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Star Trek #54

Review by Paul Bowler

Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise continue their ongoing mission to explore the final frontier in IDW Publishing’s Star Trek #54, in Reunion Part 2, from writer Mike Johnson, with artwork and cover by Tony Shasteen, and colors by Davide Mastrolonardo. With intergalactic peace threatened the crew of the Enterprise must face a breakaway Orion faction, rescue their captive crewmembers, and confront treachery from within!

Following a rendezvous in space last issue between the Federation starships Enterprise and Tereshkova, that reunited Lieutenant Gaila with her brother, Kai, the ramifications of the events that caused them flee the Orion homeworld fourteen years ago with their father now threaten galactic peace. Uhura was delighted to see her friend Gaila again, but when the Enterprise and Tereshkoya respond to a distress call from the Ullushu system, the ships were ambushed by a renegade Orion faction. Gaila and Kai were transported onboard one of the Orion vessels, where they were taken to meet the instigator behind the attack, their own mother!

Star Trek #54 Cover

Mike Johnson skilfully brings the plot threads together for the conclusion of this new two-part story. Having originally escaped from the Orion homeworld in order to prevent Gaila being forced into an arranged marriage by her mother Vila to secure her families status and power, Gaila and Kai went on to become the first Orion siblings to join Starfleet. Now in Star Trek #54 they are prisoners of the rogue Orion faction, and this time their mother is determined to see that Kai’s marriage takes place – even at the cost of peace! Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise must deal with the situation and rescue Gaila and Kai, but in order to do so they will have to risk breaching the treaty between the Orion Syndicate and the Federation.

However, the Orion ships weaponry has somehow affected the Enterprise and the Tereshkova’s warp cores, weakening the antimatter containment fields, making pursuit of the unsanctioned Orion faction impossible until Scotty can makes repairs, and even then the Enterprise must venture into Orion territory alone. It also transpires that Vila has human spies deep inside Starfleet itself! With the clock ticking, time is running out for Gaila and Kai back on the Orion homeworld, with their mother busy organizing Gaila’s wedding to the insect-like Pacari, Seven-Tellek, while her brother Kai battles for his life in a gladiatorial arena.

The art by Tony Shasteen is superbly detailed and captures all of the characters likenesses perfectly. Each scene flows seamlessly into the next; the exciting page layouts build the momentum throughout, and the bold hues and tones of colorist Davide Mastrolonardo ensures Star Trek #54 looks amazing. There are numerous key moments in this issue: from the dramatic scenes of the starships in deep space, there are some highly impressive vistas featuring the Air-Chipelago on the Orion homeworld, the stark reality of the gladiatorial arena leaves absolutely no room for modesty, Kai and Gaila make a daring escape from their mothers clutches, and there’s stunning reveal for the Enterprise that will take your breath away!

Although it does feel like everything has been resolved a little too quickly, Reunion Part 2 is still a thoroughly enjoyable story, and the finale scenes with Uhrua, Gaila, Kia, and Kirk brings the issue to a nice close. Star Trek #54 is another great issue, writer Mike Johnsons exciting script balances the action with some fine character moments, and Tony Shasteens impressive artwork brings this fast-paced story to life in fine style. This IDW series is a must for Star Trek fans, with its energizing story and art, it continues to expand on the concepts and premise of the Enterprise’s ongoing mission, and ramps the excitement up to warp speed with every issue!

Publisher: IDW / Writer: Mike Johnson / Art: Tony Shasteen

Colors: Davide Mastrolonardo / Letters: Neil Uyetake

Regular Cover: Tony Shasteen / Variant Cover: Cat Staggs