With the second season of Star Trek: Picard having drawn to a close recently, viewers were given an insight into Jean-Luc Picard’s backstory, taking us back to his childhood, showing a traumatic event which had remained long-since buried, and in the process helping the Admiral to heal himself and come to terms with his past.
IDW’s Star Trek: The Mirror War also gives us the chance to look back into Picard’s history, albeit the bewhiskered, evil version of the familiar character, from the ‘Mirror Universe’. In his latest issue, we get to see Picard having something of a reckoning with a figure with whom he has a long – and not always amiable – association, and has already crossed paths with earlier in the run, with Picard set on making sure things will come to a conclusion once and for all.
Writers Scott and David Tipton let us glimpse something of this alternative Picard’s background, in the hope of making him into more than just a ranting, impulsive maniac, which is how he has often come across, shooting first and thinking later. We know how our Picard is a man of intellect as well as introspection, and while we might not expect this variant of Picard to possess much of the latter, his caprices and drives have somewhat hampered his use of the former.
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Finally, however, Picard seems to be using more of his guile, and rather than acting like some blunt instrument hell bent on using physical over intellectual muscle, he now appears to be successful in keeping more of his rasher instincts in check. While still undeniably brutal, ‘Mirror’ Picard is using more of his tactical thinking, and acting as though he has a strategy, rather than just aiming to crush any opposition through use of sheer brute force alone. At last, we actually have the first glimmerings of some hidden depths to the man.
Our Captain is not the only one to shine in this issue, as his enforcer in the form of Deanna Troi gets some moments of her own in which to excel. Like Counsellor Troi, this Deanna helps people to get in touch with their pain; unlike our Troi, however, she is actually the cause of it in the first place. This is a very BDSM-inspired take on Deanna, with our Inquisitor having a sadistic streak, and sporting a very fetish-type look (good to see this Troi is not one for following uniform codes either).
While Picard is slowly but surely drawing his plans, making a power play by assembling a very impressive and formidable armada of ships, the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance is growing increasingly suspicious of what he is doing tactically, having seen signs that he is changing his approach. All of this looks to be culminating in what should promise to be a conflict of major proportions, suggesting that a devastating campaign awaits them in the next chapter of the story.
The Mirror War artist Gavin Smith has been delivering some impressive spreads so far, but if the scale of the forthcoming battle – if not war – lives up to what appears to be promised, the Tiptons will certainly be calling upon Smith to pull out all the stops.
Star Trek: The Mirror War #6 is out now from IDW Publishing.