If you are a fan of Star Trek you don't need me telling you that a new Star Trek movie is opening this weekend. The movie is a prequel to the original TV show, a.k.a. The Original Series (TOS), but also has a direct connection to the second Star Trek TV series, The Next Generation (TNG).
To help viewers understand the connection between TNG and the new movie, the producers had a comic book series developed. Star Trek: Countdown was originally produced as four comic books. It's now available in multiple formats from trade paperback to comic books to Kindle* to iPhone/iPod Touch apps* and maybe others.
Out of curiosity, and because they were cheap (only $.99 each), I downloaded all four parts via iTunes and read it on my iPod Touch. The work done to re-create a comic book for the Touch/iPhone is remarkable; the graphics are detailed, colorful and pop off the screen. I'm not a comic book reader, so I can't comment on the artwork as far as comic books go, but it was very easy to read and enjoy on the Touch. To see what I'm talking about, click the iPhone/iPod link above to view the sample screens…they look better on the device. I also compared the content to the trade paperback, using Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, and it appears to contain all the original content (at least on the first few pages).
Continuing my curiosity, I also downloaded a free sample of the Kindle version of Star Trek: Countdown #1 to the Kindle application on my iPod Touch. Ouch…its not in color, is in portrait-mode instead of landscape, had small text, and is more expensive than the iTunes color versions. I don't know if you purchase the Kindle versions if they would be in color, but I don't think so since I believe the Kindle reading device is not color (right?). I doubt they have a separate Kindle version for the Kindle application on the iPhone/iPod Touch, even though color is available on these devices. (I'm tempted to display sample screen shots, but it's late and that might violate some copyrights.)
I wonder if they'll try to explain the TNG connection in the movie or just jump in assuming viewers either know it or that the story works without the explanation. Since I have several friends that want to see the movie, I'm sure I'll be seeing it sometime after the opening crowds die down. If you see the movie before me, which won't be hard I'm sure, let us know what you think and about the explanation. "Live long and…" you know.
*The Kindle and iPhone/iPod Touch links are to Part 1 of Star Trek: Countdown. Parts 2-4 are available, but must be downloaded individually.