As with Star Trek #21, Star Trek #22 should not be read until after you have seen Star Trek Into Darkness or read the novel adaptation. This issue continues the “After Darkness” story arc that began in the previous issue. We last left the Enterprise crew at New Vulcan. Spock was beginning to feel the intense emotions brought on by Pon Farr. In Star Trek #21, we learned of Spock’s betrothal to T’Pring. Those of you familiar with Star Trek: The Original Series will note some similarities, thematically, to the classic episode “Amok Time”. Writer Mike Johnson is working in a similar fashion to the movie universe. We are seeing similar events unfold but they are unique and different in this alternate timeline created in the 2009 Star Trek film.
Star Trek #22 is essentially telling three stories. We learn more about what is happening with the Romulans and their interactions with Section 31. Then it’s back to New Vulcan where Spock and his fellow Vulcans are trying to explain to the Enterprise crew what is happening. This issue primarily focuses on the Spock story line and the reactions by the crew, especially Uhura. No surprise there. The issue is very quick, fast paced. In fact, once it was over, I was confused because it feels like a thick issue but I read it in no time. Issue #22 definitely feels like the shortest of the Star Trek issues. Finally, the issue leaves us with a snapshot of what the Klingons have been up to since Star Trek Into Darkness.
Erfan Fajar and Stellar Labs are doing an incredible job with the illustrations and color. One of the things I’m truly enjoying about their work is that the style is very simplistic yet I know exactly who I am looking at in any given scene. Unlike other series I read, the illustrations here are not harsh, sharp or complex. In fact, everything is done at a very minimalist level. With that said, it is very easy to discern who is in each frame. The characters look so much like the actors from the films that at times, I feel like they must have just traced a photo. The accuracy of the characters’ facial features only adds to the compelling nature of the series and issue. I get the distinct impression that this is a legitimate continuation of the story J.J. Abrams and team have provided in the motion picture world.
Now, Mike Johnson and his team do get the added advantage of having Roberto Orci as a story consultant but it’s difficult to see what influence, if any, he had on this particular issue.
Overall, this is a very short issue. The story does not progress very much though we do learn some interesting nuggets about our Roluman and Klingon enemies. I was disappointed at the length. I read close to a dozen different comic book series and this issue felt like one of the big ones but as I’ve noted, it’s a very quick read. Star Trek #22 lacks density but I suppose not every issue can reveal something Earth shattering. Part of the lack of depth for this issue might have to do with its focus on Spock’s Pon Farr. As an avid Trekkier\Trekker, this is old news to me but the Roluman and Klingon story lines are unique due to the altered time line. If the series begins to focus on those plots more, then I think each issue will feel denser and more intense.
As always, live long and prosper. \\\///