For Honor, Friend.
With the new Star Trek movie just around the corner, there is the potential for the franchise to spring to life once again, with fans, new and old, looking for the further adventures of Wagon Train in Space.Â Instead of always reading the future adventures through the eyes of the Federation, IDW Publishingâ€™s Alien Spotlight series takes a look at some of the more well known non-human characters.Â This week, the bright light shines upon the Klingons, and a long lived warrior.
Those that have followed the Major Spoilers site for some time know that I like playing World of Warcraft.Â When I started playing four years ago, I was dead set on playing on the Alliance side, simply because those filthy Orcs always looked to be up to no good.Â Plus it didnâ€™t help their cause that I played on a PvP server and the Horde was always ganking my ass.
But then I had the opportunity to jump Realms and decided at the time to follow the advice of a good friend and play a Horde character.Â Granted, it wasnâ€™t an Orc, but still the â€œbad guysâ€.Â Then an interesting thing happened; I started getting into the history of the Horde, and how each of the races in the faction had gone through many struggles and trials with the Orc turning out to be quite honorable and nobel in their own way.Â Suddenly walking a mile in the shoes of the enemy had me changing my view on this race.
The same thing should happen for fans of the Federation when they read this Klingon-centric story.Â Here, readers follow Kang through different periods of his life as he recounts ancient battles where the heroes of his story face insurmountable odds, yet still manage to turn the tide of battle to take the day.Â Through his life, that spans a time period shortly after the Federation is formed, to nearly 100 years later, readers discover what drives Kang to hold on to these stories – someone killed his son, and he is bent on killing that being, even if it takes his entire life.Â And it appears as if it just might.
Like the Orcs, this story of the Klingons shows what honor means to them, and thus is passed on to the reader.Â It wasnâ€™t until the end of the issue, when Kangâ€™s plan is finally revealed that the flashback stories suddenly make sense. It really is a great story and one that had me glued to the page.
Writer Keith R.A. DeCandido does an excellent job of placing Kang around landmarks and situations that long time Star Trek fans will instantly recognize.Â Readers even get to see the Enterprise crew featuring Suluâ€™s daughter all grown up.Â It is a nice way to keep everything in continuity.
J.K. Woodwardâ€™s art is nice, and I like how he was able to portray the Klingons in their many interpretations over the years from the 1960â€™s series through the crab head design we are familiar with today.Â Unfortunately, it was rather difficult to tell one Klingon from the next in a lot of the group shots, and that brought the flow of the story down a couple of notches. It didnâ€™t help that the names were thrown out nonchalantly, making it even harder to remember who was who, especially when a jump in time occurred in the story.
Still, Star Trek fans wonâ€™t be disappointed in learning more lore of the Klingon empire, so on that level the issue succeeds.Â Casual fans or readers might get lost or confused, and I doubt new fans of Star Trek will follow exactly what is going on, or who all the characters are, but it is still a good read nonetheless.Â Star Trek Alien Spotlight: Klingons is a good read and deserves 4 out of 5 Stars.