Behind on Star Trek: Boldly Go? Catch up on what’s been happening with our review of I.D.I.C. Part 5.
Star Trek: Boldly Go‘s ambitious six-issue arc has finally come to a close, and it’s a mostly satisfying finale.
To recap: multiple versions of the Enterprise were thrown into each other’s universes, where several versions of Kirk were killed. Who was responsible? Gary Mitchell, a former Starfleet member turned evil quasi-god, who wanted to destroy Kirk. The penultimate issue capped off with a surprising move from Mitchell: he gave Kirk the same god-like abilities so they can showdown as equals.
As predicted, it doesn’t go down quite exactly as Mitchell would have liked.
The two are playing a game of galactic chess, quite literally moving different Starships and team members throughout the universe, which gives us a chance to drop back in on the different worlds and see what’s surmised.
Back on the Khan-ruled planet, there’s a rebellion from the slaves and Khan’s guards, including her tigers, are slaughtered. Poor tigers! They didn’t know any better. The mastermind behind it is Klingon-Kirk, who has a confrontation with Human-Grayson. The two acknowledge in other worlds they seem to be friends, but don’t see how it could ever happen between the two of them.
Plant-Kirk is alive, but barely, and is being resuscitated by Bones, while female-Spock assists Vulcan-Spock against the Romulans.
Kirk seems to be moving his chess pieces together for a reason: He knows how his crew works and who has the skills needed to help save each situation. Mitchell seems unimpressed and continues to underestimate Kirk, thinking he doesn’t have the brains win. Kirk gets checkmate, however, by bringing all the ships and all the crew together to where he and Mitchell are, ready to let them all kill him so that Mitchell wouldn’t win.
And that’s it! Everything reverts back to normal, and no one seems to have any knowledge of what just happened except for Kirk. Mitchell wouldn’t let Kirk sacrifice himself so ended the game, and lets Kirk know that he’s still out there and could come for him at any time.
What I liked most about this ending is how it used Kirk’s strengths as captain — he is clever and intelligent, even if a lot of Star Trek stories seem to prefer to portray him as a rogue. Kirk outwits Mitchell by fully understanding who all the people in the game really are, from his crew members to Mitchell himself. While Mitchell underestimates Kirk’s intelligence, Kirk knows Mitchell’s strengths and weaknesses and is able to accurately predict his pride wouldn’t let him win a fight by default.
Ideally, I’d like to have seen more of Kirk’s strategies playing out. He is able to move crew members to where they need to be but that sequence moved rather quickly. It would have been nice to see more of how each person was integral to the scenario and really highlighted how well Kirk knows his friends.
Also, I expected a little more from Grayson and Klingon-Kirk. Their conflict was the first alternate-universe we were introduced to in the arc, and it would have been nice to see a stronger resolution. While they acknowledged other versions had been friends, they still doubled down on their hatred for each other. Grayson in particular had seen other Kirk’s being noble and heroic — even if he’s suppressed his Vulcan logic, he can put his stubbornness aside for a second and accept that maybe he and this Klingon-Kirk could have been friends, if only things had gone another way. But maybe we’re keeping that door open for another arc!
Overall, ‘I.D.I.C.’ was a success. The story keeps you guessing and doesn’t lose momentum over the six issues. Part 6 took all the buildup from the past five issues and brought us to a satisfying conclusion where Kirk got to shine as the leader he is, and what more could you ask for?
Star Trek: Boldly Go #18 is now available from IDW Publishing.