Writer: Paul Cornell, Artist/Cover: Christopher Jones, Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff, Letterer: Neil Uyetake.
IDW created a surprise/extra/special issue just for Valentine’s Day featuring a Captain Kirk love story titled “Captains of Sea and War.”
Kirk and crew are on shore leave on a beautiful planet where other starship crews are also vacationing. Kirk is approached by a very straightforward fellow Captain named Laura, who isn’t intimidated by Kirk’s notoriety and resume. Artist Christopher Jones gives her a mocha-skinned Marla McGivers appearance.
There are lots of small things to enjoy and appreciate in the pages that follow by writer Paul Cornell. Like signaling a bartender from afar and having your drink order beamed to your table. Or the McCoy wingman protocols. Or Kirk grinning his way through a phaser battle. Or the meaning of the word “confer.” Or the conversations that only another Captain can relate to. “Noted, adored, and ignored, Commander.” Cornell gives each character memorable and humorous dialogue.
The rest of the story covers Kirk and Laura re-entering each others lives in unexpected ways through the nest few years, always picking up where they left off, sharing common interests, and developing an unspoken rapport that translates well into battle strategies. It appears Kirk has met his soulmate. His five-year mission is ending soon; could he actually consider settling down? Every Trekker knows how this will end, but it’s still very dramatic to read and see unfold.
There have been several excellent artists on Star Trek: Year Five so far, but only one has passed my “Kirk & Enterprise” art test so far…until now. Kirk/Shatner’s likeness has been notoriously difficult for the majority of Trek artists to capture over the decades, and Stephen Thompson knocked it out of the park in issue #2, as I wrote in my review of that issue. Christopher Jones does spectacularly well capturing Kirk/Shatner’s likeness here; I think he nailed every attempt, even to the point of accurately depicting how Shatner/Kirk looked during season three of The Original Series (a bit heavier and rounder in the face) and in The Motion Picture era. He also admirable captures Spock and McCoy’s likenesses equally well. I get a Steve Rude vibe here and there, which is a very good thing.
IDW Comics’ very romantic and touching Star Trek: Year Five Valentine’s Day Special is available February 12, 2020.