Star Trek: Reunion (Part two of two)StarTrek_54-pr-page-001
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Tony Shasteen
Colourist: David Mastrolonardo
Letterer: Chris Mowry
Cover by: Tony Shasteen
Edited by: Sarah Gaydos
Story Consultant: Roberto Orci

Release Date: 24/02/2016

Warning:  this review contains spoilers.

Overview:

“Previously in Star Trek: Gaila and her brother Kai, two Orion members of Starfleet, escaped from their cruel mother Vila as children. Intent on retrieving them, Vila has plotted for years to steal them back and bring them home. After ambushing the Enterprise, Vila achieves her goal…”

With Gaila and Kai now in the hands of their mother life becomes very dangerous for them with Kai fighting to the death and Gaila facing the prospect of marriage. Kirk goes against standing orders and decides to follow Gaila and Kai into Orion space at the risk of breaking the peace with the Orion syndicate but with the Enterprise damaged, will Kirk get there in time?

The Story:

The second part of this story moved along at breakneck pace. It was however, a nice change of pace that it wasn’t Kirk and the Enterprise who engineered Gaila’s and Kai’s escape. While the Enterprise does come to the rescue it’s only after we see Gaila and Kai take the initiative and put their own plans into motion. One of the best characteristics of a good villain is that they don’t see themselves as a villain and Vila certainly fits into that category. She sees herself honouring an agreement to Seven-Tellek and doing what is best for her family and business.

Mike Johnson continues to tie threads from previous stories into the ongoing series. In this case we have links to Admiral Marcus from Star Trek Into Darkness and how his reach has gotten as far as the Orion syndicate. Scotty’s comments about the Enterprise almost diving into the sea was also a nod to Into Darkness and it’s nice to see these small elements of continuity.

Again we see Kirk break the rules to save his crew and it will be interesting to see if we will see the consequences of his actions in upcoming issues. It was also fascinating to see that Gaila has now transferred to the Enterprise and whether or not this is something that is linked to the upcoming  Star Trek: Beyond. Will Gaila be seen on the big screen once again?

The Art:

As with the previous issue, Tony Shasteen’s art continues to impress with consistent likenesses from the main cast, great background details and some very exciting panels.

The standout panels for me were the wonderful drawings of the Enterprise escaping the gravity of the planet to a great escape by Gaila and Kai to an explosive finale in the shuttle bay. Shasteen really knows how to draw action scenes and combined with the colouring the art really conveys the excitement of Johnson’s script.

There also seemed to be a Roman influence within the issue. The gladiatorial fighting seemed very much like the coliseum and the island itself seemed to have a Romanesque theme with pillars, the style of dresses the Orions were wearing and even the vehicle Gaila and Kai use to escape reminded me of a chariot.

The Covers:

The standard cover is drawn by Tony Shasteen and features Gaila trapped in a cage with Vila holding the cage in the background. The cage has wings which reflects the intended husband of Gaila; Seven-Tellek. Overall it’s a good cover by Shasteen but doesn’t stand out for me, the cover for part one had a better impact and Shasteen has drawn covers of a higher standard than this.

The subscription cover is by Derek Charm (currently the ongoing artist for Starfleet Academy) and is based on a valentines theme which is across all IDW comics this February. The cover has a picture of Kirk with hearts in the background and of course the Enterprise. The cover is a wrap around and you are able to give the comic as a gift with a “to” and “from” section. The likeness of Pine is slightly off but I think that is more a case of getting used to the artwork of Charm rather than a dislike of the cover itself. It’s odd that the issue has been released after Valentine’s Day but it doesn’t take away the fact it’s a fun, colourful and different cover.

Overall:

This was a really enjoyable two part story. Mike Johnson continues to tell interesting stories about the secondary characters of the JJ universe in a fun and exciting way. The art by Tony Shasteen brings the stories alive and with the Legacy of Spock next up these are some exciting times ahead for Star Trek in comics.