Review – Star Trek: Year Five #18 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Jim McCann
Artwork: Angel Hernandez
Colourist: Fran Gamboa
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Release Date: 6th January 2021

Whilst penning a plot about a planet in the midst of a deadly global pandemic might seem to some Trekkies like an excellent way to provide the badly underused Leonard McCoy with an opportunity to shine, the fact this particular storyline is being published during the Covid-19 worldwide epidemic could equally be seen as Jim McCann simply taking advantage of the highly infectious disease to write an unimaginative adventure set on Alpha Centauri which rather disconcertingly mirrors our own modern-day misfortunes. Sadly however, this twenty-page periodical’s unoriginal plot arguably isn’t the only thing wrong with the American author’s script, as he repeatedly seems to manufacture circumstances in order for them to forcefully follow his storyline’s implausible path and unconvincing dialogue; “I am James T. Kirk, Captain of the Starship Enterprise. These are my top advisors and most trusted allies…”

Foremost of these inconsistencies appears to be the sudden decline in Mister Spock’s relationship with the Constitution-class vessel’s “old country doctor.” The ever-duelling pair have always had something of an antagonistic affiliation with one another, but in this book, McCann would have his audience believe that their skipper feels it necessary to immediately admonish them during the adventure’s initial briefing, even though at the time neither of the senior officers arguably says or does anything particularly aggressive to one another. Indeed, if anyone is ‘out of order’ it is the condescending McCoy, not “the green-blooded iceberg”, and yet the entire scene seems to strongly suggest that the Vulcan has somehow been transformed into some potentially loose cannon who could apparently go off on a “temper tantrum” at the slightest provocation.

Similarly as unconvincing is the (re)introduction of Isis as the tale’s main adversary. Just how or why the shape-changing partner of Gary Seven would detonate the airborne pathogen responsible for such mass destruction isn’t made very clear. However, that apparently doesn’t stop Ensign Chekov from spotting the alien’s almost imperceptible blue blip on the Enterprise’s incredibly colourful energy scan following the security officer in-training supposedly watching endless old footage of previous attacks upon the constitution-class starship as part of his schooling. Such a fortuitous observation smacks of lazy writing and is as believable as Spock needing to remind the Bridge Crew as to just who Zephram Cochrane is during a conference, despite some of the characters having already met the “pivotal figure in Human history” on an isolated asteroid during the 1967 televised episode “Metamorphosis”.


The writer of this piece was: Blax Kleric
Blax Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

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