Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Star Trek: Boldly Go #5 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: BOLDLY GO No. 5, February 2017
It is extremely hard to believe that many, if any, of this ongoing series’ readers would've been “teary-eyed” by the end of this tediously tiring twenty-page periodical. For whilst Editors Sarah Gaydos and Chris Cerasi are entirely correct in their statement that Issue Five of “Star Trek: Boldly Go” “focuses on Jaylah, the breakout star” of “last year’s Star Trek Beyond” motion picture. Mike Johnson’s irritatingly plotted narrative is hardly “an extremely beautiful and poignant tale” with it persistent skipping back down the Altamid survivor’s timestream to when the accomplished warrior was actually born.

Indeed, this horribly choppy writing technique can be rather disorientating at times, as the character discovers the hulk of the U.S.S. Franklin one moment, witnesses her father’s murder at the hands of Manas in the next, and then is suddenly depicted as an adolescent who tricks her older sister whilst playing by modifying “a holodisk to project multiple images at once!” Such penmanship may well be unorthodox and innovative, but it hardly helps create “a story full of the same humour, passion, spark, and depth that our heroine displays on-screen.”

Sadly there isn’t all that much action to enjoy within Johnson’s script either, as the sequence depicting Jaylah’s escape from captivity “years prior to her encounter with the U.S.S. Enterprise crew”, starts with the scavenger having already somehow made her way beyond the settlement’s perimeter with her pater. Considering that the couple literally have to dig themselves out of the ground, before they kill one of the  guards, suggests their flight from Krall’s holding cells was not an easy one, and resultantly it’s a real pity this comic didn’t concentrate far more upon those exertions rather than flitting about the Starfleet cadet’s childhood.    

Equally as ponderous are Tony Shasteen’s breakdowns, which disconcertingly seem to deteriorate as the book progresses and the events illustrated become increasingly sedentary in nature, such as the birth of Keelah’s sister or her mother’s sudden death. Admittedly, this arguably harsh impression of what is still a competent piece of pencilling, could simply be generated by the artist’s attempt to understandably rejuvenise the supporting cast as his sketches travel back further into the “fierce little” one’s past. Yet it's still hard to shake off the impression, especially when the panels' backgrounds become noticeably barer, that the Art Institute of Atlanta graduate hasn't tired of the underwhelming storyline.
The regular cover art of "STAR TREK: BOLDLY GO" No. 5 by George Caltsoudas

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