The Enterprise is summoned to Starbase 11 for a prisoner transfer — to pick up Captain Kirk’s brother, George Samuel Kirk, who has admitted his guilt for murder.
Mystery and redirect mark John Byrne’s latest photomontage story. George Samuel Kirk has confessed to the murder of a Starfleet officer on Starbase 11, and now Captain Kirk has been called in to transport his older brother to Earth for trial. However, Kirk does not believe his brother capable of such an act. While he searches for the truth, Byrne throws the Klingons into the mix, which begs the question – what do they have to do with everything?
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Sam” takes place before the events of “Operation: Annihilate” and “The Trouble with Tribbles.”
Trust is the theme of the story, as Kirk’s trust in his brother causes him to conclude he is not guilty of the crime he has acknowledged. Yet, the greater question is: does Sam trust his brother to do the right thing? Peeling back the layers of mystery bit by bit, Byrne allows readers to formulate their own ideas as Spock and McCoy conduct investigations that present the facts clearly.
Reticence is Sam’s greatest impact on the story, as he only reveals so much to Kirk about the transpired events. He’s obviously holding his cards close to his chest, but for what purpose? There is an interesting moment when Kirk figures out what has been happening, prompting Sam to ask his brother, “What about that one in ten million chance that it might be true?”
“Errand of Mercy” famously introduced the Organians and the peace treaty between the Federation and Klingon Empire. The truce has allowed a tenuous peace between the two. Yet, the treaty is also backed up by much more, the inability of either to be aggressive towards the other – until now.
“Sam” sees the return of Commander Jose Mendez, last seen in “The Menagerie”, which saw Spock on trial for violating Starfleet General Order 7 and kidnapping Captain Christopher Pike. Also making appearances in the issue are Koloth and Korax (who famously ignited the fight with Scotty in “The Trouble with Tribbles”).
Most stories only include details that contribute to the overall plot, yet Byrne seems to add filler with the appearance of Yeoman Rand in the issue. She does not appear to play a vital role in the overall story, leaving readers to wonder if Byrne just wanted to show a fun little moment on the Enterprise. Upon further reflection, her interaction with Sam could help readers to understand Kirk’s brother’s motives, although there just does not appear to be enough to warrant that conclusion.
Star Trek: New Visions “Sam” provides readers another peek into the personal life of Captain Kirk, as it’s mystery allows readers to understand how seriously he takes his bond with his family. Plus, any story featuring the Klingons always proves a good time will be had by all.
Star Trek: New Visions: Sam went on sale February 1 and is available digitally and in hard copy.
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