In the second issue of Boldly Go’s “I.D.I.C.” , we see a little bit more background of the female version of the iconic Starfleet captain in Mike Johnson’s latest installment of this innovative and entertaining story arc of Star Trek: Boldly Go #14.
…and I think I’ve developed a crush on Captain Jane T. Kirk.
While she isn’t the main focus of this book, she serves as a very visible introductory point in this chapter of the story that highlights the entire thrust of this story, and that’s in a universe where we know of two divergent yet simultaneously occurring planes of existence, there are, as Mr. Spock has been known to say, always possibilities.
Sure enough, when we see Jane Kirk recalling her father’s words of advice “anything is possible,” on the central viewscreen we also see a background of USS Enterprise variants that proves the maxim true.
In the first issue of this arc we were introduced to a variant of the universe that has Captain Pike in charge of the Enterprise seconded by Simon Grayson, a half-human, half-Vulcan relentlessly pursued by a version of James T. Kirk who was kidnapped and raised by Klingons. Known as “The Orphan,” this Kirk rose through the ranks of the Klingon Fleet to become its most feared commander who has sworn vengeance against Grayson for some unknown reason, that I am sure we can look forward to learning about as this story develops.
In this issue, we meet and learn more about the other variants, namely the aforementioned Captain Jane T. Kirk and the cybernetic JTK-1701.
But then after a brief skirmish with the lone Klingon vessel commanded by the Orphan, resulting in some sort of electrical discharge, the crews of these ships somehow wind up transported to the surface of an unknown planet in scattered, mixed crews that have to work together, despite their differences.
Which is, of course, the draw for this story. It’s a lot of fun to play with variations on a theme. After all, the permutations of the different universes is a theme in sci-fi that originally started with Star Trek; well, at least it was the first for me. “Mirror, Mirror” was the first time in science fiction that I had ever been introduced to the concept of alternate realities, and I think it was for a lot of other people as well.
In this case though, Johnson is throwing it all into the mix. Megan Levens’ beautiful double-page spread of the different Enterprises careening around in space gives us an idea of just how many variations there are for Johnson to have fun with, because, let’s face it: that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Though the only thing that struck me as out of place about this spread is how the Enterprises were all variants on the Kelvin Timeline’s Constitution-class. I’d have loved to see a familiar, round-nacelled NCC-1701 from the classic Trek television series in the melee somewhere. If this is an intersection of alternate timelines, then why not?
Speaking of infinite diversity, there is in this story also applies to villains as well as our heroes — and when you see the end of this issue, December’s Boldly Go #15 will seem so far away to you!
Seeing all of these timelines converge is also an opportunity for more fun for cover artists on this book; well, at least the first two, in any event.
- The ‘A’ cover for the regular edition is drawn by none other than the vastly talented Tony Shasteen. His work is nothing short of astounding. In fact, the Jane T. Kirk in this picture, with her friends in tow, is enough to send my Starfleet-loving heart into a frenzy. Intelligent, creative, gorgeous AND she commands a starship? What a recruitment poster! Sign this Trek-nerd up.
- The ‘B’ Cover by Piotr Kowalski is technically quite good. Very evocative and filled with tension. I am curious as to why Kowalski would place McCoy in the captain’s chair with Kirk standing over it though. The positioning of the characters aside though, it’s a good opportunity to see the work of an artist whose work I’m not overly familiar with.
- The retailer-incentive ‘A’ cover is a simple photo cover of Karl Urban’s McCoy. I honestly can’t see why this would be considered an incentive cover, and I wish someone would explain it to me. After all, comic art needs to be on the cover of a comic. Also, this image really doesn’t relate to the story other than in a generic sense.
- The retailer-incentive ‘B’ cover by Yoshi Yoshitani is a highly-stylized rendering of Spock and Uhura in hurried transit. It’s a bit abstract and very figurative and not the best example of Yoshitani’s work, in my opinion. Like the photo cover, it’s also a very generic piece of work that doesn’t connect to the story.
Consider me old-fashioned, but the cover needs to introduce the reader to the story or at least tease him or her into reading it. These last two covers were not only lacking in that requirement but also fairly disappointing.
The entertainment in seeing a few of these infinite and diverse combinations made manifest makes this probably one of Johnson’s best stories, in my opinion. There is so much material to play with that I can see this as expanding past the six issues of this arc and into a second one.
However, for now, I’ll be content with Boldly Go #14 while counting the days until Issue #15 hits the shelves — and in the meantime, staring lovingly at my Tony Shasteen rendition of Captain Jane T. Kirk.