Review – Star Trek: Year Five #20 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Brandon Easton
Artwork: Silvia Califano
Colourist: DC Alonso
Release Date: 19th May 2021

For those readers able to struggle through this comic’s horribly contrived opening and settle down to an intriguing nine hundred year-old trip back into the dark past of Vulcan, Brandon Easton’s narrative for this issue must surely have pleasantly reminded them of such classic televised tales such as “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “All Our Yesterdays”. For whilst on this occasion it is only the U.S.S. Enterprise’s Science Officer who is suddenly hurled back in time to a pivotal moment in his home planet’s history, the twenty-page periodical’s plot is still predominantly focused upon the inherent dangers of altering a world’s past events, no matter how noble a time-traveler’s intentions may be.

However, the book arguably gets off to an extremely shaky start as Easton pens the Tholian Bright Eyes somehow being able to hear “a repeating signal from the surface of Vulcan” which cannot be detected by any Federation sensors. To make matters even more unbelievable though, the crystalline entity is then able to pinpoint the precise location from which the sound is emanating to a mysterious beacon situated just outside the planet’s capital, and subsequently inadvertently activate the unknown device without being sucked back in time himself.

Happily however, once Spock meets his philosophical hero Surak, and deduces that the legendary logician is most definitely not the great man of peace the writings contained within the Kir’shara would suggest, this publication’s appeal dramatically increases. Indeed, the suggestion that the father of the modern Vulcan civilization is perfectly willing to mercilessly mow down his opponents and incarcerate the survivors in violent re-education camps provides both the shocked Starfleet officer and this comic’s audience with an enthralling conundrum; “In this moment, I argued with myself that it is only logical to preserve life. But logic cannot undo the ramifications of my actions. A deep sense of regret fills my consciousness as I realise I may have obliterated the future.”

Likewise, Easton is not shy of adding some space-battle action to the proceedings by having artist Silvia Califano illustrate a seriously outnumbered U.S.S. Enterprise facing a large armada of Vulcan/Romulan hybrid starships. Just how Bright Eyes is able to partially protect Captain Kirk and his crew from the ravages of an altered time-line using tachyon particles is probably something best forgotten, but it does lead to an exhilarating chase sequence involving plenty of phaser blasts and the Constitution-class vessel’s colourfully-costumed bridge personnel being thrown all over the place.


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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