Managing to quite wonderfully instill into its readership the sheer scale of Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s freshly forged invasion force, Scott and David Tipton’s storyline for issue six of Star Trek: The Mirror War is a tour-de-force as to how utterly ruthless the former I.S.S. Stargazer’s commander is in this alternative reality. Admittedly, the comic’s narrative does imbue some semblance of ‘softness’ to the bald-headed leader’s temperament when it comes to his relationship with the handsome freebooter Thadiun Okona. Yet even the Terran officer’s piratical partner-in-crime meets a decidedly sticky end at the hands of his former friend once he has outlived his usefulness and subsequently become an increasingly irritating thorn in his side; “I am going to Cardassia Prime. And onward to glory. You are stepping outside.”
In addition, this twenty-page periodical’s plot makes it abundantly clear that Picard finally has both the resources and firepower to make his personal path to the emperor’s throne a very real possibility. Such grandeur really is extremely well portrayed, not only by having various members of the I.S.S. Enterprise-D’s bridge crew co-ordinating attacks aboard their own newly built starships. But by Jean-Luc’s unqualified success causing him some logistical problems in docking and disembarking all his stolen loot at his planetary base.
Furthermore, the two writers do a cracking job in presenting just how frustrating the captain’s triumphs are becoming for his hated enemies – both outside and within the Terran Empire. Worf’s violent physical abuse of his underlings, most notably the insidious Garak, is unsurprising. However, the real treat comes when Admirals Nechayev and Savar are forced to ‘play nice’ with Picard and grant him “the additional personnel you requested” for fear of his mighty armada adding a victory over their weakening kingdom to his list of already sizeable accomplishments.
Equally as enthralling as this comic’s script, however, is Gavin Smith’s artwork, which should quickly immerse any Trekkie into this reimagining of The Next Generation’s Mirror Universe. The “freelance artist” does an especially pleasing job of pencilling the various space vessels constructed to oppose the combined Klingon-Cardassian fleet, as well as the antagonistic facial expressions upon all of this mini-series’ cast members – something which genuinely helps reinforce just what a savagely barbaric domain the characters reside within.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]