Review: Star Trek Boldly Go #16
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Mike Johnson
Art by: Angel Hernandez with colors by Mark Roberts
At the end of Boldly Go #15, we were introduced to an omniscient narrator, presumably the architect of this multiverse mess our heroes have been put in, who sounds an awful lot like Q, but isn’t Q. It’s an interesting narrative device – I can’t remember the last time a Star Trek comic acknowledged the reader – let alone insulted our “feeble human synapses” and “ape-like brains” (that’s a very Q-thing to say). “The sun to the Q’s candle,” as the narrator calls itself, pushes the reader between three universes – Kelvin Kirk, Jane Kirk, and Plant-Kirk (or, as gas-Scotty calls him, Plirk) not unlike Picard in “All Good Things” (more Q!).
The narrator makes it clear that this is a Kirk(s) centered story and no matter the universe, certain patterns of his or her behavior are constant. Trust, bravery, and charm. These are arguably the basic traits that make up the Kirk we know. The narrative literally takes one trait and applies it to each of the three Kirks. It’s revealed that too much of one thing is not always good and that only a balance of all three traits makes it all work. Kelvin Kirk’s blind trust, Jane Kirk’s shoot-first bravery, and Plant Kirk’s charm each put them all into an all too familiar “no-win scenario.”
As confusing as the previous issues were, this one is laid out a lot simpler – with 3 panels, each one representing each universe. It doesn’t flow like a traditional comic – but it allows you to choose how you want to read it. I found myself going back and forth between each story – reading each one individually – which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Angel Hernandez has drawn these characters before so his art is excellent. I still don’t understand how there can be a gas-based life form with a Scottish accent, that speaks English and looks like Simon Pegg, but he exists and Hernandez nailed it.
Let’s start from the top with Kelvin Kirk. When we last left him, he was a prisoner of the female Khan, arms shackled. He is immediately sprung by android Sulu, Pavela Chekov, and Emo Spock as they race to escape from augments to a shuttle. Trust has worked so many times before for him, but now it gets tested. As we’ve seen so many times before, things are not always as they seem, nor are people.
Next, Jane Kirk’s bravery is confused with arrogance. Instead of retreating from a very much alive Nero and living to fight another day, she decides to infiltrate the Narada just because she was successful in her universe. Running into a fire without a suit or a way to fight it is probably not the best course of action.
Finally, Plirk’s charm is what gets him into trouble. Now on Risa, it appears that he has only one thing on his mind. I just have so many questions about this…
Thankfully, everything gets pulled together in the end making it all work. I was worried that there would be yet another universe introduced in this issue, muddying the waters once again. That wasn’t the case and now we are focused on three different Kirks. The big bad has still yet to be revealed but it’s been fun trying to figure out who or what it could be. The issue ends on an epic cliffhanger so I’m anxious to see how things get wrapped up in the next two issues.
5-Page Preview: Star Trek Boldly Go #16
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Star Trek Boldly Go #16 was released Wednesday, January 31st. It retails for $3.99. You can order it at TFAW with a discount.
And if you want to catch up, the trade paperback collection of Star Trek: Boldly Go (volume 1, collection of issues #1-#6) is available now. It retails for $19.99. You can order from Amazon for 32% off. The second collection (issues 7-12) is was released January 9th, and can also be ordered at Amazon.
Keep up with all the latest inked Star Trek in TrekMovie’s Comics Category.