Sunday, 16 April 2017

Star Trek: Boldly Go #6 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: BOLDLY GO No. 6, March 2017
Despite its script hardly featuring the "powerful new threat to the Federation” advertised by “IDW Publishing”, the contents to Issue Six of “Star Trek: Boldly Go” certainly does suggest that the addition of Ryan Parrott as the book’s co-writer will cause the title to turn in something of a different, possibly more episodic, direction. In fact, the self-contained, somewhat “surprising story” about “two of the U.S.S. Endeavour’s crewmembers” is undoubtedly far more reminiscent of the franchise’s Sixties television series than the comic book series’ preceding editions under the solitary pen of Mike Johnson; whose lengthy “encounter with the deadly Borg” conveyed a distinctly ‘summer blockbuster’ feel to its storytelling.  

For starters, although the twenty-page periodical does initially dwell upon the aftermath of Captain Terrell’s slow recovery from having been assimilated by the cybernetic organisms, as well as Mister Sulu’s acceptance to become James Kirk’s First Officer, its narrative predominantly focuses upon the Federation’s discovery of the “long theorized. Never seen” White Hole and excited scientific probing of the “monumental discovery!” Admittedly, this spatial phenomenon and its “very unusual readings” does eventually endanger the Concord and its interim Captain. But the comic’s real “bang for their buck” is actually an Andorian lieutenant’s crippling of the starship and subsequent rescue from the Brig by Communications Officer Murica.

Sadly, just why two of Kirk’s current bridge crew would commit so calamitous “an act of sabotage” as to doom the entire vessel, and additionally ‘end their Starfleet Careers’, is disappointingly soon revealed to be simply another in a long line of well-meaning extra-terrestrials which exist “apart from your three-dimensional reality” and wish merely to “better observe your species”. Yet, so unoriginal an explanation, alongside Hila’s last minute self-sacrifice in order to collapse the white hole, is precisely why this comic book proves so evocative of Gene Roddenberry’s ‘space western’ vision for the original “Desilu Productions” programme. Indeed, the tale even arguably concludes on a humanitarian highpoint as Chris Pine’s celluloid character dwells upon the realisation that “in all of the time I’ve been out here investigating the unknown… We might be investigated too, by species more advanced than ourselves”, and positively determines that “far from being an unsettling thought” “the urge to learn, the urge to understand, crosses all boundaries and unites us all.”
Writers: Mike Johnson & Ryan Parrot, Artist: Chris Mooneyham, and Colors: J.D. Mettler

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