Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!
Star Trek: Year Five fills us in on the Enterprise’s last year of its 5 year mission. In the last arc, the crew picked up a new friend, a fish like alien named Ayal. While I really like the character design, their romance with Sulu hasn’t resonated with me…and that’s where this issue starts. Fortunately for me, this issue also provides some interesting knowledge about Ayal’s species and planet. Species and society building has always been a feature of Star Trek that I have enjoyed, and this is no exception. The visual depiction of Ayal’s planet takes advantage of the comic medium, vividly painting an alien world that would require so much CGI in a live action movie as to render it fake looking.
Captain Kirk remains in his coma from last issue, so we get to see Spock take the captain’s chair. While the fact that we know Kirk doesn’t die removes some of the suspense, the situation does allow the comic to focus on some other characters – Spock, Sulu, and for the first time Chekov. The characters continue to look remarkably like their real world counterparts. Generally the writing has been consistent with the personalities of the characters in the TV show, though this issue puts Sulu and Chekov into situations outside what they experienced in the show. If I had one minor complaint with the story, the plan the crew settles on seems a bit stupid. Spock agreeing with it and saying it is ‘logical’ doesn’t make it so. Rather, it seemed necessary to move the plot forward and create the cliffhanger situation at the end of the issue.
As has been the case with the series, there are some long term stories (the Tholian child Bright Eyes, meeting Ayal and returning them home), but each ‘episode’ is largely contained in a two issue arc. That makes issue 9 a decent starting on point, though to understand who Ayal is and what their relationship with Sulu is, I suggest starting with Issue 7. If the pattern holds, the next issue will resolve this storyline.
STAR TREK: YEAR FIVE #9 is available now.
Check back soon for my thoughts on issue 10 of this series.
Have you read the issue? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.