As my severely long review of the previous volume in this series suggests, I love the idea and execution of these comics. The blending of old and new are wonderfully done and I feel help to both link the new with old beloved series as well as give the AOS a chance to shine on its own. That is shown very well here in this new volume with one story coming from the original series and one story brand new and hot off the presses before the next film!
This was one of my favorite episodes from the classic series and so when I saw this was being done I immediately dove right in. Once again, the series does a great job of balancing the old and the new. The main plot is the same, but because of the alterations in the timeline, there are differences. The aftermath of Sam's disappearance (a deleted scene from the movie) is dealt with before jumping into the mission to Deneva. Kirk's reintroducing to his brother is handled well, both showing the angry child he can't quite shake and the talented young man he is becoming despite his history. The landscaping of the colony needs a brief mention. In TOS, it was shot on this really 60's bad architecture that was suppose to look futuristic and instead looks...eeuhh. The comic did a great job of blending the original look of the episode with an update for the modern reader so that it looks more futuristic as well. I even showed this to my husband (who could really care but I was so impressed I had to tell someone). The aliens as well are a blend of the original and modernization and again are quite good.
An excellent brand new story for the series! I know personally I've had all kind of ideas of what might have happened after the film credits rolled. The fact that Roberto Orci (the writer/producer of the first movie and its sequel) oversaw it gives this story a stamp of official approval though it is a long standing rule in the Star Trek community that only the TV shows and Movies are considered truly canon. A subspace relay near the Romulan neutral zone is destroyed and close by a Vulcan ship is under attack. What the Enterprise finds there leads them on a journey worthy of the original series with Jim Kirk standing in the center of Romulan government being the Starfleet captain it appears is in his DNA to be. Spock too gives an amazing show, going out of his comfort zone to do what is not only logical but right. Old friends from the movies show up, as well as give an insight into how the Vulcan people are handling the genocide and destruction of their home world. I don't want to say more because I don't want to spoil anything.
Both stories give us characters who stay true to themselves, even under difficult situations. The stories are a wonderful blend of new and old - as the movie was itself. The Romulan officers, for example, are in the same outfits (even the dorky headgear) but the birds of prey are updated without compromising their shape. The drawing is amazing with plenty of detail and very good renditions of the characters. The mystery of the changing eye color seems to have been solved; I did not find a place where the wrong eye color jumped out at me anyway. Some the characters that didn't really get a place in the sun in the last volume got some more screen time - all in a positive way.
I will agree a bit with what one reviewer said: we aren't getting enough of the AOS. There have not been any (that I know of) novels and only a few YA novels about their time in the Academy. Those approximately 150+ page novels and these comics are it! I understand that Abrams and his new group of actors have other projects but that means there should have been a steady stream of novels both before and after. Now that there is a plot for the movie, hopefully they have some people lined up writing novels for this. I for one love this AOS and see a lot of potential. So far the only people who have realized that potential are the fan fiction writers, some of them quite well actually. So please, somebody, write us up some stories. We are waiting to buy.
If you liked the last one, read this. If you are unhappy with retelling (I may not understand it but I do know some people do), read the second story. If you haven't read Volume 1, I would go read it first, but it is not necessary and the two stories in here are great on their own.