Star Trek: Day Of Blood #1 – Comic Review

Anyone who considers themselves a fan of comic books will no doubt get a special thrill, that certain little frisson, from characters who share the same fictional universe turning up in each other’s titles, building that sense of continuity and unity. And then, of course, there are the big, epoch making special events which happen periodically.

Just look, for example, at Marvel’s Secret Wars, or at DC’s Crisis On Infinite Earths (although in the now almost four decades since that debuted, the DCU appears to have seen more major crises occur than the current Tory government, which is certainly no mean feat). On rare occasions, DC and Marvel have even crossed the great rivalry divide, and had their heroes and villains meeting up. Of course, the thrill of the crossover has spread beyond the printed page, spilling over into live action, thanks to the DC Extended Universe, as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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For followers of Star Trek (be they Trekkie, Trekker, or non-denominational aficionados), seeing characters from across the franchise crossing paths has been a thing for them also, going all the way back to 1987, as an aged Leonard H. ‘Bones’ McCoy trod the newly-carpeted hallways of the Enterprise-D in the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation. After that first ever instance, it seemed possible (not to mention highly desirable) to see all the crews boldly going into each other’s territory, whether it be via time travel, flashbacks, or even Holodeck simulations.

In recent years, the sophomore Star Trek: Discovery season saw the pre-Kirk crew of the original Enterprise show up, in a move which saw them getting their own show, in the form of Strange New Worlds. In turn, Captain Pike is about to get his own visit from another Trek property, in the shape of Lower Decks’ Mariner and Boimler, transferred to live action. There are, it seems, near-infinite combinations of ‘mix and match’ Trek overlaps, and this has now culminated in Star Trek: Day Of Blood from IDW, which the publisher is describing as “The first ever Star Trek comic book event!”.

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The storylines of IDW’s lead Star Trek title – focusing on the crew of the USS Theseus under Captain Benjamin Sisko – and Star Trek: Defiant – which has our Mr. Worf in charge of that tough little ship – finally intersect after many months of the careful build up laid out by the writers Christopher Cantwell, Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing. With so many varied Trek era-spanning characters cropping up, the natural concern is inevitably going to be over how each of them will manage to get enough of the spotlight to justify their presence, which is an issue that has at times dogged the storyline in each of the separate titles.

It seems that Cantwell, Kelly and Lanzing are mindful of this when putting this issue together, as we have multiple pages devoted to the kind of furious sniping and bickering which is usually reserved for when the various Doctor Whos (or is the correct phrase ‘Doctors Who’?) get together. This certainly is a ragtag, assorted bunch of people, forced together by sheer circumstance, and – as with Doctor Who – it only happens in the gravest of emergencies that these fictional streams are crossed so dramatically. With that in mind, any differences or disagreements are rapidly buried, as the unlikely cohorts have to get back to the task in hand.

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And just what a task it is: stopping Klingon Emperor Kahless II from setting his people on a warlike path which will blaze a trail of devastation across the galaxy. With Qu’noS erupting in chaos and cities across the Klingon homeworld falling, the stakes could simply not be higher, as the combined efforts of our gallant crews aim to try and turn the tide. It really is epic, grand scale action taking place, with artist Ramon Rosanas more than up to the task of capturing it all, and it makes you wonder how they manage to pack so much into each page of this issue. One image – depicting an array of Klingon vessels framing a dagger held aloft – is simply stunning.

Day Of Blood promises much, and hopefully all the creative talent involved will be able to pull off delivering something both satisfying and spectacular, now that they have lit that blue touch paper. Star Trek may only have the one Earth, but the ensuing crisis here is threatening to be no less dramatic or severe, regardless of whether it ever reaches there.

Star Trek: Day Of Blood #1 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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