Review – Star Trek: Year Five #19 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Jim McCann
Artwork: Angel Hernandez
Colourist: Fran Gamboa
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Release Date: 17th February 2021

Predominantly focusing upon the Starfleet surgeon Leonard McCoy, as well as the ship-based shenanigans of Hikaru Sulu and Pavel Chekov, Jim McCann’s script for the latest issue of Star Trek: Year Five certainly contains plenty of nervy emotional suspense and pulse-pounding phaser action. Indeed, almost every scene within the twenty-page periodical ends on some sort of dramatic cliff-hanger, whether it be the Enterprise’s Chief Medical Officer demanding to be released from an isolation cell so he can lead the investigation into the “pandemic raging across Alpha Centauri”, or one of the senior helmsman’s many corridor-confining confrontations with the homicidal shape-shifter Isis.

Disappointingly however, any reader willing to scratch just below the surface of this comic’s high-octane antics will arguably find a highly illogical plot which seems to have been manufactured simply so the book sets a pleasing pace. Indeed everybody, apart from a bucket load of hapless ‘Red Shirts’ savagely torn asunder by Gary Seven’s feline friend, has something reasonably exciting to both do and say; “Damn it, Jim, I’m a Doctor, not a lab rat. If you’ve got questions, come in and ask me.”

To begin with, the Eisner-winning writer’s storyline involving Bones debatably makes little to no sense, considering that the ‘old country doctor’ starts the instalment angrily berating his Commanding Officer for locking him up following the physician’s accidental exposure to a deadly virus. Considering that James Kirk went to some quite extraordinary lengths to protect his shipmate, the skipper’s immediate decision to then release Leonard back to the planet’s surface without any further debate appears strangely out of character for the Federation’s youngest Starship captain, and proves as head-scratching a conundrum as the plague’s highly unlikely cure which can simply be delivered by having a human breathe over its victims..?

Similarly as contrived is Sulu and Chekov’s victory over the seemingly invincible Isis. The psychotic killer has repeatedly shown herself to be virtually indestructible when in her Tholian form. Yet Hikaru almost nonchalantly puts her out of commission by somehow breaking the alien’s arm in hand-to-hand combat, whilst phaser beams and Starfleet security guards are flying all over the place. This unlikely success doesn’t sit well at all considering just how many other participants also tried to physically overpower Seven’s “pet cat” during the fracas and were all lethally disembowelled once they got within touching distance of the extra-terrestrial’s crystalline claws.


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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