The USS Yorktown has been assigned a mission to do recon on the Romulans using the new cloaking device acquired by Kirk’s crew. They encounter a fleet… and Klingons? And wait… is that Number One? What role does she play in all of this? Find out in our early review of John Byrne’s second issue of "Star Trek: Romulans: Schism." We also have 5-page preview and a peek at the trade paperback.
ROMULANS: SCHISM #2 REVIEW
A mere three weeks after the first issue hit comic shops, the middle chapter of Byrne’s final Romulan trilogy arrives this week (Wednesday October 7th). Where the first issue concentrated on the machinations of the Klingons, this one concentrates on the third leg of the tripod, the Federation. For this issue, John Byrne plays around with timeframes a bit, showing the lead-up of the Federation to the upcoming climactic chapter of the entire saga.
Some things that were hinted at in the last issue are made clear, and sure enough, the Commodore in charge of the USS Yorktown (confirmed to be a Constitution class ship) is Number One, last seen in Byrne’s Crew miniseries (which hits stores in trade paperback form later this month). The story begins with Number One being given her orders from the Admiralty, and shows the inner workings of her ship, the Yorktown, as they work to fit the cloaking device into place discovering its flaws. The meat of the story begins when the Yorktown arrives at a based near the Neutral Zone, just in time to encounter a fleet of uncloaked Romulan vessels.
Where the first story told of the Klingon involvement and dealt with a commander (Kor) dealing with his superior (the Emperor) before getting out to the field of battle, this issue mirrors it by having Number One dealing with a committee of Federation Admirals dictating their needs and desires. Like Kor, she tries to rebel, but unsuccessfully. Both issues in this series appear to be showing a similar timeline from both the Klingon and Federation points of view, while interspersing small snippets of Romulan events along the way. It remains to be seen whether the third issue will do the same for the Romulans, or whether it will pick up from the end of these two and carry events forward to their logical conclusion.
Byrne continues to show hs increasing comfort with his Star Trek work, and the backgrounds are getting more complex and detailed, and beginning to feel more and more like full episodes (or in this case, perhaps even the events of a movie). Lovern Kindzierski continues to work well with Byrne and keeps the color palette simple yet effective and unique.
Once again, Byrne does both covers, the retail incentive version showing the bare artwork. This issue keeps the same motif as the first, but with the Human Number One front and center, signifying their dominance in this issue, just as the Klingon, Kor, on the first suggested their dominance.
The action and backstory comes heavy and hard in this issue, just like the first. The fact that Byrne is managing to cover an entire war in three issues based on the backstory told in the prior three is quite impressive. Again, for a book titled “Romulans”, they have a fairly small role in things at the moment, but that should change with the third and final issue due in a month’s time. One minor complaint is that the final panel of the first issue does not seem to fit in too well with what is seen in this issue. Hopefully that will all be sorted out in the final issue.
Star Trek Romulans: Schism #2 is available in comic stores Wednesday October 7th. You can order it and the previous issue from TFAW (and pre-order the third and final issue).
5 page preview
To get you started, here is a 5-page preview of Romulans: Schisms #2.
Trade Paperback Sneak Peek
One final note to mention. On his forums, Byrne explained the upcoming trade paperback version of the Romulans saga stating:
Once SCHISM has been published, the whole Romulan Saga that began in ALIEN SPOTLIGHT will be collected into a trade paperback. There’s one chapter missing, of course, and that’s the original "Balance of Terror" episode. So, for the trade, I am doing a Romulan’s side adaptation of that episode.
He also shows off a page of what he notes is "not a surprise ending"
That book is due in March 2010 and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.