On January 23, 2020, Patrick Stewart is returning as Captain Jean Luc Picard and all of Star Trek fandom can’t wait. He’s the greatest captain in the series’ long history and he’s getting another chapter. Before that chapter commences however, IDW is getting in on the sequel game with a three issue prequel series. Written by Kristen Beyer and Mike Johnson with art by Angel Hernandez, we get to see Picard as an Admiral as he attempts to save the Romulan people.
One of the Federation’s greatest enemies needs their help. The Romulans are facing an extinction event that will destroy their planet and the other worlds in their star system. Admiral Picard is in charge of helping them relocate billions of people in a turn that Picard hopes to show peace can be achieved even with the most secretive and waring cultures. The creative team has a formidable task here as they are set up where Picard is at the start of the new TV show. This series shows how Picard went from in charge to retired living on his vineyard.
This issue opens presumably where the show will pick up, but quickly cuts to a year earlier. The creators do well to establish familiar faces and new ones before Picard is visiting a Romulan world first hand to help the evacuation process. We’re also given ample amounts of Romulan behavior to decipher as they continue to distrust the Federation and Picard even though they are attempting to save them all. By the end, there is a moral dilemma that the Romulans are at peace with, but one in which Picard could never live with. Saving the lives of millions is no joke and yet there’s a form of racism or at the very least speciesism that’s taking place that thrusts this series into its conflict.
Hernadez continues to do fantastic work rendering the familiar characters like Picard accurately but not in a creepy way some comics fall prey to. The ships look fantastic, and while most of this issue is talking heads stuff it’s never boring. Joana Lafuente colors the book well, adding richness and layering to scenes to help convey alien worlds or details in a fleet of ships. I positively love the new Federation uniform design–I’m unclear if this is in the new show or not but it looks fantastic–and details in alien clothing helps establish they are not as human as one might think. Storytelling wise the story does well to draw you in closer with the characters. You’ll feel for Jean Luc when he’s holding back his temper when lives hang in the balance.
I was going to watch the show no matter what, but this comic gets me even more excited for it. The creators have done a good job setting up Picard’s last adventure as a Federation Admiral and once again we’re privy to a Star Trek adventure that puts morals and ethics on the line.
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