Review: Star Trek Khan #1
Khan Noonien Singh. A villain to end all villains? Maybe not, but a strong, smart, and cunning adversary to Captain James T. Kirk and the rest of Starfleet. I remember seeing the movie back in the 1980’s and being almost scared of the intensity of Ricardo Montalban as Khan. He was awesome… and I was really concerned that I would not like the new Khan nearly as much. Benedict Cumberbatch definitely brought the intensity and the pure aggression of Khan to the screen, without the gross, mind-controlling ear-grubs.
If you have seen Star Trek: Into Darkness, the second installment of J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek universe, then you know that (SPOILER) Khan was placed back in suspended animation pending his trial. That is where Star Trek Khan #1 from IDW picks up. The trial of Khan is so big that the entire Federation of Planets is bringing charges against this evil superman. With a story by Mike Johnson and artwork by David Messina, Caludia Balboni, Marina Castelvetro, and Claudia ScarletGothica, Star Trek Khan #1 delivers a good continuation of new Star Trek universe.
The book attempts to answer the question of who Khan Noonien Singh is, since he claims to be from the 20th century. Khan pleads innocent at his trial and proceeds to tell of his origins. Flashback to 1970’s India, where a group of street children are taken by a mysterious group for an unknown purpose. The story turns to genetic engineering, as the children become an experiment in creating highly able creative, tactical, and mechanical geniuses through the use of DNA resequencing.
Khan begins life, as far as the story is concerned, as Noonian Singh, a crippled child from India who is missing half of one of his legs. However, the aggression and fierceness that he shows in reaction to another child belittling him places him clearly as the leader of the group. The genetic manipulation provides a healing that surpasses any expectations, actually regrowing Singh’s leg and making him stronger, faster, and scarier than before.
Training progresses and time passes. Eventually, the students become the masters. The time comes when Noonian Singh, made more cunning through the treatments and training, escapes the scientists facility. Of course the scientists have implanted each “student” with a device that allows for control over them.
Finally, this issue, we jump ahead several years. Singh cuts into a transmission that the doctor is on and invites him to the courtyard. The doctor is presented with a gift… the devices that each student has surgically removed from their own heads. No more control means that Singh can now do what he was bred to do, crush the doctors head, thus killing his creator. Then Noonien Singh, not yet named Khan, leads his team off to spread their bloodshed to the world.
A great story and very interesting telling of Khan’s origin. I look forward to next issue. The artwork is simple, nothing fancy, and in some places even spartan… maybe a homage to Khan’s way of life as a simple conqueror not a grand king? Either way, I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about this cool Star Trek villain.