Musings of a fandom geek

Sometimes, you’ve just got to say “The laws of time and space? Who gives a smeg?”

Review – “Do Not Close Your Eyes”

Posted by Michael Warren on December 6, 2008

It has been said that history moves with the speed of a bullet…

The first issue of IDW Publishing’s latest Star Trek comic series came out two weeks ago. Falling under the Myriad Universes banner of alternate history stories, Star Trek: The Last Generation sees a devastated Earth under Klingon rule, after a single person in the wrong place at the wrong time leads history to take a decidedly different course.

So, how was it? Find out inside…

This first issue, “Do Not Close Your Eyes”, is, quite frankly, magnificent. Dropping us right in the middle of the action, we are swept along with the story. Andrew Steven Harris has pulled off something quite special. It deals us mystery and intrigue, sorrow and joy, all in one package.

During the events of Star Trek VI, the Khitomer conspirators succeed in assassinating the Federation President – with James Kirk not able to reach him in time. Seventy years later, the Picard cell of the Terran Resistance fights a guerilla war against the occupying Klingon forces, whilst the legendary “Silver Ghost” – Hikaru Sulu and the USS Excelsior – aids the delivery of a package crucial to the ongoing conflict – an android named Data.

As in “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, Guinan knows history is wrong, and in the final panels, we learn the reason why Kirk didn’t save the President – someone got in his way. And that someone is Captain Braxton

It’s quite interesting to go back from that final panel revealing Braxton to realise that he’s actually present in all of the Camp Khitomer panels, and visible getting between Kirk and the podium. The way the final page echoes the first two works, as well – lulling us somewhat into thinking we know how the page will end, then spinning off into an almost entirely unexpected direction.

The art – pencilled by Gordon Purcell, inked by Bob Almond and coloured by Mario Boon – is almost perfect. The artists do a brilliant job of drawing the characters – even guest stars like Drex, Robert Picard, and Rachel Garrett look almost identical to their on-screen depictions. The action sequences are fluid, and never confusing. There are fascinating little tricks and constructs – like the shift of panel structure to rounded corners for Picard’s flashback, or the use of a coloured background for the scenes taking place in 2293.

One thing I found a little jarring was the use of The Next Generation logo on the cover – having that, and then The Last Generation beneath it seemed a little odd. Why couldn’t they have adapted the TNG logo to reflect the miniseries title? I would have found that fascinating, myself.

There are some other minor incongruities – how can the Resistance be carrying phaser rifles from 2373, or operating type-18 shuttlepods? – but they are easily dismissable against the strength of the issue as a whole.

I am eagerly looking forward to issue 2, and hope we get some more historical background looking at how this timeline has evolved.

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