Advance Review: Spock’s In Trouble In `Star Trek – Strange New Worlds – The Illyrian Enigma’ #3
by Tom Smithyman
This strong series take a seemingly unnecessary left turn courtesy of some bizarre time travel. In the process, it shifts the story away from the direction it was traveling and focuses the tale on an odd plot involving ancient Vulcans.
Captain Christopher Pike seems to have trouble hanging onto his officers. The commander of the USS Enterprise initially lost his first officer Una Chin-Riley in the season finale of streaming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Now Spock has been kidnapped. It’s a wonder people want to serve with him.
And yet, here he a, just a few years before Jim Kirk takes over the ship’s center chair, cruising around the galaxy trying to get his crew back together. The problem in finding Spock – and the main issue with the story’s current chapter – is that the science officer is no longer in our time. Spock has been somehow sent back to ancient Illyria, before the planet’s atmosphere turned corrosive and send the population to the stars.
This limited series has been great, so far, but it feels like it’s taken a misstep by focusing too much of Spock’s out-of-time adventures. While any chance to see a bear-like Vulcan sehlet – last witnessed in the 1970’s animated series – is a welcome one, the story loses momentum here.
It’s a rare miscalculation from a strong writing team of Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson. Beyer is a writer for the streaming show and Johnson is a long-time Trek comics scribe. So the first half of this four-part series could easier fit into an episode on Paramount+. The time-skipping, though, feels like a unnecessary distraction from better things. Still, this issue does treat us to Pike being Pike – and that is almost always a very good thing.
Artist Megan Levens again nails the look of the characters we’ve come to know. While her style isn’t overly detailed, she’s able to get the point across in each panel.
With just a single issue left in the series, hopefully the creative team will refocus the story and bring it to a satisfying ending.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – The Illyrian Enigma #3 will be available for purchase tomorrow.