Secret Origins…

So, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, and they always ask the guest what got them into comic books. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be on one of those shows, and how I would answer that question. And that got me thinking. 

I certainly remember reading Archie comics as a kid. I also distinctly remember going to my paternal grandmothers and there being some comics lying around. I seem to remember one retelling Superman’s origin. And I distinctly remember watching the old George Reeves “Adventures of Superman” there a few times. But all that was as a kid.

I really got into the habit of collecting comics as a teenager. What age I don’t recall really. I know I wasn’t driving yet, because I had to either pester my mother to drive me to the store (same store I went to almost every week for 20 years), or ride my bicycle there. And it was a very long bike ride. But I digress.

And this is where things get interesting. When I look back at it, I can think of two different comics that really got me hooked. The first is Star Trek Vol. 1 #1 by DC Comics, and the other was John Bryne’s “Man of Steel” relaunch. Now, here’s the thing: Star Trek came out in February of 1984. Man of Steel came out in 1986. Two years. Pretty big difference, right? Well, it gets better. 

 SUP_steel Star_Trek_Vol_1_1

Looking at what I have left of my comics collection, puts those titles as being the gateway drug into question. In my collection is all 12 issues of DC Comics “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which came out in 1985. I also have Superman Vol. 1 #423, Part 1 of “Whatever Happened to the Man of  Tomorrow,” which came out in September, 1986. I also have Macross #1, which wa published by Comico back in 1985.

Superman423 macross crisis

So, just looking at this, and doing the math, the winner is STAR TREK #1. For the next    few weeks, this blog will take a look a each of these issues, and see if we can turn back the pages of time and find out what made those books so special.


Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Part III)

Part three of our look at 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Some bits about this movie:

Best Line: MCCOY: Why is any object we don’t understand always called a thing?

Other Favorite Quotes: SPOCK: It knows only that it needs, Commander. But, like so many of us… it does not know what.

Trivia: There’s some rumor that at the time this was the most expensive film ever made (it cost $46 million dollars). That’s not exactly true: Cleopatra, in 1963, cost $44 million pre-inflation adjustment. Superman: The Movie actually cost $54 million, but the producers didn’t disclose its budget until many years later. In any case, the $46 million also included costs for the Phase II project that never got off the ground.

SCAN0100 SCAN0101

Orson Welles narrated many of the film’s trailers.

The film was nominated for three technical Oscars: Best Art Direction, Best Music (Original Score), and best Visual Effects.

The script confirms that Will Decker is the son of Matthew Decker from “The Doomsday Machine,” but this wasn’t clarified onscreen. Like father, like son.

This film marks the first appearance of the Klingon forehead ridges, which were not explained until the Enterprise episodes “Aflliction” and “Divergence.”

Uhura’s comm earpieces are the only props from the original series, which were used because they forgot to make new ones.

The Klingon and Vulcan languages used in this film were invented by James Doohan.

To distinguish TMP from Star Wars, Roddenberry reportedly decided there would be no space battles, and intentionally pushed for a more sophisticated and complex plot.

The “buckle” on the Starfleet pajamas is actually a medical scanner linked to Sick Bay.

A previous version of the script killed Chekov during V’ger’s scan of the ship.

To be continued….

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Part II)

We continue our look at the first Star Trek movie,1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Despite all the reviews, and how slow the movie is, and how some of the characters don’t feel like they did on the the classic series. STTMP does have a few things going for it.

The scale of the film is up-sized.  It feels like a film, not an expanded episode of the television series.  This is apparent in the use of special effects, but it is especially apparent in the film’s score.  Jerry Goldsmith was brought on to compose the soundtrack, and his work for this film is easily among the greatest soundtracks of any science fiction film.  The soaring soundtrack when Kirk and Scotty first see the Enterprise is pitch perfect.  Indeed, that track in particular went on to become the key theme for the entire Star Trek franchise.



Part III coming soon…

Welcome to my new blog

The plan here, is to update this blog at least once a week. That will probably depend greatly upon time and theme, but I think that schedule is at least slightly doable. It will also cover a lot of varying subjects, again, depending on my mood and what strikes me at the time. You can honestly expect a lot of Star Trek content though, so you are now forewarned.

With that in mind, we come to our first post. For this week, and probably a few more if things work out the way I plan, we are going to be exploring STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. With that in mind, let’s hit the ground running…

The profitable and expansive Star Trek franchise (with bigger budgets and the widescreen’s advantages) was spawned from an original 3-season TV series that debuted in September of 1966. The original crew’s journeys into space didn’t end in 1969, but continued on with six films beginning 10 years later, from 1979 to 1991, headlined by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as Admiral Kirk and Captain Spock respectively. After that came a new TV series in 1987 (Star Trek: The Next Generation) for seven seasons that also generated another series of four theatrical Star Trek beginning in 1994 with the Next Generation crew anchored by Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard. After the disastrous Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)the franchise was rebooted or relaunched in 2009, with director J.J. Abrams at the helm, beginning with Star Trek (2009), and followed by the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). 

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) 
d. Robert Wise, 132 minutes.

When plans to launch a second Star Trek television series in the late 1970s were scrapped by Paramount Pictures, the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, instead transformed the aborted program’s 2-hour pilot into this big budget theatrical feature. Five years after the legendary voyages of the starship Enterprise, James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is an unhappy, desk-bound admiral at Starfleet headquarters. Kirk goes aboard his old vessel to observe its re-launch under new captain Will Decker (Stephen Collins). Soon, however, an escalating crisis causes Kirk to take command of his old ship. A mysterious, planet-sized energy force of enormous power is headed for Earth. Reunited with Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and the rest of his former colleagues, Kirk takes the Enterprise inside the massive energy cloud and discovers that it is the long-lost NASA space probe Voyager. Now a sentient being after accumulating centuries of knowledge in its deep space travels, the alien, which calls itself V’ger, has come home seeking its creator.


Although not a critical home run, box office receipts for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) were strong enough to inspire a revamped television series and a long-running line of theatrical sequels.

I remember an uncle taking a bunch of us to go see this when it first came out. I remember liking it, but being about seven at the time most of the movie was over my head.  It took a long time, and numerous viewings before it finally started to make sense.  Personally, I think this movie gets better with time, and the more I watch it the more it makes sense, and the more I like it.

To be continued…