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STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS Issue Two Is Out!! Does It Offer Clues Regarding J.J. Abrams’ Mysterious, Fast-Approaching Motion Picture??

I am – Hercules!!

IDW is cranking out a comic-book prequel to “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” Its story is co-authored by Bob Orci (who co-scripted the last Star Trek movie and the one coming out May 17). The second issue of “Countdown to Darkness” came out yesterday.

We learned in last month’s first issue that Abrams’ alternate Trek universe contains one Robert April – a character to which audiences were first introduced in “The Counter-Clock Incident,” a 1974 episode of the Saturday-morning “Star Trek” animated series. In the cartoon, it’s revealed that April was the first captain of the Enterprise long before it fell into the hands of Chris Pike and Jim Kirk.

In the new comic series, everybody in Starfleet believes April to be dead until it’s discovered that April is actually living among a primitive civilization on Phaedus IV and using the Federation’s cherished Prime Directive to wipe his hinder on a daily basis. This issue reveals (among other things) April’s motivations.

Some interesting stuff attends issue two. Does any of it relate significantly to the upcoming movie? We’re employing stolen Romulan cloaking technology in the interest of protecting the unready and unwilling from spoilage:

* In the Abramsverse, we learn, April and Pike did not command the same Enterprise. April commanded an Enterprise commissioned somewhere between Jonathan Archer’s NX-01 and Pike’s NCC-1701. We get to see April’s ship in flashback, but we’re always looking up it from an angle that prohibits us from seeing what number might be painted atop its saucer section.

* We learn April’s first officer was a fellow named Alex Marcus. Of course we’ve known for a while now that in “Into Darkness” Alice Eve inherits the “Wrath of Khan” role of Carol Marcus. Is Kirk boning the daughter of a former Enterprise captain?

* While Kirk and Spock are stuck planetside, Acting Captain Uhura from orbit greets a commercial vessel piloted by what appears to be a hot blonde Bajoran girl who calls herself Mudd. Daughter of Harcourt Fenton Mudd? Wife?

Craving more of “Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness”? Issues one and two are on sale now.

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