REVIEW: Picard’s Past And Present Collide In ‘Star Trek: Picard Stargazer’ #1

Review: Star Trek: Picard Stargazer #1
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson
Art by: Angel Hernandez
Color by: J.D. Mettler

A cover by Angel Hernandez

 

While Paramount hasn’t officially announced a premiere date for Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard (showrunner Terry Matalas surmised it will probably be in early 2023), thanks to IDW, we’ll be able to get our fix of the android Admiral’s adventures to tide us over between seasons. 

The 3-issue Stargazer mini-series is set between seasons 2 and 3 and is written by Picard co-creator/executive producer Kirsten Beyer and longtime Star Trek comics writer, Mike Johnson. The pair is back again after co-writing the Picard prequel, Countdown, back in 2019. Back on art is Angel Hernandez, whom we last saw penciling Linus in Adventures in the 32nd Century #4.  

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

Still a no-win scenario

The season 2 finale gave fans a “holy sh*t!” moment when Seven took command of the damaged USS Stargazer and the comic wisely picks up with her story. Stargazer begins with Seven taking the newly-designed Kobayashi Maru, still considered a no-win scenario, but no longer a rescue attempt resulting in an unwinnable space battle with the Klingons. Instead, Admiral Picard has reprogrammed the entire simulation to reflect Starfleet’s substantially less explosive work: diplomacy. While Seven’s commission was only temporary, one could argue that everyone (including Starfleet) wants to see her permanently in that uniform. Perhaps we’ll get the answer to that question before the end of this mini-series.

Gazing Again

Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Picard is once again summoned back into space on the new Stargazer to revisit a pre-warp planet from the time before he became follicly challenged. The Prime Directive and an unexpected adversary prevented the crew from surveying the planet back then, but Starfleet feels enough time has passed to try again. Succeeding Captain Rios as captain of the Stargazer is an Andorian named Mekara, who invites Picard on a return to Jenjor VI, a planted with an indigenous population in the tens of millions and rich in a rare isotope called csylium. When they arrive, of course, things aren’t how Picard left them.

Hernandez has been at this a long time and there’s a reason why he continues to pencil Star Trek. The space panels are gorgeous and the close-ups of Picard (both old and young) are on point. I always love when I know the photo or frame the artist is drawing inspiration from. And the three-eyed aliens in the Kobayashi Maru are fun and memorable, even if they are only meant for a one-off.

Star Trek: Picard – Stargazer has the potential to be a must-read for fans eagerly anticipating season 3 of Picard. While this first issue is exposition-heavy and light on the action until the very end, it does its job of building anticipation for the next issue. With Beyer and Johnson at the helm, this story is in good hands and I’m looking forward to how this ties into Season 3.

Available now

Star Trek: Picard – Stargazer #1 was released on August 31. You can order it (and pre-order upcoming issues) at TFAW. Or pick up individual digital editions at Amazon/comiXology.

The entire collection will be published as a trade paperback next April, and you can pre-order that now at Amazon.


Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s comics category.

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That cover illustration just….doesn’t look like Picard.

As an avid comics fan, I’ve never considered it the responsibility of the artists to achieve photorealism. The goal isn’t accuracy, its artistic expression. I only see comments like this in places where comics aren’t front-and-center. It seems like a naïve perspective to me. Would you criticize “The Lark Ascending” for being a piece of music instead of an upward-flying bird?

I get not having 100% photorealism in comic art, but Jeezum, the cover of a comic book that is JUST a character’s face should at least suggest that character. Nothing about this cover says “Picard” to me other than the corporate logo at the top. That sneering baldie drawn below the title in no way tells me this is a funny book about Jean-Luc.

Lark Ascending!
Deep cut!!
I approve.

Looking like Picard doesnt equals alway 100 Photorealismn….
It can be abstract and still not look like picard.

I was surprised to see Starfleet interacting with the Romulans in the 2350s. I was under the impression that their hadn’t been any interaction between the two for about 40 years at that point.

Yep, although they didn’t break canon thanks to the use of one wordnby Picard in the comic lol

in the comic Picard said Starfleet classified the logs relating to this mission

True, though that doesn’t explain Picard’s surprise and awe when he encountered them again many years later. Plus, there was no real reason for these logs to be classified (other than to protect canon) as nothing particularly classifiable happened on the mission

Beyond that, the whole “let’s classify this mission” excuse to protect canon is kind of a copout. Discovery did the same thing with the absurd classification of all-things USS Discovery. The comic writers could have very easily chosen a different alien menace.

I enjoyed this comic, nice to get some flashbacks to his Stargazer days. Looking forward to part 2

Not a bad start to the story, though I’m glad this won’t officially be canon given that the Romulans should still be “dealing with matters more urgent.” I really enjoyed the Kobyashi Maru of diplomacy, that is a very Picard thing to implement.

As for the artwork, I’m a bit torn. I like the vibrancy of it all, but the lack of strong outlines muddies many of the characters.

Regardless, I am looking forward to the next two issues to see where this story is going.

I liked the comic. The story was compelling enough and the inclusion of Fenris Ranger Hiro from the audio drama No Man’s Land was an unexpected bonus. The final scene left me eagerly waiting for issue #2. I was disappointed with the omission of Seven’s borg implants on her left hand, especially on that close-up. For such an iconic character I feel this is a monumental oversight. I have read several reviews of this comic and while some commented that the young Picard with a full head of hair seemed a bit off (I agree) and that there was a continuity issue with the Romulans (I didn’t even catch that), not one picked up on the lack of Seven’s hand implants. Let’s hope they correct this before they release issues # 2 and 3.