Starfleet and Romulan diplomats agree to a rare meeting at the Babel Conference to discuss joining forces to prepare for the Borg’s eventual return. However, a Romulan ambassador is murdered during his opening speech and all signs point to an Andorian Starfleet cadet.
I appreciated Johnson and Parrott’s writing in this book. The plot had me intrigued and I could hear the voices of the Kelvin timeline crew when I was reading this issue. The setup of the Andorian ambassador and his son was a bit predictable but well done. I’ve been a fan of Commander Valas (the first Romulan member of Starfleet and Kirk’s new # 1 since Spock has been on sabbatical on New Vulcan) in this series and her appearance and apparent direction was interesting and left me wanting to know more. I enjoyed that Uhura and Spock have been on sabbatical on New Vulcan. The concept further fleshes out how Vulcans are handling their original planet’s destruction as shown in Star Trek 09′. I also appreciated that Terrell is alive in this new timeline, though I wouldn’t say he is well. I could definitely see the parallels between Terrell and Picard with regards to their Borg captures and his characterization evoked memories of the aftermath of Best of Both Worlds and First Contact. I believe fans will appreciate how that was handled. It was also nice to see Jaylah, as I was a fan of her character in Star Trek: Beyond and her inclusion helps to make this title feel like a continuation of that film.
The art in this book is decent. It captures the actor’s likenesses well, but it’s cartoony and flat. Background details are sparse, but that may be intentional as the Kelvin timeline starship corridors are meant to be very minimal. Many panels would have benefited from more animated facial expressions. Kirk seems almost Vulcan in how little emotion he shows in this title. Some scenes are written for him to be upset or shocked, but his expression doesn’t really change. The main cover is great. It’s very clean with an art deco and 60s inspired look. The issue does contain a variety of additional covers, including a Sub cover, and 2 Retailer incentive covers.
It’s also worth noting that the issue also contains an interview with longtime Trek colorist Mark Roberts, who is working on Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds. It’s a nice addition but the questions are fairly general, which Star Trek characters do you like the most, etc.
I give this title 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed the story and the writing of the characters but felt slightly let down by the art. Fans of the Kelvin timeline films should pick this up as it does a good job of expanding that universe and continuing the feel and ongoing story of those films.
Written by Mike Johnson & Ryan Parrott
Art by Megan Levens
Published by IDW