The recent marriage of the Romulan Praetor is causing Kor and Koloth some headaches, but it is nothing compared to the end result of the Enterprise Incident! Politics play to the forefront as the schisms begin. With the release of "Star Trek: Romulans: Schism" #1, John Byrne kicks off the final chapter in his Romulan saga. See below for our review, plus some new details on a new TNG comic series
ROMULANS: SCHISM #1 REVIEW
After a break since his prior visit to the Romulan storyline begun February 2008, John Byrne returns with the first issue of the final segment of his Romulan Saga. After taking some time to bring us the "Assignment Earth" and "Crew" series, Byrne has thrown himself whole-hog into this first issue of three telling, the story of the breakdown of the Romulan-Klingon alliance.
In the time since Gaius took over as Praetor to the Romulan Empire at the end of the "Hollow Crown" series, he has married and the cold war between the Romulans and the Earthers has dragged on, much to the chagrin of the Klingon Emperor and the many lost Klingon lives. One recent event that has turned the tides, as Kor discovers when he encounters the USS Yorktown (NCC-1717), is that the Federation has somehow managed to get their hands on a cloaking device.
Byrne continues to weave a tangled web with his Romulan storyline, carefully tying it in to The Original Series episodes that portrayed the Romulans and Klingons. The big tie-in here is to "The Enterprise Incident," in which Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise managed to get their hands on a cloaking device. The big draw in this portion of the story is trying to follow all of the tangled and sneaky political threads he has laid out in front of the reader. Of course, being a story featuring Klingons, there is the big, fun space encounter that does encompass a good third of the issue overall. One thing that did jump out was that nobody on the Federation ship that they encounter is named.
Byrne’s artwork for this issue is not as jagged or as caricatured as the earlier two books, and it feels like he’s become much more comfortable with the Star Trek likenesses and the leeway that he has been given as compared to his other works with licensed products (Indiana Jones and his Star Trek work back in the DC era). The space scenes are good and busy with star fields, but his best work is on facial close-ups of Kor, Koloth, and the Klingon Emperor. Lovern Kindzierski returns after his work on the final three issues on Byrne’s "Crew" comic, and it seems that Byrne has found a colorist that he likes to work with. The colors mesh well with the story, and bring back the style of colors seen on the Original Series TV shows featuring Romulans and Kingons. At the same time, they do not veer too far afield from the color styles used in the other three issues in the Romulans storyline.
As usual with his books, Byrne provides all of the covers for this issue, and like his prior work, the main cover has the titles, while there is a retail incentive ‘virgin’ cover has just the bare artwork. This one is done in the same style as the other Romulan issues, so will look good when viewed with the other issues in the saga.
The first story in this three part mini-series finishing out the Romulan Saga is a very good read for fans of the prior books in the Saga. It begins with some complicated politics and plot threads, but as the issue progresses, things become a bit more straight-forward, before leaving things on a cliffhanger. The only complaint that might be raised is that the story has more focus on the Klingons than the Romulans at this point, something that seems a bit odd for a book titled "Romulans: Schism".
Star Trek Romulans: Schism #1 is available arrives in comic stores today (Wednesday 9/16). You can order it (and the final two issues) from TFAW.
A trade paperback combining Byrne’s Romulans issue from "Alien Spotlight" and his two-part "Romulans: Hollow Crown" plus the three issues of "Romulans: Schism" will be released March 2010. You can pre-order from Amazon for $13.59 (discounted from $19.99).
Star Trek TNG: Ghosts Writer Interview
As we reported last month, IDW is finally returning to TNG comics in November with the first of a five-issue series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts". Comic Book Resources has a new interview with "Ghosts" writer Zander Cannon. Here is an excerpt:
“’Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts’ starts out as a routine rescue mission above a planet on which there are two feuding nations, one of which is a Federation ally. After rescuing the lone survivor of the disaster, the crew of the Enterprise finds that he seems to be haunted by phantoms, one of which he says is Captain Picard,” Cannon told CBR. “While they unravel that mystery, the tensions heat up between the two nations, and the crew has to investigate claims of espionage, kidnapping, and murder while keeping themselves out of harm’s way.”
More details at CBR.
Star Trek The Next Generation Ghosts #1 comes out in November and can be pre-ordered at TFAW.