Review: Star Trek: IDW 20/20 (One Shot)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Peter David
Art by: J.K. Woodward
IDW is kicking off what’s sure to be a huge 2019 with Star Trek: IDW 20/20 – a one-shot issue featuring an early voyage of the USS Stargazer, with a very young Picard newly in command. As announced at last year’s NYCC, IDW 20/20 is their 20-year celebration of publishing comic books featuring stories set either 20 years in the past or future from some of IDW’s most beloved franchises, including Star Trek, Ghostbusters, TMNT, and My Little Pony.
In a year where we will see Sir Patrick Stewart reprise his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard in an unnamed series set 20 years after the events of Nemesis, this comic provides the start of the perfect bookend to the life of this beloved character. IDW has pulled out all the stops for this special event, teaming the legendary author Peter David with master artist J.K. Woodward. If you don’t follow Woodward on Instagram, do it now. His time-lapse paintings are mesmerizing and it gives you a peak on how hard artists work behind the scenes before a finished product is delivered. Much respect to a talented creator.
If we’re being literal with the whole 20-year thing, we know that Picard took command of the USS Enterprise in 2364, which would make this set in 2344. However, in this particular story, it is revealed that he has just taken over as captain of the Stargazer, assuming command after the original captain was killed on the bridge during battle. That was to have occurred in 2333, but this is a comic book and I’m not going to get hung up on it, especially because I really enjoyed it.
As one of the youngest Starfleet officers to attain the position of captain (and in such a unique way), Picard has to assert his authority, therefore becoming a rigid, by-the-book commander with little time for anything resembling fun. Having just held the rank of lieutenant commander, he is self-conscious, stubborn and downright cold – not quite the man we would meet on the Enterprise years later. We meet Jack Crusher – Picard’s best friend, first officer, and fiancee to a Cadet Beverly Howard, who has just come aboard the Stargazer. Apparently, Jack invited her without permission from his new captain and to say Picard is not happy about it is an understatement. That makes the very first meeting between Jean-Luc and Beverly tense and awkward. Just by being there, according to him, she is disrupting a very important diplomatic mission and he confines her to quarters until the mission is complete. So much for making a good first impression.
The planet is Tellerux 4 – the newest world to join the Federation. The Sansate, the people’s newly elected leader, has never been recognized because of allegations he tampered with the election. When Picard asks him if it’s true, The Sensate says nothing and instead invokes an ancient 21st-century human custom called a meme – and literally sips tea. Those aren’t the only hilarious exchanges and easter eggs in this issue. The Sensate, when first meeting Picard, asks if he had assassinated the previous captain – a nod to how the mirror universe officers move up in rank. Also, Cadet Beverly Howard’s outfit is taken from the 1990’s Playmates action figure.
An attack on the Sensate from the opposition political party results in Picard’s kidnapping – leaving his fate in the hands of the woman he insulted earlier in the day. There’s a nice moment between Beverly and Jean-Luc and you can see the beginnings of the deep connection they will have with each other years later. When talking to Cadet Howard, a hardened Picard realizes his stubbornness got him into this mess. He shows her vulnerability – something he felt was unbecoming of a young captain. While lying there helpless, he admits he was insecure and should have listened to Jack when he was told to stay on the ship. This appears to be the origin story of why Picard doesn’t go on away missions and how he began to trust his crew.
I really enjoyed going back and seeing what a young Picard with flowing locks of hair could have been like before the Enterprise. As someone who served as captain of the Stargazer for 22 years, there’s a whole wealth of stories to be told so I hope IDW doesn’t stop here. Since 2017, IDW has generously given us Picard with a beard, bulging muscles and now, a full head of hair. With all of the Discovery tie-ins and a direct link to Kirsten Beyer, I’m betting we’ll see some synergy between IDW and the new CBS All Access series. Whenever that news break, TrekMovie will be there.
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Star Trek: IDW 20/20 was released today, Wednesday, January 30th. You can get a digital version at Amazon, discounted to $3.98.
Keep up with all the latest inked Star Trek in TrekMovie’s Comics Category.
I’ve always hated that they used these uniforms like this without the turtleneck. They weren’t designed for that look, they did nothing to ameliorate that, and they always looked silly to me worn that way. YMMV
I’ll do you one better…What happened on Starfleet ships that you needed to go from wearing a shirt, to a jacket and turtleneck?! Did they turn down the heat to save money?? And that giant belt buckle! Ugh.
It was a cost saving measure. Heats expensive in space! Lol
I really love the twok uniforms. They’ve been in use for at least 80 years in the trek timeline… maybe you can guess when they first appeared chronologically…
But I agree the idea of just removing elements to show the progress of time didn’t make the uniforms look as great.
Though, It didn’t get Ridiculous till they removed the belt and kept the belt loops for the Enterprise-C crew in 2244. Last appearance of them was a hologram recording made a month or 2 after Wesley was born in 2248 or 9 depending on the source. They even swapped to the tng commbadge
That’s was Quick on TMP unis
Agreed. There’s an especially weird scene in TWOK when the landing party beams up from the Genesis cave and the crew scrambles to put on their jackets, as if that was a priority in the middle of a crisis. The TOS outfits had the virtue of simplicity, and it said something about Starfleet’s culture that it had done away with ostentatious displays of military rank. What the Meyer-era uniforms said is anyone’s guess.
I admit I always liked TWOK uniforms and was happy they kept them through the rest of the movies but I never thought about that until now. It did show a more military mentality the other shows didn’t display as much. I liked the uniforms because they came off a little more formal looking but it is probably the militaristic uniforms ever seen in Trek, especially compared to TOS.
Its another reason why I liked the Enterprise uniforms a lot. Besides the fact its something I can actually see myself wearing and not have people throw rocks at me lol, they were based on the NASA uniforms which signified exploration and science which most think what Starfleet is and less about defense and warfare. It really worked, especially in that era since NASA isn’t as removed as an agency like it is by the time we get to Kirk’s era.
But once we start ventureing out and exploring that’s when conflict and wars were started and I see a need for Starfleet to be militaristic same thing happen during discovery and sight chance of peace throughout the destruction of Enterprice C and Kilogons respect of federation after that event Starfleet went peaceful and exploratory to detriment of the federation where they got their butts kick in by the borg and Dominion
I like the story idea, but the art is kinda’ killing it for me. Woodward’s stuff on Instagram looks great, but I’m just not digging the pages that we have samples of here. I feel like if they want to try doing Star Trek “painting” comics, they should talk to Alex Ross (…who may be impossible to book for this gig, I don’t know).
J.K. Woodward’s work is dreadful, in my opinion. I don’t remember which one — the Doctor Who crossover, maybe? — but I stopped reading a miniseries years ago because of how much I disliked his art.
Apparently some people like it, though.
I’m really digging the cover! And Picard in the rubble looks cool. Though I agree some pages look a little too sketchy. Definitely picking up this issue.
I think it’s awesome, personally.
The issue I have with photoreal artists like Woodward is they are so focused on reference it’s hard to create dynamic, strong, visual storytelling.
That’s why Alex Ross is so good: he storyboards the comic first, and photographs all his own models in the poses and angles he needs to execute it (something he could even do if actor likeness were needed). Woodward and most others dig through magazines and film to find shots that they can use and cut and paste them like a collage to fit the story they need to tell. It’s a more-than-imperfect way of doing it.
Woodward is actually better at it than most, and to be fair he does do likeness quite well, but I’ve long felt this style of comic art is best for the covers only.
Woodward is one of the best artists currently working in comics.
Agreed (except I’m not much into comics and so admittedly don’t have much of a basis for comparison). But I own one of the original pieces from IDW’s adaptation of “The City on the Edge of Forever” — it’s the moment when Spock states that Keeler has to die — and absolutely consider it one of my coolest possessions.
His facial likenesses are incredibly accurate. However, it seems like that comes at the expense of the backgrounds and other detailing. I get why the artist is not your cup of tea, but overall, it’s probably better than most.
Easy to get a good likeness when you just trace over stock photos of Stewart.
@Fortyseven: That’s grossly unfair. He’s not tracing over stockphotos. Consistency is amazingly hard in a format like comics (…or animation).
@Locutus: His facial likeness is admirable, I just feel that some of the anatomy and backgrounds seem off. I’ve looked at the guys Insta account and he’s got a lot of cool stuff. I’m just saying that this issue has not impressed me.
Why do they have the TNG movie/DS9 phasers with the curved handles? Shouldn’t it be one of the 3 TMP phasers or at most the first TNG Dustbuster?
Add to that, the rank that we can see in Picard in the cover is ensign, not captain like it should be. And they have Jack Crusher with lieutenant insignia, a little low for a first officer.
To add more of the extreme nitpicking jack crusher is missing his division colored arm band!
The phaser doesn’t really bother me much as the Dustbuster just doesn’t look cool.
On the other hand if he was rocking an assault phaser; it would of up the awesomeness factor.
Props for getting the undershirts right though!
This looks absolutely great!
It’s good that Picard went bald. He never had good hair.
Good review, but I would leave the corny captions to Cracked–they are rather forced here, and they undermine your review by making it come off as goofy.
Oh geez: no fun allowed, folks. **eyeroll**
That is not at all what I said. Thanks for playing, though. Try to hone your reading comprehension next time.
Some of us really love the captions though. And its a review about a comic book, don’t take it so seriously.
Discovery fan, of course no fun is allowed.
I enjoyed the captions.
keep it up trek movie crew! :)
Anyone know when the IDW’s “The Q Conflict” is coming out? Was looking forward to that one.
It came out yesterday (January 30th).
Dear god, this is some ugly stuff. If this was a fan project, I’d be far more generous with the praise of the art, but… wow. That face on Picard, especially… I mean, I see some potential in the art style, but this shit needs to bake a bit longer. :P
Friends of DeSoto will recognize Ben and Adam on page 10!
Picard is holding the wrong period phaser for that time period. That’s the later TNG/VOY era phaser. He should be holding the early larger “dust buster” TNG Season 1 phaser or something even earlier. [EDIT: I see someone has already mentioned this!]
Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble but that’s obviously a hairpiece…
Shouldn’t he look like Tom Hardy?
Tom Hardy was an unnecessary retcon done in Nemesis, seemingly for more casual audience members who might be “confused” if young Picard had hair.
Picard has been shown with hair in flashbacks a number of times. The look of Picard that IDW chose is specifically from TNG “Violations” where they show a flashback to a younger Picard going with Beverly to see Jack Crusher’s body in the morgue, which would have been toward the end of his time in command of the Stargazer.
Aha, thanks for that!
Will it explain how he lost his hair? The last page will have Picard state “To baldly go where no one had gone before”.
This was a good, if short, book.