Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: J. Holtham
Artist: Carlos Rodriguez
Colorist: DC Alonso
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Release Date: 2nd March 2021
For those fans of Gene Roddenberry’s science fiction franchise Star Trek: The Next Generation – in particular LeVar Burton’s extremely heart-warming performance as the U.S.S. Enterprise-D’s Geordi La Forge – J. Holtham’s script for this twenty-page long one-shot is sure to prove a disconcertingly dark reading experience. In fact, it isn’t until the blind, recently beaten up adolescent mercilessly sets his own parents ablaze whilst the hapless couple are fast asleep in their bed during a flashback scene that it really strikes home just how different to the character’s televised counterpart this comic’s “permutation of the mirror universe” truly is.
For example, the Terran chief engineer is easily as cold-hearted and calculating as any of the other unscrupulous doppelgangers depicted within this parallel dimension, appearing to genuinely care very deeply for fellow officer Gwen Liu during his early days at Utopia Planitia, before unflinchingly reporting the young woman to his superiors when she plans to murder the highly dislikeable Commander Sanchez during a routine inspection of a warp engine; “Losing Sanchez would have cost the project months. A simple cost-benefit analysis.”
This almost inhuman betrayal of someone who willingly gave both her body and soul to La Forge is well-penned by the author, and would debatably rock any bibliophile within this book’s audience who had unconsciously been lulled into a false sense of security by believing this Geordi from an alternative reality has almost anything in common with his much more humane prime incarnation. Indeed, perhaps to emphasis this particular point and the man’s terrifying ruthlessness, Holtham actually depicts the Lieutenant Commander recalling his feelings for Liu later on in the publication when he discovers she has since died, and acknowledging that his ex-lover was simply “a weakness I had to get rid of. Burn out. Before it consumed me. Before I lost focus.”
Possibly this comic’s sole disappointment is therefore that none of this intriguing narrative actually seems to go anywhere as far as the mini-series’ overall plot. Admittedly, this ‘deep-dive’ into the chief engineer’s psyche is compelling enough, especially when he seems to be at the mercy of a shrouded figure who has him permanently locked inside an agoniser booth. But there have already been glimpses of the officer’s opportunistic barbarity during the main “Mirror War” title’s run, and once it is revealed the entire situation has been manufactured by Inquisitor Troi just to test La Forge’s loyalty, the entire premise debatably falls a little flat.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]