Sunday, 9 October 2016

Star Trek: Captain's Log: Jellico #1 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: CAPTAIN'S LOG: JELLICO No. 1, October 2010
Irrefutably the most unpopular of all the captains to so far command a Federation starship named Enterprise, this particular instalment by “IDW Publishing” in their “Star Trek: Captain’s Log” mini-series manages to convey all the arrogant unpleasantness yet mesmerising tension of Edward Jellico; an especially domineering and uncongenial commanding officer whose only appearance on the American science fiction television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in December 1992 was as disconcerting as it was riveting. In fact, in many ways this additional glimpse of the NCC 1701-D’s short-tenured captain probably made many of its 5,580 readers in October 2010 wish the supercilious Starfleet officer, as played by Ronny Cox, had remained ensconced within the Galaxy-class starship’s central chair somewhat longer than just two forty-five minute-long episodes.

Fortunately, some solace can at least be taken by this twenty-two page periodical’s narrative and its engaging account of Commander Leslie Wong’s early days aboard the U.S.S. Cairo “…serving under Captain Edward Jellico.” For not only does Keith R.A. DeCandido’s writing force the comic’s audience to equally shoulder the former Starfleet Academy Instructor’s difficulty in acclimatising to her superior’s overly-disciplined regime, but it also has them seemingly sustain the excelsior-class ship’s “new first officer” in her trials and tribulations as she battles the enthusiastic breaches of protocol by Ensign Sim, as well as “six disruptor cannons and five torpedo launchers” belonging to “Gul Zarkat of the [so-called] Cardassian Science Vessel Harkon.

Such well-penned emotional and action-packed drama genuinely makes it a shame that the Bronx-born author’s enthralling depiction of life within the corridors of the century-old Federation fleet warhorse didn’t eventually flourish into an ongoing series rather than remain a simple ‘one-shot’. It certainly would have been interesting to see more of Wong’s interaction with her fellow crewmembers after a somewhat 'charged' initial meeting, as well as how she succeeded Jellicoe “as commander of the Cairo” before the vessel was presumed destroyed by the Dominion whilst patrolling the Romulan Neutral Zone in 2374.

J.K. Woodward’s artwork for “Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Jellico” also does a very good job of capturing both the facial likeness of the titular character and his somewhat stiff, rather agitated-looking physical mannerisms. Indeed, the American artist’s likeness of Cox is so ‘spot on’ that at times it is hard not to believe the panel hasn’t in some way incorporated an actual photograph of the actor into the illustration.
The regular cover art of "STAR TREK: CAPTAIN'S LOG: JELLICO" No. 1 by J.K. Woodward

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