IDW Publishing 2019
Written by Kirsten Beyer & Mike Johnson
Illustrated by Tony Shasteen
Coloured by J.D. Mettler
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
This story take place between the disappearance of the U.S.S. Discovery and the return of Spock to active duty on the U.S.S. Enterprise at the end of Season Two. Captain Pike has retrieved his first officer, Mr. Spock who was on leave on Vulcan after the disappearance of his sister, which has shaken him to the core. Reluctantly, Spock has agreed to accompany Captain Pike to a political summit with the Klingons. Meanwhile, L'Rell has enlisted the help of young Kor to help keep her safe from those who are unhappy with her rule. But Kor is brewing his own secret plans behind her back...
I am more than kind of enamoured with this story. Everything we see in the show is translated to this book beautifully. With all the main players, sans Michael and the crew of the Discovery of course, here and in the same form that we've become used to seeing them in make for a delightful addition to the end of season two. Sometimes when folks try to take a television program and keep it going in comics form it feel different, like someone tried too hard to make it work and yet here it feels like a seamless transition and that's impressive to me.
I love the way that this is being told and how the story & plot development is able to bring information to light in some natural feeling ways. With the character development we see their established personalities intact and yet feel as if they are still growing and evolving under the circumstances and events happening around them. L'Rell has quickly become one of the series most popular and beloved characters since we can see so many dimensions of her being revealed depending on whom she is interacting with. With the pacing here moving everything forward and showing us revelations, twists and turns as the story dictates adds this sense of danger, excitement and adventure to what we see.
I like the fact that there are things we expect to see because of the foreshadowing and the current events that abound within this universe and around these characters which DO happen only not as we expect to see them unfold. The way we can be surprised and thrown off the scent as it were being accomplished here is fantastic and it's why I keep coming back and wanting this to be more of an ongoing series than a limited one.
Tony is an unsung hero in the industry as his work on the interiors is really sensational stuff. The ability to keep the characters looking pretty darn dead-on their television counterparts isn't easy but he makes it looks that way. That two-page spread with those mountains buildings and the Klingon Cleave Ship was extraordinary to see. The faces and facial expressions not to mention the body language that we see adds an extra layer of characterisation to the story. The way the page layouts are done and how we see the composition inside the panels with how backgrounds are so prevalent is beyond what I could have hoped for. Tony has one of the best eyes for storytelling in the industry not to mention the way he can utilise the varying weights within the linework to create this kind of attention to detail. The colour work is just as impressive as we see colours and the various hues and tones utilised to create this shading and shadow work.
Now since I am not a fanatic and I don't know history or timelines within this universe I have no real idea when the peace treaty with the Klingons cam about. Though I was under the impression that their empire was in deep trouble and needed the Federation to help them out but with all that's happened and all these different shows and timelines we'll see what happens. After all before Discovery no one had ever heard of Michael and surely didn't know she was Spock's sister in whatever the capacity that was.
This feels so impressive, so well thought out and executed that it just has that feel of fitting right into what the show is and has been. I do sincerely hope there will more and if they are going to do these between seasons then okay let's keep the show going for a long time to come. This is an exceptional book and even if you don't watch the show it's pure goodness that should be read by all.