Villordsutch reviews Star Trek: Year Five: Valentine’s Day Special…
The idea of bringing together Valentine’s Day and Star Trek may, like myself, fill you instantly with sickening dread. When Star Trek: Year Five: Valentine’s Day Special was dropped through my virtual letterbox, with a love heart in the top left corner of the cover and both Kirk and new found love interest – wrapped in his arms – I instantly thought, ‘Well…this isn’t for me!’. However, come the close of this IDW Publishing Star Trek special a very well known expression sat somewhere with a smug grin across its face.
With Captain Kirk lamenting his dislike for shore leave to an empty chair, previously occupied by a bored sick Dr. McCoy, he’s soon joined by Laura Horne, a fellow Starfleet Captain. Their romance is off to a whirlwind start with the kidnapping of an Ensign and we follow their sporadic meetings (defending space convoys, tackling Romulans etc.) as their romance blooms.
Eventually Marriage is proposed and with an answer not given instantly (it’s over a month until the other even approaches with a response) their relationship rapidly goes sour, leading to both parting ways with a broken-heart via transporter. What they don’t know is just around the corner a cataclysm event is approaching, which will leave the question unanswered rather painful for both.
As said near at the opening of this review I was honestly not expecting much from a Valentine’s Day Special. If anything, I’d been expecting nothing more than, “Fluff! Love! More Fluff! Star Trek! Spock! Love stuff! Fluff!”. Instead Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, Fantastic Four) has truthfully delivered something rather worthwhile for Valentine’s Day, a love story that isn’t coated in saccharin. We all know Kirk is a bit of “Ladies Man”, but when it goes wrong for Kirk – think Edith Keeler – you can’t help but feel for the Captain and here Paul Cornell has tapped into that vein of heartbreak and struck gold.
What’s also done well is the use of other Star Trek characters throughout this issue. From Spock and McCoy giving advice in love, this alone is somewhat amusing (you have to read it to see why). Uhura being the first to hear of the Captain’s promotion to Admiral and Kirk seeking marriage advice from a past love, that being Dr. Carol Marcus, Paul Cornell certainly knows how to push the story along using the Trek universe.
It also needs to be said that the excellent art and colours from Christopher Jones and Charlie Kirchoff are just perfect for this special. It has – though please don’t take this as an insult – a slight look of the Star Trek: Animated Series to it. The great bold palette with the well defined characters, ships and locations makes this issue really stand out. The combination of Cornell, Jones and Kirchoff are clearly perfect for future Star Trek releases.
If like myself you’re not a big lover of Valentine’s Day and considered giving this a miss don’t. It’s certainly not all “Fluff’n’Stuff” – if anything it’s a tale of a Captain lost to both love and to Starfleet.