Shifting 6,658 copies in November 2017, at least according to Diamond Comic Distributors, Issue Fourteen of “Star Trek: Boldly Go” focuses upon the intriguing possibility that the U.S.S. Enterprise’s captain was actually born a girl rather than a boy, and made it to Starfleet Academy only after her “dad did his best to raise me on his own”. Unfortunately however, rather than flesh out Jane Tiberius Kirk in the same way as he did the commanding officer’s Klingon incarnation within this story-arc’s previous instalment, Mike Johnson instead disappointingly leaves the fact that the space explorer is simply a female doppelganger of the Kelvin timeline’s character at that.
Indeed, considering that this twenty-page periodical’s Tony Shasteen illustrated cover predominantly features the long-haired brunette, there seems to be a disconcerting lack of background offered regarding the woman’s past or that of her similarly-sexed crew, including the immediately likeable Pavela Chekov, who delightfully stuns the increasingly annoying Simon Grayson in the back whilst making her impressive entry; “Sorry for the surprise, Keptin. But I did not like the look of things… And despite our different realities, you remain my Keptin”. In her place, the “highly imaginative and engaging writer” seemingly prefers to provide an additional example of just how obsessed the one-eyed, Kronos-raised “Orphan” is regarding the destruction of Christopher Pike’s constitution-class starship, and then almost randomly throws in a handful more alternative reality cast members just to add to the confusion.
Debatably so diverse a ‘multiverse’ would ordinarily prove a rather attractive proposition, especially for a science fiction franchise whose own ‘Mirror Universe’ has become so very well established within its canon. But Johnson’s relentless deluge of different personifications, whether they be Commanding Unit JTK-1701, a seemingly pure-born Vulcan Spock, or another of the countless other chronotronic event induced beings, quickly becomes overwhelming and befuddling. In fact, by the time ‘Kelvin’ Kirk, Helm-Unit Sulu-1701 and Pavela begin exploring the outskirts of Queen Khan’s palatial grounds, it is hard to recall what’s occurring to all the other numerous crew-members, or even care.
Just as disconcerting as this comic’s complicated plot though is the publisher’s decision to have Megan Levens pencil this particular part of “Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations”, rather than Josh Hood. Having previously familiarized themselves to this adventure’s enormous ensemble via the American illustrator’s more realistic art-style, it must arguably have taken this book’s readership a fair few panels/pages to re-adjust to the “Buffyverse” artist’s contrasting, clean-lined cartoonish caricatures, and this acclimatisation process unhappily only adds to the tale’s story-telling turmoil.