Monday, September 26, 2011

Today's Captain's Log should probably be in Morse code...

Ooh, Stevens...so dead.
Even though Jeffrey Hunter wouldn't get to return for more episodes, I've always enjoyed Star Trek stories featuring Captain Christopher Pike, Kirk's predecessor on the Enterprise. I've always enjoyed them, even though they're usually skull-crushingly depressing. Like today's book! Star Trek: Captain's Log: Pike. Written by Stuart Moore, art by J.K. Woodward.

After the events of "The Cage," the Enterprise is on route to earth, to report on Talos IV and replace crewmen lost on Rigel. And maybe Pike as well, since the doubts he had before have only grown. His sense of duty seems to be all that keeps him going, and it seems like Pike has seen too much. But, when the Enterprise is attacked by an unidentified ship near Jupiter, Pike's depression doesn't hold him back. With Yeoman Colt and two redshirts (they weren't redshirts then, but they were...) Pike leads a ballsy raid, beaming into the alien ship to disable their drives. Or blow them up entirely, either or. Spock ID's the aliens as Halogians, but has no other info; which brings back Pike's melancholy over the two men he lost.

Twelve years later, both Colt and Pike have been promoted, to captain and fleet captain, respectively. (Awesome, but that would make Colt captain really young...) Colt has to ask what a 'fleet captain' actually is, and Pike explains in the event of war, he would direct a squadron of ships. Colt then wonders if that's a good position for Pike, since he always took every crewman's death personally. Pike angrily declares sometimes they don't have a choice in these matters.

Colt is taking a crew of cadets on a training mission, but it turns real when they find another Halogian ship near Jupiter, apparently trying to ignite it into a sun and destroy earth. Engineering takes a hit, and Pike goes to rescue the trapped cadets; while Colt uses her knowledge of the Halogian ship to target its engines and destroy it. Pike saves all of the cadets...before a baffle plate explodes.

Severely injured, Pike is placed in the wheelchair/life support system seen in "The Menagerie." Colt explains the Halogians had been rejected for Federation membership multiple times, and a militant group of them had sought revenge. But, although her crew was safe, the price was high. She tells Pike, in answer to his question years ago, it was worth it. After she leaves, Pike beeps once in response.

The Star Trek of Pike, was what I wanted to see when Enterprise was announced, but it didn't quite get there. Gene Roddenberry moved Trek to a shinier, friendlier, everyone-gets-along-and-is-well-adjusted future; which lost a lot of its potential edge. For Pike, space was brutal, cold, and even a little seedy: you might not want to live there, but a worthwhile place to visit.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Intriguing, and I usually don't follow ST, well not since I was a kid and collected the ST trading cards. Remember those?

Still, I suspect Captain Pike must have been/is slightly more interesting than Kirk, but obviously nowhere as near as popular as Kirk.

Oh, and this past weekend I finally bought Orange Lantern Lex from Target. He's cool as hell, but has a super-loose torso. Also his left hand is fixed and doesn't move, unlike the right hand. That's weird and dumb as hell on the FH/Mattel's part, but what are you gonna' do right?

He'll make his 1st app. in today's blog.