Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through The Mirror #5 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: THROUGH THE MIRROR No. 5, May 2018
Whilst the rationale behind “IDW Publishing” having the “Tipton brothers” join “forces with several artists” in order to help share the pencilling burden for “a weekly event miniseries that pits the Mirror crew against the crew from the prime universe” makes some sense, editor Sarah Gaydos’ choice to utilise the drawing skills of Debora Carita for Issue Five of “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through The Mirror” arguably must have caused some of the comic’s readers to frown at the book’s decidedly different interior work when compared to the clean cartoon(ish) lines of the Brazilian’s predecessor’s Josh Hood or Chris Johnson.

Admittedly, the professional illustrator’s slightly disconcerting technique to heavily sketch her characters’ facial features does provide the war-like invaders of the Martorelles Array with a palpable sense of savagery which her forerunners' storyboarding occasionally had lacked, especially her heavily scarred one-eyed William Riker or dastardly despicable version of the evil Jean-Luc Picard. But such a scratchy style sadly doesn’t appear to suit that of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s “fully armed Away Team”, and resultantly actor Patrick Stewart’s Starfleet captain seemingly lurches from having a decidedly disorganised amount of unruly hair surrounding his ordinarily bald head to apparently obtaining an unsightly squint whenever he issues an order; “Commander Data, Ensign Crusher, continue your efforts to find ways to detect them and prevent them from crossing over in the future.”

Of course, such creative quibbles were probably quickly cast aside by this sixteen-page periodical’s audience once its action-packed phaser-fight started, and despite any strong doubts concerning the artificial nature of coincidences which caused the two bridge crews to fortuitously meet face-to-face within a deserted space station, few franchise fans would surely have criticised the sense-shattering shoot-out which follows Mirror Picard’s order to “engage!” Indeed, the carousel of zinging laser beams and resultant pulse-pounding punch-up between the two super-strong androids is debatably the highlight of the entire title’s run, even if David Tipton’s belief his writing portrays the captain’s “alternate-universe counterpart” as “a surprisingly nuanced character… [who’s] skilled at dealing with people in ways you might not expect” doesn’t appear borne out by this publication’s viciously vengeful, unashamedly barbaric doppelganger…

Sadly however, despite such an injection of entertaining interaction between the comic’s considerable cast, the collaborative couple’s script for their secondary tale “Ripe For Plunder” ends on something of a debatable disappointment, having spent so long bringing the Mirror Soong-type automaton and Emperor Spock together. Suddenly all-too menacing and determined for the elderly half-Vulcan to “give me what I want”, the ‘camera’ unbelievably pans away from the chillingly-cold Borg-enhanced killer just as the one-time ruler’s pugnacious bodyguard attempt to swarm him and frustratingly only refocuses upon a now blood-spattered Data once he leaves the monarch’s secret abode, clutching a handful of multi-coloured data slates…

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
The regular cover art of "STAR TREK: TNG: THROUGH THE MIRROR" No. 5 by J.K. Woodward

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