Star Trek: Manifest Destiny #4ST_ManifestDestiny_04-pr-page-001
Publisher: Ted Adams
Writer: Mike Johnson & Ryan Parrott
Artist: Angel Hernandez
Colourist: Mark Roberts & Adam Guzowski
Letterer: Andworld Design
Covers By: Angel Hernandez, Tony Shasteen (Subscription Cover) Jen Bartel (RI Cover)
Production Design: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Sarah Gaydos

Release Date: 08/06/16

Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers!

Overview
“I’d rather destroy my own ship than see it in your hands”

“Previously in Star Trek: Manifest Destiny

The rogue Klingon leader Sho’tokh took control of the Enterprise. Lieutenant Kai was murdered in battle. Captain Kirk and the rest of the crew are now prisoners. There only hope lies in a successful mutiny by Sho’tokh’s second in command, Divash…”

The story concludes as we finally find out the fate of the Enterprise crew and their would-be conqueror, the formidable Klingon commander, Sho’tokh.

The Story
What a blurb! If that doesn’t get you pumped for this, the final issue in this brilliant miniseries nothing will – and what an issue it was!

With the Enterprise boarded by enemy Klingons, most of the crew slain and the survivors about to join them, things have never looked worse for Kirk.

I loved that the away team’s adventure on the Klingon warship played a pivotal role in the conclusion of the series. Can you imagine if Sulu hadn’t woken and given the ship specs to Divash? Or if Divash hadn’t wanted to mutiny against Sho’tokh, and actually stood with him? It could have ended very differently.

A stroke of genius for this issue was the decision to have Kirk out-manoeuvre Sho’tokh tactically. As brilliant as their physical confrontation was, Sho’tokh has always been one step ahead from the first issue. By not judging Sho’tokh against other Klingons (of which he is nothing like, being devoid of honour) Kirk was finally able to outthink him and put an end to Sho’tokh’s rampage. Kirk needed this win, after everything he witnessed and everything that was done to him during the series I was practically jumping up and down during their final confrontation!

I’m so pleased that Johnson and Parrott decided to spare Sho’tokh at the end. A lesser story would’ve just killed him off at the conclusion of the tale but the creative team know that the character is a great one, and there are more stories to tell with him- and I can’t wait to read them!

Kudos must also be given to Johnson and Parrott for the way they have paced the whole series. It must have been tempting to stretch the story for another issue or two but by keeping the story at 4 issues, it has allowed the writers to keep up this fantastic pace from the first issue to the last.

As breakneck as the pace has been, we have also got some brilliant character moments from the series with McCoy in particular. His epiphany at the end where he decides that not all Klingons have a depth to them, that maybe war isn’t inevitable, even after everything has occurred was profound, the fact that Kirk just wasn’t in that frame of mind with him, after being on the Enterprise and witnessing the slaughter was also very telling.

I’d also like to know the political ramifications to the story, Sho’tokh attacking the Federation flagship and countless Starfleet members’ lives being lost must have ramifications but the fact that he did so with his own agenda and that his own lieutenant committed mutiny to stop the travesty might make the situation murky. It’s just an observation and I’d be interested to see if we will see it play out in the regular ongoing series.

Star Trek: Manifest Destiny has been a thrill from start to finish and another fantastic way to celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary.

The Art
Where do I start? From the very first issue I have been constantly impressed by Angel Hernandez’s art. His likenesses, action scenes and character moments have all been first class.

The biggest compliment I can give the art is that you genuinely forget you are reading a comic. The characters likenesses to their movie counterparts are so good, the ships so well realised, the effects (lens flares!) look so real its genuinely like you are ‘watching’ and action packed Star Trek blockbuster.

Favourite Panel: As with other issues in the series it is practically impossible to pick just one panel an issue!

Highlights for me this month was the panel of Sho’tokh bracing himself on the Enterprise bridge just after Divash has fired on him and the ‘hero shot’ of Kirk confronting Sho’tokh after finally getting the drop on him. Both were fantastically rendered and coloured beautifully.

The Covers
This issue ships with three covers.

A standard cover by interior artist Angel Hernandez, a subscription cover by Tony Shasteen and a retailer incentive cover by Jen Bartel.

This month’s standard cover depicts Kirk just as he’s about to clash with the series central villain Sho’tokh, not only that but in the background we also have the emblems of Starfleet and the Klingon Empire clashing together. It’s a fine image and is certainly appropriate for the last issue. I think it’s my favourite of all Hernández’s standard covers for the series.

Tony Shasteen’s subscription cover continues the theme of the subscriptions covers theme of paying homage (while also updating with the rebooted cast) to the movie poster of Star Trek’s past. As this is issue #4 of Manifest Destiny, this month’s homage is to Star Trek 1V: The Voyage Home. Shasteen has outdone even his considerable talents with this one. It shows the faces of Kirk and Spock prominently with the faces of Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov surround them in a circle as you see a ship come down behind the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It’s beautifully painted and is a perfect tribute to the original design. As the Voyage Home is one of my favourite Star Trek films (It has a great message) I had a certain affinity for this cover and I’d certainly love to see the original cast in a remake of this film, can you imagine?

The whole idea to acknowledge Star Trek’s past with these covers in this special year was a perfect complement to Star Trek: Manifest Destiny and executed perfectly by Shasteen. Kudos to all involved.

I was excited to see Jen Bartel’s RI cover as I was impressed by the cover she did for the recent Star Trek: Starfleet Academy miniseries, and her effort for Star Trek: Manifest Destiny doesn’t disappoint. The image depicts Sulu, sitting in the Captain’s chair surrounded by formidable Klingons! As intense as the prospect is, it’s drawn in a light, almost anime style, which I really enjoyed. I especially liked the colouring of the cover with the sparks from the console lighting up one side of Sulu’s profile.

I must say that I loved that each of the RI covers for Star Trek: Manifest Destiny highlighting a different member of the crew. With issue #1 showcasing McCoy, Issue #2 – Chekov, Issue #3- Scotty and Issue #4- Sulu has meant that with all of those fantastic covers of Uhura for Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, this year we have had some real quality covers of characters that are not Kirk or Spock.

Overall
All in all the series has delivered everything that was promised to us. A fantastic story featuring one of Star Trek’s oldest foes – the Klingons, fantastic art and some seriously stunning covers.

This summer guys, in Star Trek’s fiftieth year, sit down, relax and play Michael Giacchino’s stirring ‘Enterprising Young Men, and open Star Trek: Manifest Destiny. You’ll be very glad you did. You’ll be entertained by an action tale the likes only Star Trek could deliver.

Your move Star Trek: Beyond

LLAP

Caleb
@CalebBeldom