Advance Review: Celebrating The Final Frontier In `Star Trek’ #400
by Tom Smithyman
IDW celebrates its 400th Star Trek comic with this oversized one-shot packed with stories that span many of the franchise’s series. As has been the case lately with many of the Trek titles, the writing is stronger than most of the artwork, though some of the many cover choices are fantastic.
From a new starship captain’s first moments in the center chair, to Miles O’Brien’s early conflict with the Cardassians, to some interesting developments just before Wesley Crusher’s cameo in Star Trek: Picard, IDW’s celebration of its 400th Trek issue has something for every fan.
For more than 50 years, Star Trek has fascinated its audiences on the small and large screens, in novels, comic books, and more toys than even the Ferengi Quark could sell. The oversized one-shot features six stories of varying length from genre writers and artists as well as a number of great covers stretching from the original series to today’s Picard and Lower Decks.
Highlights include a story from writer Chris Eliopoulos and artist Luke Sparrow that explores the influence that Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the original Enterprise had on a fledgling captain. It fleetly examines key moments ranging from the Tholian Web to the unveiling of the Enterprise-A.
Declan Shalvey and Seth Damoose give readers the inside story leading up the massacre on Setlik III, a formulative moment in O’Brien’s attitude toward the spoon-headed Cardies. It features two character cameos that place O’Brien’s time on Deep Space Nine in an entirely new light. Shalvey has nailed the young O’Brien, though Damoose’s artwork is too cartoon-like given the subject matter.
Next Gen actor Wil Wheaton writes the backstory for his character Wesley Crusher’s surprise appearance in Picard. Now working with the time-shifting Travelers, Wesley is looking for someone who can eventually succeed him, and he seeks the advice of his old mentor. It’s a nice scene that puts the Picard scene into perspective. Again, the writing is considerably stronger that Joe Eisma’s artwork, which leaves most of the familiar characters unrecognizable.
The final story serves as a prologue to IDW’s upcoming Star Trek series, which finds DS9’s Captain Benjamin Sisko returning from the Bajorian wormhole to stop the murder of gods. The prologue features Gary Mitchell, who was last seen in TOS’ “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” The story – by the new series’ creative team – starts off as a celebration of the best of Trek, then transforms to set up a shocking mystery for Sisko to investigate.
With a rich history to plumb, issue #400 does a nice job of spanning past and current Trek series while laying the ground for some exciting adventures yet to come.
Star Trek #400 will be available for purchase tomorrow.