IDW Publishing 2014
Written by Mike Johnson
Illustrated by Tony Shasteen
Coloured by Davide Mastrolonardo
After escaping from the trap set by the Tholians, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise has repaired the damage to the ship and resumed its five-year mission of discovery into uncharted regions of the Alpha Quadrant…
We start off this issue not with Kirk talking to Sulu about his actions while being part of that phase induced sickness instead he is being offered a chance to lead an away mission. I like this exchange between them and Kirk’s ability to spot that one day Sulu will be a ship’s captain in his own right and starting to build his confidence. So he has to pick his own survey team to observe and not interfere in the local populace of a planet. Before we get to see Sulu pick his team it’s time for Scotty to shine as he creates a version of a high hide, this one on the ground using rudimentary holographic technology that renders anyone inside invisible to those looking directly at them.
I like what Mike is doing here, using the crew of the Enterprise to create new technology like Scotty did advancing things into what we know of in the Next Generation series. So Sulu’s and I like his choices though if I were going to lead an away mission on a planet with a species we’ve never seen before I think someone with a background in linguistics should have been an essential member. I mean you want someone who can ultimately try to understand their language or at least record it and study it as the rest do their own thing right? Still aside from Scotty this really is a chance to get to know other members of the Enterprise crew we normally don’t have the opportunity to meet.
One of the things I absolutely adore about this series is that Tony and Davide get an amazing opportunity to stretch their imaginations and create new and unique alien species for us to marvel at. With the Universe as large as it is and with so many unexplored Quadrants, much like the one they are currently in, there’s a chance to see intelligent life to emerge in the most curious and unexpected of ways. This particular species has both a regal and terrifying appeal to them and what they’ve managed to bring us is a huge reason why I love this series.
In true Star Trek fashion Mike takes what should be a usual and groundbreaking mission and turn it into something much more extraordinary. Creating a situation where the away team is separated from the Enterprise and the prime directive is once again thrown out the window this becomes a classic tale that we’ve come to know and enjoy.
There’s a reason the Star Trek franchise has survived, thrived and been beloved for as long as it has and IDW embraces everything the original franchise was all about, though an all male prominent relationship is long overdue in these pages. The continuing journey of the Starship Enterprise help see the possibilities of what could be giving us hope for a future that’s bright and interesting.