James T. Kirk.  Gary Seven.  The final conflict, one-on-one…  Your Major Spoilers review of Star Trek: Year Five #12 from IDW Publishing awaits!


Writer: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly
Artist: Kieran McKeown/Silvia Califano/Stephen Thompson
Colorist: Thomas Deer/John-Paul Bove/Charlie Kirchoff
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Chase Marotz
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 1, 2020

Previously in Star Trek: Year FiveWith a villain revealed, a stranded crew, and a ship on a collision course with total destruction, Captain James T. Kirk will have to face the biggest challenge of his life on his own!


With the 400-plus crewmen marooned on an uninhabited planet, Gary Seven is ready to complete his mission: To remove the Enterprise from the time line by any means necessary.  The only thing standing in his way is Captain Kirk, who gives him a run for his money in hand-to-hand combat, but Seven gets the upper hand.  As he’s being strangled to death Kirk desperately grabs a tool and rams it into his opponents eye, only to have Seven shrug off the grievous injury and regain his gun.  He orders Kirk to fly the Enterprise into the atmosphere, where it will either burn up or explode on impact.   Down on the surface, the crew rallies to convince Spock of the logic of helping to save their captain, only to have McCoy get the last word when he points out the ship is about to crash into them.  McCoy, Spock and Bright Eyes (a young  Tholian crew member) manage to jury rig a transporter from the damaged shuttlecraft, allowing Spock to turn the tide against Seven with a phaser and a remarkable bit of knee-to-face combat.  The commanding duo barely manages to save their ship, and Kirk orders Sulu to set a course… for Earth.


This issue feels like a really impressive final act of a lost TOS episode to me, with a few liberties taken here and there.  The use of crew members from ‘The Animated Series’ makes it seem that those stories, now finally canon again, were the fourth year of the series, but you don’t need to know all those stories or characters to enjoy what we get in these pages.  Best of all, since we don’t have to work under NBC’s 1968 budget, moments like Isis shapeshifting into a giant spider-creature or Seven’s injuries at the hands of Kirk and Spock are fully rendered (and probably a bit more gruesome than network standards would have allowed.)  Lanzig and Kelly’s art strikes a good balance between character likeness and dynamism, with Gary Seven in particular looking incredibly cool, evil and always identifiable like Robert Lansing.  The sequence of The Enterprise barely managing to pull off the last minute escape is beautiful as well, showcasing their skillful depictions of technology.


In short, Star Trek: Year Five #12 looks great, keeps up the tension, and makes for a clearly-plotted and exciting issue, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I’m not sure if this is the final issue of this series (IDW’s solicitations aren’t clear on the matter, and twelve issues does seem like a natural number for a miniseries), but if it is, Year Five is going out on a really high note.  I just hope that it’s not the end, because this book is really well-done.

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Quite Good

I love the use of characters like M'ress and Arex, combined with logical follow-ups to TOS episodes. Combine it with a tightly paced ending, and you've got a winner

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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