Back on Romulus, the Praetor’s headed to the border, the question is… what kind of mess between the Klingons and Humans will he find? Will he let his desire for revenge get the better of himself? How can he be stopped with the new cloaking devices? Find out in our review of Star Trek: Romulans: Schism #3, the final chapter in John Byrne’s Romulan saga, which was released last week.
ROMULANS: SCHISM #3 REVIEW
After the first and second issues of John Byrne’s final Romulan trilogy, the third and final chapter is now available. Just as the first issue concentrated on the Klingons, the second on the Humans, this one shows how everything is tied together by the Romulans.
The story starts with a quick jump to Romulus to show us the pregnant state of the Praetor’s wife before jumping back to the border of the Neutral Zone as the Praetor’s ship prepares to cross it. Not surprisingly, they arrive at the perfect time to see the collision of the front portion of Kor’s starship with a Federation vessel. The Praetor quickly transports the bridge crews from both ships to his own and his men take control of the situation, further damaging the fragile Klingon/Romulan alliance in the process.
This story jumps around from location to location quickly and can, at times, seem a bit confusing, but the numerous threads are all drawn carefully together, leading the participants toward a giant space battle, complete with a large number of cloaked vessels on all sides. Unlike the first two issues of this trilogy, the timeline of this issue is fairly straightforward. The introductions have been made, now onto the grand party itself. Byrne and Lovern Kindzierski continue to work well together with the art and colors, giving the issue the look and feeling of a classic era storyline. Like the other issues in this series, the colors seem to be strongly influenced by the Romulan episodes from the original Trek, with a lot of drab greys in the backgrounds and bright colors on the uniforms and outfits to distinguish the characters.
The characterizations continue to be strong and, had Byrne been born a number of years earlier, it would be hard not to see him as one of the writers on the original series. One of the best parts of this particular story is the way in which he ties the bow on things at the climax with the most logical conclusion, one that harkens back to an offhand comment made in “The Hollow Crown” mini series that preceeded this one.
As with all of his issues, Byrne does both covers, the retail incentive version showing the bare artwork. This issue keeps the same motif as the others, but presents the Romulans front and center. After all, they are in the title, and it is a fitting close to the saga to feature them.
After the action in the previous issue, this issue does not let up, and gives twenty solid pages of excitement. Having said that, Byrne saves the best to last, showing the fallout of the historic events on both the Klingon and Romulan worlds, and what it means to both empires moving forward. The main focus of the saga was brought back to the Romulans, and the final moments are given to the ruler of the Romulans – a fitting ending to a fantastic story, one well worth reading again in March 2010 when the trade paperback collection of the entire saga is due.
Star Trek Romulans: Schism #3 is available in comic stores now. You can order it from TFAW.
Byrne’s Romulan Saga TPB
This was mentioned with last issue’s review, but seems reasonable to be mentioned again. 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.
Byrne’s Romulan Saga trade paperback is due in March 2010 and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.