IDW has reached an impressive milestone with Star Trek this week, reaching its 400th issue. To celebrate, fans can read six stories in an anthology that spans different generations, from the original Star Trek right up to Picard and even looking ahead to the next big chapter for the series. With creators like Wil Wheaton, Mike Johnson, and Declan Shalvey at the helm, can this milestone issue honor the past, present, and future?
Star Trek #400 opens with the story “Captain’s Log” by Chris Eliopoulos and Luke Sparrow. This is a fabulous story to open the book, featuring multiple captains in the chair in a story driven by captions from an unknown character. The captions detail what makes the characters in Star Trek so great, touch upon key fan-favorite episodes from the original series, and make a strong case as to why Star Trek is so impactful and meaningful. Throw in the fact that the voice of the captions is a heroic character not known for being a captain we know and love helming his own starship, and you have a great tale honoring the legacy of the original series.
Next up is “Soldier On” by Declan Shalvey and Seth Damoose, focused on Miles O’Brien. He’s roughing it alone, working on fixing things on the border of Cardassian space. Soon he encounters a Cardassian where he shouldn’t be, and an arrest is made. This leads to some high-brow Federation people giving O’Brien the brunt of the work. Shalvey captures the character’s spirit well, while Damoose draws the characters in a cartoony but sturdy way. The depiction of how characters beam up is particularly cool.
“Meanwhile” by Mike Johnson and Angel Hernandez is a one-page story focused on Scottie from the J.J. Abrams universe. Hernandez draws Scottie well, which is unmistakably Simon Pegg. It’s a cute one-pager that promises we’ll get more soon. Does it offer a lot? It’s only one page, so not really, but it’s nice to have the new movie universe get depicted here.
Actor Wil Wheaton writes the following story with art by Joe Eisma called “A Matter of Choice.” If you enjoyed Picard and, in particular, watched the second season, you need to read this. Wheaton does an impeccable job honoring the character he played while tying things into events of Picard season 2. I imagine it’ll go over the heads of people who haven’t watched that season yet, but the embodiment of Wesley Crusher is captured well. It also explores what he’s been up to outside of reality. One nitpick is that things get a bit too verbose in one scene. The word balloons practically take over each panel, but the spirit of these characters and their voice is expertly captured.
“The Starfleeter” by Mike Johnson and Megan Levens is an all-ages tale that’s super cute. Levens draws these characters flying in their starships as tiny one-man vehicles, which are pretty neat. The message is fun with some burping, so you know kiddos will like this one.
The final story is by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, with art by Ramon Rosanas acting as a prequel to their upcoming flagship Star Trek series. A few things are made quite clear, starting with the “villain” who is basically a god. This story is clearly playing to the strengths of the various Star Trek shows, with characters depicted in this tale from every series. We don’t know a ton about the series, but this story certainly sets up the expectations that things are going to get quite weird, blend various characters into one tale, and push what we know about gods in the universe. It’ll certainly make you excited and want to learn more, especially with the well-drawn high-concept art by Rosanas.
Star Trek #400 is a good milestone issue with a wide variety of story types and character focuses. It’s cool to see a wide swath of series getting some time to shine along with specific characters we don’t often see. Aside from a few hiccups in pacing, this is well worth the price of admission.
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