Star Trek Ongoing #51 – Live EvilST51pr - 00001-page-001
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Tony Shasteen
Colourist: Davide Mastrolonardo
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Covers by: Tony Shasteen and Lorelei Bunjes
Editor: Sarah Gaydos

Release Date: 18/11/2015

Warning: this review contains spoilers!

Overview
“PREVIOUSLY IN STAR TREK… Trapped within a turbulent ion storm, the U.S.S. Enterprise finally emerges unscathed, only to find itself in a twisted new reality! Captain Kirk leads an away team to a strange colony on Ceti Alpha V, where they meet a familiar… and dangerous… foe.

Meanwhile, in orbit, Commander Spock and the rest of the crew come face to face with a terrifying enemy: the I.S.S. Enterprise, flagship of the militaristic Terrain Empire!”

The issue kicks off with Kirk and Mudd renegotiating contracts on Arronia Two. Meanwhile on Ceti Alpha V, Kirk tries to work out if he should trust Cumber-Khan Singh, still believing him to be the homicidal augment he knew from before as a surprise is unveiled before his eyes. Maybe they’ll yet make it off the planet!

Aboard the I.S.S. Enterprise the Spock-off continues face to face, however Mirror Spock will not be swayed from his course and the ship is proceeds to Vulcan as Mirror Chekov takes over the U.S.S. Enterprise which is currently heading towards Earth.

Singh leads the planet escape aboard the Botany Bay. He has plans and tells Kirk that they are headed for Qo’noS. Once arriving on the Klingon home world Kirk is shocked to see the civilisation existing in such a peaceful manner – until he meets himself!

The Story

As the story develops from that which we’ve read in issue fifty, it picks up pace with plot twists and turns throughout. Great pacing of the story as it jumps from location to location as we slowly start to learn more about this Mirror Universe along with our Kirk. I couldn’t stop reading this and when it ended I wanted to know more. Now! But that’s at least another month away. Who has ST51-1the patience for this when a story just sucks you in?

Once again we see Khan, or as he likes to be called in this world – Singh. The reveal of the Botany Bay was a nice addition and its journey to Qo’noS was amusing when looking at the Into Darkness parallels where Khan escapes to Qo’noS. It seems like he will always be drawn there regardless.

The revelation to Spock that Vulcan still exists in this universe was lovely to see. I’m not quite sure where this is going just yet but it was nice to have an action break in the story when he was reacquainted with his ‘father’.

I’m most intrigued though, as to what they’re doing with Chekov, specifically Mirror Chekov, who I will now refer to as Punk!Chekov. Usually the quiet unassuming character in the background, we don’t get treated to many appearances from this character. Yet here Johnson is making good use of him by commandeering the U.S.S. Enterprise. I love it and can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.

The Art
Shasteen and Mastrolonardo knock it out the park once again. Following on from the high standards of the previous issue, the work here is just top-notch.  From Shasteen’s work I was particularly impressed with the ships including the Botany Bay as well as all his Mirror tweaks for the characters we know and love so well. I’m looking forward to the final issue in the arc as in my mind Shasteen and Mastrolonardo can do no wrong! Apart from maybe that Singh ST51-4hair, I’m having a few issues with that.

The Covers
This issue sees us back down to the usual two covers from the previous four. The standard cover is by Shasteen himself and the other subscription variant is by Lorelei Bunjes. While Shasteen produces a cover in the style and standards that we’ve come to know, Bunjes is a new find for me, having not encountered her work before now. While Shasteen’s cover focuses on Spock and Kirk and seems to have a shattered mirror effect, Bunjes’s cover focuses on Mirror Spock and Uhura on a pretty plain starry background. It’s great that the Mirror Universe couple get a cover but predictably the ‘wow’ cover here is by Shasteen. Just go out and buy it already!

Overall
This is shaping up to be a great ‘proper’ Mirror Universe story, so much so that I can actually see it playing out on a screen in my head. I love Mirror stories and would always love to see more. We barely saw any during the run of Star Trek on television (Voyager got no stories like this at all!) so the comics are able to pick up and give us more of what we want that we never got to see on screen. I just hope that the story can be suitable wrapped up in the one remaining issue without worrying too much about pacing as it feels like there’s a lot we still need to know!