Monday, April 10, 2017

2008 flashback: John Byrne to write 'Star Trek' series … and Gene Simmons' 'Zipper'?

You never know what you might find when you Google "Cary's Comics Craze Norwalk Reflector." And when I did, I found this column I wrote back in 2008. Enjoy it here for the first time …

Pretty soon, John Byrne won’t have any other comics character left to write, draw or ink. Considering he has handled everything from the original ALPHA FLIGHT series to WHEELIE AND THE CHOPPER BUNCH, you shouldn’t be surprised the comics legend will be playing in Gene Roddenberry’s universe.

Next month, Byrne will be handling the story, inside art and covers for the five-part limited series STAR TREK: ASSIGNMENT EARTH by IDW Publishing. Each issue progresses one year, starting in 1968, telling the story of interstellar time traveler Gary Seven and his assistant handling threats from the past. 

Byrne’s series is a sequel to the 1968 “Assignment Earth” episode, which was the final installment of the second “Star Trek” season. NBC canceled the series after three seasons. 

IDW is continuing the five-year mission of the original Enterprise crew with its series STAR TREK: YEAR FOUR — THE ENTERPRISE EXPERIMENT.

Beloved “Trek” screenwriter and novelist D.C. Fontana makes her debut as a comics writer in this sequel to a third season episode she wrote. In the original tale, Capt. James Kirk stole an experimental Romulan cloaking device from a female Romulan commander.

Tom McLean, the “Bags and Boards” blogger on, gives the first issue a “B-.” He calls it “a satisfying tale that hits all the right buttons for the die-hard Trek fan,” but probably will be tough to attract “casual or new fans.”
GENE SIMMONS ZIPPER: Simmons, the infamous, tongue-wagging bassist and co-founder of the rock group KISS, has always been proud of his lifelong passion for comics.

Simmons now has created his own science fiction series through IDW Publishing and Simmons Comics Group. GENE SIMMONS ZIPPER — despite its pornographic-sounding title — has nothing to do with the singer’s disgusting (and reportedly extensive) sexual history.

The story, according to the solicitation for the first issue, starts on the planet Etheria, “where personal freedom is considered a crime punishable by death.”

The art and text in the preview were way too small for me to read, so I’ll have to depend on the wisdom of other readers. One person said he was “glad this was free,” while someone who read all four issues called it “a really good book” with characters that “feel real.”

My favorite comment was this one: “There’s far more depth than the synopsis suggested.”

KISS and comics: Two things I love: KISS made its first splash in the comics industry when the original members poured vials containing their own blood into the first printing of MARVEL COMICS SUPER SPECIAL No. 1 in 1977.

Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics created their own KISS series respectively in 1997 and 2002 about the Demon, Starchild, Beast and Celestial. The concepts are based loosely on both the 1981 concept album MUSIC FROM THE ELDER and the members’ on-stage personas.

I have no problem with entertainers broadening their horizons (and getting an extra paycheck in the meantime). But this member of the KISS Army is sick of the group touring with the same set list they’ve used for the last 12 years and not creating any new material. At least KISS co-founder and ex-lead guitarist Ace Frehley is releasing a new CD soon …

Another rocker in comics: Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance wrote the fall 2007 Dark Horse limited series THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY.  It’s about a disbanded group of superheroes who reunite after their adoptive father dies. I enjoyed the preview issue released during last year’s Free Comic Book Day; it’s an interesting take on the togetherness and family-like atmosphere seen multiple times in super hero ensemble series.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Cary's Comics Craze webmaster/blogger Cary Ashby wrote the original CCC for the NORWALK REFLECTOR for about nine years. He remains a staff writer at the newspaper, where he currently is the features writer and covers government, Norwalk City Schools and as much entertainment as his bosses will allow him. Ashby covered the "cops and courts" beat for more than 12 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment