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Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #1

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Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Credits

  • Words: Chris Roberson
  • Art: Jeffrey Moy
  • Inks: Philip Moy
  • Colors: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Oct 19, 2011

Star Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes cross over in a long-awaited miniseries, but both come out worse for it.

In the far off future, mankind has united to explore space, the final frontier. In the far-off future, teenagers of all kinds have united to save the universe. One is a legion of space-faring adventurers and scientists, focused on Captain Kirk, Spock, "Bones", Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura and the USS Enterprise. The other is a legion of superheroes, led by Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, and Shadow Less.

In theory, Star Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes are two great tastes that should taste great together. Futuristic science fiction series that usually deal with large casts of characters having adventures on various alien planets? In theory, it's a match made in heaven.

The greatest problem about this crossover is that it's way too steeped in each series' continuity to be a quality entry point for people who have a passing interest in both. If you've seen the Star Trek movies and saw the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon (or the main three's appearances in Smallville), both valid ways to approach these franchises if not the most pure, you'd be completely lost in this. If you've read your fair share of Legion comics and seen enough of Star Trek: The Original Series to name each character without needing the first-page recap, you'd still raise a few eyebrows. Plot-wise, the story ends up somewhat as a mess; passing fans who don't know the intricacies of each world are going to wonder exactly where one world ends and the other begins, and when you add in the fact that both teams actually end up in different worlds than their own, it's all a little befuddling.

Admittedly, two large issues come from each own series' current faults. The Legion of Super-Heroes, even if this was adhering to the New 52 way of thinking (scrap everything, start over from scratch and iconicness, unless you have something that works, though Legion is so steeped in continuity and mythos that it subjectively doesn't), is still a franchise that's not accessible. Shadow Lass and Chameleon Boy aren't anywhere near as iconic as Spock and Uhura, and the only roster member that's possibly made (or borrowed) a name for themselves is Brainiac 5, who is a hero in this era and iteration, versus the super-villain people may know as a Superman antagonist.

Visually, the problem stems from the Star Trek license. In an attempt to stay show-accurate for much of the cast, the Star Trek side is rather limited on its expressions. On the other hand, the Legion characters have no actors to adhere to, but try to match the real-actor looks of their Trek counterparts, instead of being comic book characters that can break that mold.

Star Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes are a great pairing; this is just not the book to do the project justice. Future issues might clear things up, but it shouldn't be confusing this soon in the series.

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