New Frontier Comic Turnaround #1 ( Spoiler)

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Apr 2, 2008, 8:57:12 AM4/2/08
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I got the first issue a few days after my birthday but nevertheless, I
consider it to be my best present I got this year. Being a big fan of
New Frontier, I have been looking forward to more of this series for a
while now and that this story is a continuation of the so far latest NF
novel is something I welcomed a lot. On top of that, the very first New
Frontier comic by Wildstorm is my top favourite comic book and getting
the continuation in the form of a limited series in comic form was very
exciting news to me.

Now that I have read the first comic of the new series, I am still very
excited. I must admit, I prefer Mike Collins art, especially Mike
Collins Calhoun. Nevertheless, I like Stephen Thompson`s work too in
spite of some flaws. Most of his art is excellent but the faces, that is
pretty much a mix of hit, miss and something in between. It doesn`t
bother me very much because there is a lot of Thompson`s art I like. It
has flaws but at the same time, it has character. His art is certainly
not bland like the Calhoun on the “No Limits” cover. Character with
flaws is something I prefer to boring and uninteresting. I can imagine,
with more experience, Thompson could become a great comic book artist.

I like it that Thompson looked for his own interpretation of the
characters. I don`t think his Calhoun is “strikingly handsome” (PAD in
“Before Dishonor”) and I miss that but his Calhoun is certainly
interesting and showing all the other characteristics mentioned in the
books. Calhoun on the cover has a strong presence and shows the piercing
look PAD described sometimes in the novels very well.

It was interesting to see some of the NF characters in comic form for
the first time and must say, so far it is only Calhoun I have some
problems with. Nevertheless, I am confident that I will get used to
Thompson`s interpretation of Calhoun. It just might need some time. By
the way, I laughed when we could finally see Morgan properly after her
looks had been cleverly disguised in various ways in Wildstorm`s comic
book. After all the teasing about who Morgan is, we have the answer now.

I think PAD set up the story very well. I have followed NF from the very
beginning but from what I can see also a newcomer wouldn`t be lost. Of
course he would see that a lot happened before this comic book but the
most basic information you need for getting a foothold is there.
Hopefully this comic will tell an entertaining story also to the
newcomer and it might make him curious so that he wants to buy the books
as well in order to find out more, filling the gaps.

One of the most important parts is establishing the relationship between
Calhoun and Shelby and I think this first issue shows these basics very
well. One of my favourite scenes was the look at the special bond
between them again, when Calhoun knew immediately that the images he saw
were a trick.

The Wildstorm comic dealt with the topic time and the change of time –
of what is, what was and what might be. I found it interesting and
amusing at the same time that this theme is also part of this limited
series. “Paradox” - I love this name for a time ship. Keeping in mind
what we learned in the very first NF comic as well as from Voyager and
Enterprise, I see a huge potential for this story. I am very curious
where this will go.

I know from PAD`s messages that he wanted to write a Mirror Universe NF
story in comic form and I think that element is part of this series. If
done well, MU stories can be also something I enjoy and in this case, I
am confident that the MU element will add an interesting dimension to
the story and not have the opposite effect as it happened in DS9 Relaunch.

I liked the part with Robin Lefler, Kalinda and the ghostly Si Cwan.
Lefler certainly changed and I must say, Thompson did a brilliant job
here with his art, showing first the confident, strong leader and later
the more vulnerable Lefler. I wasn`t even that surprised that Lefler is
pregnant because it fits so well into the overall story.

McHenry`s apparent fate was disturbing to me but it makes sense.
Hopefully he can be helped but I have to wait and see…

In short – a great start and I can`t wait to get the next part!

Baerbel Haddrell

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May 2, 2008, 4:44:51 PM5/2/08
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Yesterday I got issue #2 of the “Turnaround” story and I enjoyed it as
much as the first issue. PAD introduced some new layers to the story but
what I also liked is that a lot of it is not only for the benefit of
newcomers. I am an NF old timer but I was able to learn new things that
will also be interesting in future NF novels – and hopefully, more NF
comics.

Unfortunately Thompson`s Calhoun is not getting better but I loved it
what he did with the rest of the characters. Mueller is spot on. I liked
it that PAD introduced her in a very humorous way. Mueller is a very
complex character and I think it was the right choice to focus on her
likeable side when introducing her. Mueller can be fun and the kind of
flirting shown here is very much typical for her. I am not surprised
that she finds Shelby`s second in command, de Paulo, attractive. I did
in spite of the problems the artist has with faces. Obviously PAD made
another conscious choice to have a more diverse mix of humans. I
welcomed it a lot to see one of Shelby`s staff and I am hoping to meet
more of her people in future within this comic series.

I loved the next part in which Kebron is offering his counselling skills
to Calhoun. Him rolling his eyes and his bridge crew lifting hands like
his school children – I could see again why I love PAD`s sense of humour.

The way PAD dealt with Morgan Lefler and her background impressed me. He
managed to explain who and what she is during this issue in a way that
seems so simple but at the same time touched all the important aspects.
I also wonder how far Morgan will eventually evolve and about the
consequences. With one word Calhoun summarized it: “Great” can mean many
things. I had to think of “With great powers comes great responsibility”
(Spider-Man). There is certainly a lot of potential for future stories.
But this issue also touched Morgan`s humorous part and showed very well
her present relationship with her daughter. The scene on the holodeck is
beautifully done and very touching.

With Soleta, I think this is the first time that I prefer Thompson`s
art. I also liked the way he portrayed Lucius. I could also see again
that the artist is very talented at drawing SF technology: The Romulan
ship and the Paradox together with the unknown strange looking thing is
very impressive.

The end makes me look forward to the next issue – I think I know what
this Jellico was talking about. It must be building on “Cutting Ties”,
the NF Mirror Universe story in “Obsidian Alliances”. In “Cutting Ties”
Calhoun and Soleta had a very interesting relationship and I find the
idea that the comic will continue that story at least on some level
exciting.

Baerbel Haddrell

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Jun 13, 2008, 5:27:49 AM6/13/08
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When I read this comic I noticed a big improvement in the art. The faces
are definitely more hit than miss this time and sometimes I was really
impressed. And the last page – wow! That is a very nice portrait of
Mirror Calhoun!

It seems that the artist is finding his feet and gets more comfortable
with these characters. I hope I am right and the next two issues are at
least on the same quality level. I am growing to like his art style more.

I liked the interaction of Soleta with the two different Jellicos. Now
Soleta is a prisoner with Admiral Jellico, one of the main advocates
responsible for her being kicked out of Starfleet. I wonder where this
will go. We still don`t know why Jellico turned from loathing Calhoun to
being one of his best friends. Should something similar happen here? It
wouldn`t surprise me. If Soleta survives this story, I am very curious
what will happen next.

I was giggling all the time when I read about Kebron`s hilarious slide
show about his family holidays and poor Lucius having to watch it. Well…
it worked. That was an interesting torture :-).

We now get some hints of what this is all about. It seems Mirror
McHenry, who was the madman we saw earlier, is behind all this. It is
his plan, it seems, but he obviously convinced Calhoun and not only him
that whatever this mad plan is, is the only way to get rid of the
dictatorship in his universe.

Again, I would have loved it to read more. Now there are only two more
issues left.

Baerbel Haddrell

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Jul 13, 2008, 10:06:16 AM7/13/08
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The cover is definitely eye-catching. That is excellent artwork and in
general, I think Thompson`s art keeps improving. There are only very few
examples in this comic that shows artwork with some minor flaws. Very
impressive!

I also liked the way he showed Arex and M`Ress. I am glad that he didn`t
simply put a cat into a Starfleet uniform as in the cartoons but found a
good compromise. She still looks like the TAS character but at the same
time more realistic. I regret it that with only one issue left, I
probably won`t get the chance to see how Thompson would portray
Calhoun`s sons, Xyon and Moke. It would have been interesting.

Thompson shows very well in this comic how good he is at showing facial
expressions. The contrast between MU Calhoun and “our” Calhoun was
interesting to watch.

I wish I could give so much praise to the story but one aspect put me
off so much that it tainted my enjoyment of the rest of this issue. I
wonder, why did PAD put the scene in the comic in which Soleta bites MU
Calhoun? It is definitely not funny even if PAD seemed to have intended
it that way. It also feels wrong. Soleta is not a Klingon. If she would
have been a Klingon, it would have worked. In that case MU Calhoun`s
reaction and explanation would make sense and although it would go
against my human instincts, I could appreciate the intended humour and
even smile at it, as I sometimes do, for example, at certain scenes in
the Gorkon books.

Yes, Romulans are not Vulcans. But I have never heard or read that
Romulans like violent sexual activities as Klingons do. What was the
point of introducing this now? Maybe showing that Soleta is a kind of
pervert in both universes? Or make MU Calhoun look more primitive, more
savage compared with “ours”? There was absolutely no need for it and it
tainted a scene that otherwise would have been interesting, even touching.

I also wondered, why is MU Kalinda constantly leaning against MU Lefler
and resting her head on her shoulder? I don`t mind at all if in the MU
they are more than just friends but in this situation it looked
ridiculous and inappropriate.

I don`t have enough information yet to make any judgements about who is
right and wrong here but I can see that the background is complex.
Hopefully the last issue will answer all questions.

Baerbel Haddrell

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Aug 4, 2008, 10:32:09 AM8/4/08
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Now that I have finished the whole series I can say, I like it. I can`t
say that it is one of Peter David`s best stories but it is an enjoyable,
entertaining read. All right, Soleta`s biting attack on MU Calhoun in
issue #4 is a minus but compared to the rest of the story, it is not
something that spoils the total of the limited series much.

The discussion between the two Calhouns was very interesting. It starts
with it that MU Calhoun mentioned that he was forging some alliances in
“our” universe. It makes me wonder if this has something to do with what
is happening in DS9 Relaunch at the moment. Or it could be something
different that might affect other known characters. Anyway, this could
be a hint of what we will find in the coming novel “Treason” and/or more
separate MU Calhoun adventures. I am curious.

I could understand MU Calhoun. I wonder if the Riker from the reality in
which the Borg won (the TNG episode “Parallels”) would have been able to
use a time ship, I can imagine he would have tried the same. But the
desperate and unfocused use of a time ship is even more dangerous than
Calhoun`s much more calculated and limited use of time travel. It was
good to see how both Calhouns finally agreed that MU Jellico had to be
stopped.

Under these circumstances, the Paradox had to be destroyed. Although the
sling shot manoeuvres I remember ended at least mostly positive, having
time ships at your disposal is a different matter. I also don`t think
humanity and in general, beings on the same level, are ready for it. The
problem is, after such a prototype had been built, sooner or later this
technology will be used again. Hopefully the Federation will be ready
and better prepared next time.

I wonder what happened to Morgan. I find her development fascinating but
have been wondering for a while how far this will go. As soon as a crew
member becomes too powerful like Wesley and McHenry, they leave if they
are not killed. After posting this review at the Trek BBS I read more
comments and remembered that PAD mentioned that one crew member will
die. Now I think it is very likely that Morgan is indeed dead.

I am very happy that “Turnaround” is successful and that gives me more
hope for another New Frontier limited series hopefully not too far in
the future. Stephen Thompson`s art grew on me and I am confident, if he
gets the chance to work for another NF series, his art would become even
better.

My copy of the trade paperback edition is already pre-ordered.

Baerbel Haddrell

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