Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer(s): Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Jody Houser, Brandon Easton, Jim McCann, Paul Cornell
Artist(s): Angel Hernandez, Silvia Califano, Stephen Thompson, Christopher Jones
Colours: Charlie Kirchoff
Release Date: 6th October 2021
Penned as a bridge “between the end of the five-year mission and the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, this oversized epilogue certainly tries to give the majority of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s bridge crew their own individual moments in the sun. But whilst this approach arguably works quite well for the likes of James Tiberius Kirk as the Admiral ensures his participation on a last off-world mission before settling down as Chief of Starfleet Operations, the spotlight on some of the science fiction series’ secondary cast are far less successful, and debatably lack any credible logic as to their change of circumstances or personnel motivations.
Indeed, perhaps one of this twenty-four page plot’s biggest problems is that it was composed by a committee of six separate authors, with each writer having their own take on just what a given character did following their Constitution-class starship’s refurbishment at the San Francisco Fleet Yards. A good example of this is Paul Cornell’s piece depicting Sulu and Chekov being abducted by a group of Russians unhappy at how the Federation have treated their ‘semi-civilized’ community. Pavel is understandably angry at his old Soviet school friend tying him up and pointing a gun in his face, but the British novelist bizarrely has Hikaru agreeing with the ‘terrorists’ that they’ve been ill-treated and actually sharing a drink with his kidnappers once he’s been miraculously released.
Even Doctor Leonard McCoy’s backstory as to his departure from Starfleet doesn’t withstand too much scrutiny, as a bearded “Bones” is shown by Jim McCann to have simply given up his career “to retire to a farm” because Kirk told him it would soothe him. Precisely what makes the Chief Medical Officer swear “he’d never return to Starfleet” is not stated, and instead is just implied when the tale ends with the lieutenant commander wistfully looking at a photograph of his estranged daughter Joanna when she was an infant; “Tell the Admiral that I know a certain nurse who would make a damn fine doctor aboard the ship.”
However, debatably the most poorly portrayed member of the bridge crew is Uhura, who suddenly decides to visit Montgomery Scott whilst the engineer is overseeing the U.S.S. Enterprise’s renovation in space dock. Having stood and patiently listened to the Scotsman wax lyrical as to all his beloved vessel’s planned improvements, Nyota suddenly plants a kiss on the astonished Scotty’s cheek completely out of the blue and then suggestively tells him to take her out to dinner the next night because she’s ‘always enjoyed working with him’.
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