Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #5

Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Angel Hernandez

Colorist: Mark Roberts
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Publisher: IDW

Blockbuster movies screening in multiplexes over the summer are the bread and butter of the film industry. Box office receipts can make or break a studio’s bottom line for the year. Paramount and Warner Brothers should look no further for its next blockbuster franchise – Star Trek/Green Lantern, as Mike Johnson’s Stranger Worlds is summer spectacle at its best. Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger World’s #5 is pure entertainment, with an adrenaline rush to boot as the race to the central battery core and the safety of the universe is at stake.

Writing the monthly adventures of the Kelvin Timeline Enterprise crew for six years allows Johnson to intimacy with the characters and universe that, honestly, the screenwriters can’t hope to attain. Add in Johnson’s DC Comics writing background and he proves there is no one better when it comes to entertaining readers and audiences using characters from both franchises.

As usual, Johnson manages to throw some classic Trek homages into his story, as issue five begins with Bones and Spock debating the finer points of either rushing towards Oa to help the Green Lanterns recharge their batteries or attempting to stop Khan from destroying the Federation. It’s a terrific moment that should make fans smile in the way Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban lob their character’s points of views at one another in the films. Plus, Johnson lobs in a classic-Simon Pegg Scotty moment that takes great restraint from spoiling right now.

After much focus on Sinestro and the Lantern Corps’ quest to recharge their batteries in the previous four issues, issue five focuses on Kirk and company – their ultimate decision and the consequences of those actions. Channelling a master composer, Johnson has been building his story to a crescendo with issue five setting up the work’s final movement. Serving each instrument in his ensemble, Johnson finds a way to give each character a moment, which is no simple task considering how many populate this story.

Rectifying the quick neutering of the Klingons at the hands of Sinestro, Johnson gives the Federation’s archenemy its moment in the sun. His addressing of the Empire’s quick kowtowing to Sinestro is explained, while also presenting the warrior race with a new option in this ultimate battle for supremacy of the galaxy. The Klingons’ decision could turn the tides for the victor.

Angel Hernandez once again does excellent storytelling work, while capturing the character’s likenesses superbly. There is a beautifully illustrated moment on page two as the Enterprise decides to use the Manhunter’s transportation gates to move quickly across the galaxy. While Hernandez delivers a spectacular camera angle, Mark Roberts’ colors is the image’s icing on the cake and conveys the feeling of actually viewing the panel on a movie screen.

The Verdict Buy It! Popcorn storytelling at its best, Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #5 is the miniseries most entertaining issue yet and sets up what should be an outstanding and satisfying conclusion. Reading comics should be a fun experience and Johnson and Hernandez have delivered the jollification in their second go with the two franchises – just like a movie sequel. Are you paying attention Paramount and Warner Brothers executives?

Rich Schepis

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