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STAR TREK: YEAR FIVE #4 review – What Prime Directive? (Easton, Coccolo, Thompson, Gamboa, IDW Publishing)

Brandon Easton (Author) Martin Coccolo (Artist) Stephen Thompson (Cover Artist) Fran Gamboa (Colorist) Neil Uyetake (Letterer)

Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!

While issue 4 continues the overarching ‘rescued Tholian child’ storyline, it is primarily focused on concluding the return to the mobster planet arc from issue 3. In a nutshell, the Enterprise returned to the scene of one of the original episodes to find that the inhabitants had used McCoy’s left behind communicator to leap forward technologically, with humorous results. The society took the values of free elections to the extreme, holding them so frequently that nothing could get done. Just when things seemed unable to get more ridiculous, Spock became a candidate.

As is the case with many Star Trek episodes, the examination of this strange society is really an opportunity to look at ours. This mini arc lacks the tense danger of the earlier issues, but makes up for it in subtle humor. I’m not sure the ultimate resolution made much sense to me, but it was a harmless ending to a storyline based more on the nostalgia you get from revisiting an episode of the original show.

While receiving less attention, the continuation of the Tholian plot was much more satisfying. It’s nice to see Uhura out from behind her chair on the bridge. Readers who enjoy the continuing story connecting the issues will enjoy where the writers go with this one.  

Overall, this issue wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favorite. The resolution wasn’t as tight as prior issues and the characters (in particular Spock) didn’t seem as connected to their TV show personalities as prior issues had depicted them. If you didn’t read issue 3, there is enough exposition to catch you up, but you probably won’t be overly invested in the issue.

STAR TREK: YEAR FIVE #4 is available now.

Check back soon for my thoughts on issue 5 of this series.

Have you read the issue? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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