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