The background of the making of the classic Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever has been discussed over and over among Star Trek insiders and fandom. Harlan Ellison wrote the screenplay, which was carved up so much in Ellison’s view, that over the past four decades Ellison was vocal in rejecting Gene Roddenberry’s final version that first made it to television screens on April 6, 1967.
What would the original version have looked like had Roddenberry stuck closer to the original script? It’s the kind of thing you would have thought fan film creators would have jumped at before now, but–even better–Star Trek fans can now see The City on the Edge of Forever visually portrayed in its originally conceived form.
IDW Publishing partnered the Star Trek writing team of Scott Tipton and David Tipton with the best Star Trek artist around, J.K. Woodward, and this year they adapted Ellison’s original screenplay into a five-issue comic book series that wraps this month, and will soon be released in a hardcover and trade edition. If you think that a comic book cannot convey everything you’d want to see from the original Star Trek, then you haven’t seen the photo-real artistry of J.K. Woodward.
In fact the single biggest reason to read The City on the Edge of Forever is J.K. Woodward’s panel after panel of beautiful paintings– renderings of not just the characters but William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Joan Collins, and Grace Lee Whitney–that will have your mind’s eye believing you just watched an actual episode of the original series.
Philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and so revisiting history via its primary sources should be no less important in studying the history of comics and animation. And with the benefit of our own personal wayback machines (spelled WABAC for you Mr. Peabody fans) sometimes our looks to the past are full of imagery and stories that make us squirm as our sensibilities have improved over time.
We visited this concept here at borg.com with our review of the even-too-sexist-for-a-Bond-novel The Spy Who Loved Me and racism-heavy Live and Let Die. Can you still enjoy these works knowing how skewed the world view was? I think the answer can be yes, as long as you maintain your critical eye and acknowledge the improvements we have made. Ignoring or dismissing these works outright would be worse.
Thanks to the folks at Warner Bros. we previewed a copy of Looney Tunes–Platinum Collection, Volume 3, on Blu-ray, and courtesy of IDW Publishing we have a preview for you of Superman: The Golden Age Sundays (1946-1949), after the break.
Who doesn’t remember and cherish the great Looney Tunes cartoons of the mid-20th century, recycled decades after their creation for a 1970s and 1980s cable viewing audience thanks to Saturday morning cartoons? But, like many comic books and superhero movies today, you might use discretion before sharing with young audiences. Even the originals were intended for adult movie audiences and it’s amazing networks thought these were once appropriate for kids each Saturday. And where you may think you watched these cartoons and turned out fine and bigot-free, what about that guy across the street?
It’s a big week of comic book releases from IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios so we have pulled together several previews, including Issue #1 of a new Edward Scissorhands series, Issue #1 of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mash-up with the Ghostbusters, Issue #1 of a new Dungeons & Dragons series, and Issue #4 of The X-Files: Year Zero.
From BOOM! Studios we have previews of Issue #1 of an intriguing new series called Memetic, and Issue #1 of 3 Guns–the sequel to 2 Guns, the comic book that became this summer’s Mark Wahlberg/Denzel Washington action movie we reviewed previously here at borg.com.
And don’t forget to pick up Dark Horse Comics’ new Predator: Fire and Stone, Issue #1, previewed here earlier.
After the break, check out these great previews.
Is there something not quite right about a new G.I. Joe series that features a Joe team finally headed up by Scarlett, that is also titled “The Fall of G.I. Joe”? We’re guessing the juxtaposition of these two elements wasn’t intended to be some kind of causal thing. Instead we’re focused on plenty of cool covers released by IDW Publishing for the series, which is expected to ship its first issue in September.
G.I. Joe: The Fall of G.I. Joe will be written by Karen Traviss with interior art by Steve Kurth. Several covers will be available, from artists including Cliff Chiang and Jeffery Veregge.
Check out these covers from the new monthly. The cover style from Veregge makes us wish Phil Noto or Kevin Dart was also working on this series, and maybe provide some variant covers. Still, they do look like something we might have seen back in 1972 on the box covers for large-sized G.I. Joe action figures.
More big news emerged from San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. A new comic book series for Haven and Galaxy Quest… a sneak peek at Arrow Season 3, a Star Trek crossover with Planet of the Apes… details and art from Marvel’s new line of Star Wars comic books… new actors to star in Marvel’s Ant-man… more content from Avengers 2… and new giant monster movies are coming soon from Legendary Pictures.
But the biggest news that almost “broke the Internet” was from DC Entertainment: the first look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and her new costume from the 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s a nice Cliff Chiang-inspired pose for the Amazon warrior. So we now have three images of the DC Comics trinity:
We’ve got a pretty dark superhero movie in our future.
The next big news came from a Marvel Comics panel–the creative line-up for Star Wars comic books under Disney:
Marvel Comics announced that January 2015 will see the first of Marvel taking over the Star Wars comic book line from Dark Horse with three initial series. Kansas City’s Jason Aaron will write and John Cassaday will serve as artist on a series taking place just after A New Hope, where the original 1978 Marvel Comics line began and the current main Dark Horse title takes place. Above is the cover art by Cassaday for Issue #1.
A series beginning in February 2015 will follow Darth Vader after his TIE Fighter is knocked away by Han Solo at the end of A New Hope, to be created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca.
And March 2015 will see a series following Princess Leia after the destruction of the Death Star, from writer Mark Waid, artist Terry Dodson, and colorist Rachel Dodson.
Here are four pages of early stage art for the main Star Wars series:
Hands down J.K. Woodward is the best artist to ever take on Star Trek in the comic book medium. His Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation² was a stunning visual journey, and that series, reviewed here at borg.com, showcased Woodward’s superb painted panels and contained an imaginative story by David and Scott Tipton. Tipton, Tipton, and Woodward are back this week with the long-titled Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever, The Original Teleplay, a five-issue limited series beginning tomorrow. For borg.com readers we have a nine-page preview of the issue below after the break, courtesy of IDW Publishing.
The Star Trek: The Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is regarded by many (including a TV Guide poll of the “100 Best TV Episodes of All Time”) as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time, but what made it to television was a far cry from the original teleplay by noted science fiction writer Harlan Ellison. Ellison’s original teleplay won both the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s Award for Most Outstanding Teleplay.
The new IDW Publishing comic book mini-series, produced under the guidance of Ellison, now brings the classic story to fans like they haven’t seen it before. Issue #1 is a blast. Woodward’s visuals are eye-popping as usual, and the story presents its own parallel universe for those familiar with the classic TV episode. Yeoman Rand never looked better!
It’s Wednesday again, and that means the new comic books are out for the week at your local comic book store. We’ve got several previews for a whopping seven issues of new books that should have something for everyone. There’s Dark Horse Comics’ great ongoing Star Wars series, which will be wrapping up this year. Then there’s Bill Willingham’s excellent steampunk series Legenderry for Dynamite Comics, reuniting the best of classic pulp heroes with new twists, like the Six Thousand Dollar Man. We also have previews of two issues from Archie Comics–one from Archie Comics Digest and the other from the SEGA video game universe: Sonic the Hedgehog.
Also, a new Angry Birds series begins, IDW is releasing a brief history of Godzilla comics, and a preview of the next issue of the ongoing Star Trek series is here, all from IDW Publishing.
After the break, check out previews for one or all of them, courtesy of their respective comic book publishers.
Previously on 24…
Four years ago, CTU agent Jack Bauer became a fugitive from justice. Soon he will risk his life and freedom to avert yet another global disaster and LIVE ANOTHER DAY.
Jack spent the intervening years in exile, and now we reveal what happened during his time in the European UNDERGROUND…
Written by Ed Brisson (Secret Avengers), with art by Michael Gaydos (Alias), 24: Underground, is a new comic book series that provides backstory for the return of the live-action series 24: Live Another Day coming to Fox next month. 24: Underground takes off where the original series last left Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer, as a man on the run.
The X-Files, that classic TV series that took off recently with its The X-Files Season 10 monthly comic book series, will be expanding The X-Files universe even further. IDW Publishing revealed some details about the new series Sunday at WonderCon in Anaheim, California.
Writer Karl Kesel (Marvel’s FF, Superboy), artists Vic Malhotra (The X-Files: Conspiracy, The Crow) and Greg Scott (The X-Files Season 10) are teaming up to tell the secret origins with The X-Files: Year Zero, a five-issue miniseries debuting in July. The artists will split duties with Malhotra drawing the 1940s story following two agents that go by Bing and Millie, and Scott drawing present-day Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder as they tackle a mystery with ties that date back to the beginning of the FBI’s X-Files unit.
Cover art will be created by The X-Files Season 10 artist Carlos Valenzuela, with retro/pulp novel cover variants by Robert Hack (Doctor Who). Even borg.com favorite cover artist Francesco Francavilla will be supplying a cover variant for the first issue.
IDW Publishing is bring back a series of volumes reprinting the original classic Star Trek series originally published by Gold Key Comics, including the memorable photo covers of the Star Trek crew that you might remember from nearly 50 years ago. The first volume hits the shelves of comic book stores tomorrow and features the first six issues that were originally sold between 1967 and 1969.
If you lost your original issues to time, this new volume will bring back some good ol’ Trek nostalgia for you. It includes Issue #1 from July 1967, “The Planet of No Return,” and Issue #2 from March 1968, “The Devil’s Isle of Space,” both written by Dick Wood with art by Nevio Zaccara. You’ll also get Issue #3 from December 1968, “Invasion of the City Builders,” Issue #4 from June 1969, “The Peril of Planet Quick Change,” Issue #5 from September 1969, “The Ghost Planet,” and Issue #6 from December 1969 “When Planets Collide,” all written by Wood with art by Alberto Giolitti.
Plenty of modern Star Trek comics have done all kinds of things with storytelling and artwork. But there is something fun about the simplicity of these old stories that will appeal to fans of 1960s comics and the creators’ vision for the future from long ago.
After the break, we’re previewing the first several pages of Star Trek–Gold Key Archives, Volume 1, courtesy of IDW Publishing: