The explosion fuses the nebula's gases with it and forms a new planet because... uh, science. Kirk calls engineering and congratulates Scotty, but McCoy tells Kirk he needs to get down there. Kirk notices that Spock is gone and rushes to engineering. He desperately tries to get to Spock, but Scotty and McCoy tell him it's too late to do anything for him. And we finally get what this comic has been lacking: quiet panels. Like I said last time, the pacing has been atrocious in this comic, condensing down tons of dialogue into a single panel, so it all just comes rushing at the reader. Here, we finally get a few panels where Kirk quietly approaches the chamber and calls out to Spock. Kirk's best friend gets up and moves over to him and– OH, SWEET MOTHER OF GOD!!! ZOMBIE SPOCK!!!

Spock: (weakly) Ship... out of danger?


Linkara (v/o): Dear God, what was the artist thinking?! I mean, yeah, in the movie, he look scarred from the radiation, but he didn't have blank, white eyes, a scowling face, and exposed green flesh! This is gonna replace Scotty's evil smile in my nightmares!

Spock: Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many, outweigh...

Kirk: ...the needs of the few...

Spock: ...or the one.

Linkara: (as Spock) Mind you, I wish their needs didn't involve so much of my skin peeling off.

Spock: I never took the Kobayashi Maru test... until now. What do you think... of my solution?

Linkara: (as Kirk) Well, points for originality, Spock, but I'm afraid I still have to give you an F, because you can't write the post-exam essay.

Spock: I have been... and always shall be... your friend.

Linkara: (as Spock) And if you let me out of here, then you are and always shall be... my dinner.

Spock: Live long... and prosper.

Linkara: (as Spock) Try to do a better job than I did on that first part.

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