Star Trek: Picard is an interesting project, in that it’s almost a rejection of what Star Trek is. It’s a show that is all about all the ways that the Federation – the utopian future that the show’s previous iterations have touted as a near-perfect society – fails. It’s all about the ways that the world that we believed was better is revealed to be just as ugly, small-minded, and angry as our own: a world that, at a small provocation, easily rejects minorities – the Romulans, and the ‘synths’, the robots.
The comic, written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson, explores the time between The Next Generation and Picard, as the titular character attempts to evacuate the Romulans before the Romulan supernova destroys them. However, as Picard and his team attempt to do so, they discover a dirty secret behind the Romulan Star Empire. It’s always been an open question about why the Romulans (and the Klingons, too!), as peer states for the Federation, are monospecies states, but the comic offers a single, easy answer: other species exist – as slaves. Picard, along with a pair of Romulan allies, have to save everyone and stop the malevolent Tal Shiar from stopping Picard’s humanitarian efforts.
A note before we dive into the art: The ships in the comics aren’t designs from Star Trek: Picard, nor are they from the other shows, or even just designs that are new to the comic itself. Instead, the ships – most notably Picard’s flagship, the U.S.S. Verity, but also the Romulan Tal Shiar ship as well – are designs from the video game Star Trek Online. It would have been easy for the comic to just copy the game without a mention, but instead the trade brings Thomas Marrone, the designer from Star Trek Online, in to discuss the process of creating the ship.
The art itself, however, is fine. The Romulans have a bad case of “sameface,” and it’s unfortunately very clear when artist Angel Hernandez is copying from a real person vs. trying to create a figure on their own. But the ship battles are fun, are the action scenes relatively dynamic.
I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone but diehard Star Trek fans, but those diehard Star Trek fans will love it!