Review by C.J. Bunce
Sometimes you wish you could go back in time, to decades past where life was simpler and you could grab a magazine at the local bookstore or grocery store rack to get a fix from your favorite movies or TV series. Back in the 1970s and 1980s sometimes that meant Starlog, Starburst, or Space Wars, Fantastic Films Magazine, or even mags aimed at the younger set, like Dynamite. Then publishers targeted fandoms with The Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine for Star Wars, and Star Trek Communicator all sprouting out of fanzines. Titan Magazines has been publishing both Star Wars Insider and Star Trek Magazine–soon to become Star Trek Explorer–for decades, and it’s the articles from the Star Trek mags that fans can “read again for the first time” as Titan launches its best magazine-sourced overview yet from the big franchises, Star Trek Villains, now available for pre-order here. What is your favorite Star Trek villain? Check out a preview below courtesy of Titan.
The biggest page count is no surprise, dedicated to Ricardo Montalban’s Khan–the likely winner of any fan villain vote. My favorite villain group, the Romulans, get great coverage. Peter Weller gets multiple interviews for his Admiral Marcus and Paxton. Full sections are devoted to Sybok, Valeris, The Borg Queen (who will return next year in Star Trek: Picard), Q, Winn, Dukat, Joanne Linville’s unnamed Romulan Commander, Shinzon, Nero, The Gorn, Mirror Universe characters, the Jem’Hadar, the Vorta, B’Etor, Chang, Kor, L’Rell, and Kang (but, alas, no Kazon, Seska, Annorax, or Hirogen from Voyager, Star Trek V’s Klaa and Vixis, or Idris Elba’s Krall and the other great Joel Harlow-designed alien villains from Star Trek Beyond).
The book leans toward the Discovery Klingons, but includes some great classic Klingons, like the original series’ Kang and Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country’s Chang. They even remembered some single-arc Klingons like Tokath!
Because it’s a compilation of magazine articles, don’t expect Star Trek Villains to be a cohesive narrative without some repetition. But it touches to some extent on all the best, sneaking in Saul Rubinek’s Kivas Fajo and David Warner’s Gul Madred in the final page, while unfortunately major villains, notably Christopher Lloyd’s Kruge and Malcolm McDowell’s Soran, get only a brief reference (these guys even had action figures created for them!), as do more recent key baddies: Jason Isaac’s Lorca from Discovery and Peyton List’s great Romulan Narissa from Picard. Star Trek Villains also has fewer villains from the hundreds of episodes of Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek: The Next Generation, which were full of weekly villainy.
And what? No mention of the villains of Star Trek: The Voyage Home–humanity? It’s still a fun read–looking at villains from several angles and from several writers, a true keeper for Star Trek fans from any and all factions (but definitely a bigger, more exhaustive look at the villains is in order, beyond the exhaustive, wider scope reference of the Okudas’ brilliant Star Trek Encyclopedia). Star Trek Villains packs in all those key villains you’ll be glad to revisit and read more about, along with an incredible, full-color array of photographs from the series, movies, and behind the camera. It also offers fans the opportunity to consider dozens of suggested tie-in novels featuring villains, all still in print.
Look at some pages from Star Trek Villains:
Don’t miss Star Trek Villains. It’s coming in a magazine-scale, 178-page trade paperback edition to bookstores September 21, 2021, and you can pre-order it now here at Amazon, or add it to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comics shop.