Advanced Review: It’s a Good Day to Die in `Star Trek: Klingons’ One-Shot
by Tom Smithyman
The Klingons have always been a favorite of Star Trek fans. This oversized one-shot explores the history of one of the most famous Klingons, Kahless the Unforgettable. Great visuals at tons of action propel the story of young warrior seeking to unite his people – through battle and honor.
The Klingons of Star Trek have consistently been the franchise’s most intriguing characters. Introduced in the Cold War-era original series, Klingons were often a stand-in for the Russians – human-like villains with dirty faces to distinguish themselves (usually) from the upright Federation. But it was in Star Trek: The Next Generation when the species finally got its due. Writers introduced interesting backstories and fascinating characters, and, of course, made them a Federation ally.
IDW Publishing’s oversized one-shot Star Trek: Klingons explores a key moment in Klingon history through the eyes of their greatest warrior, Kahless the Unforgettable. In this story by writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, a newly enlightened Kahless slays his cowardly brother Morath and seeks to teach his people about the meaning of honor. But since this is a story about Klingons, most of the teaching happens on the battlefield.
Artist Timothy Green II delivers strong visuals as Kahless progresses along his hero’s journey. He meets – and subsequently kills – a variety of Klingons as he seeks to unit his species under the flag of honor. Green does a good job of creating each character’s look and demonstrating their ferocity. Clearly we’ve come a long way from the dirty-faced bad guys.
The many, many fighting scenes involving Klingon melee weapons, are eyepopping, but never devolve into gore. Green’s primary cover for the book – which illustrates the young warrior and his older, more grizzled self – is simply awesome.
While the main story is straightforward enough, it does get a bit muddled with flashbacks that show a younger Kahless and his family. Instead of moving the narrative forward, these scenes from the past get in the way and only confuse the reader. Also, the concept of honor – a key part of Klingon tradition codified by Kahless – feels underdeveloped. Honor is a word that Kahless throws out every so often, but more can be done with it to better explain the warrior’s motivations.
IDW plans to follow up Klingons with a book about Ferengi in April. That will be more of a challenge, but this series of one-shots is off to a good start.
Star Trek: Klingons will be available for purchase on February 23, 2022.