Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writers: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Artwork: Kieran McKeown, Silvia Califano, Stephen Thompson
Colours: Thomas Deer, John-Paul Bove, Charlie Kirchoff
Lettering: Neil Uyetake
Release Date: 1st July 2020
Disconcertingly described by IDW Publishing as “a perfect jumping-on point before the second year of the series begins”, Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly’s writing for issue twelve of Star Trek: Year Five must surely have made little sense to even this ongoing series’ most ardent fans with its publication-long punch-up between Gary Seven and James Tiberius Kirk. True, the former friends’ bout of fisticuffs certainly provides plenty of entertainment as the two combatants exchange all manner of blows and eye-winching injuries upon one another, but neither character is arguably even slightly recognisable as their televised counterparts on the small screen.
Supervisor 194 is especially devoid of any of the charisma which made him such a popular protagonist in the 1968 broadcast story ‘Assignment: Earth’, and instead disappointingly appears to have simply been modelled upon the emotionless cyborg assassin which features so prominently within James Cameron’s Terminator franchise. Indeed, Mister Seven appears so utterly indestructible that he even shrugs off being savagely stabbed right through the left eye by Kirk simply because “I was bred and trained for a singular purpose”, so rather fortunately no longer feels any pain.
Debatably somewhat less at variance with the science fiction franchise’s source material is the showrunners’ depiction of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s captain, at least during this twenty-page periodical’s opening when the Starfleet Officer desperately tries to reason with his assailant that there has to be an alternative solution to the madman’s mission to destroy the Constitution-class vessel. However, once it becomes clear that this incarnation of Gary Seven is a far cry from the one so wonderfully portrayed by actor Robert Lansing, Kirk also undergoes a major personality change and meekly submits to the Class One Supervisor’s demands of piloting his beloved Federation starship straight into the very planet upon which the captain has already stranded his entire crew: “If someone’s going to destroy this Enterprise and all her hands. It should be her captain!”
Adding to this almost unrecognisable concoction of amateurish ‘fan fiction’ are no less than three separate artists, whose somewhat roughly-hewn illustrations and irregularly-angled figures regrettably deprive many of this comic’s more tensely penned action-sequences with any semblance of tension whatsoever. Stephen Thompson’s single page, directly lifted from this title’s first instalment, is excellently drawn, yet sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb when it appears mid-way through the comic and is surrounded by Kieran McKeown and Silvia Califano’s significantly less prodigious pencilling.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]