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Star Trek: Mirror Images (Star Trek) Paperback – February 28, 2009
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I also enjoyed the bonus Mirror!Picard. (Though his character design was a little wonky, and I guess they decided to retcon that whole Nemisis thing about him having a disease that made him bald as a youth? Whatever, not really detrimental to his tiny--but fun!--story.)
A final note on the art? They managed to make the fabu gold sashes kinda badass. I was sure that was literally physically impossible, but...they found a way. 'Nuff said, as far as this old Trekkie's concerned.
At first I must admit that I was pretty excited to see this book - I mean, a graphic novel set in the Mirror Universe, what's not to love? For the most part, the illustration work was pretty good. The problem is the story. Keeping Kirk low-key to avoid giving Captain Pike an excuse to strike first at him resulted in a surprisingly low-key story that lacks the suspense and drama that you would normally expect it to have. As such, this story never rises to the heights that it should have.
As an added bonus, there is an extra story included - the story of Lieutenant Jean-Luc Picard's invention of the Picard Maneuver, and his rise to the captaincy of the I.S.S. Starbreaker. This one is actually better than the rest of Mirror Images, and shows what the authors could have accomplished. My only complaint here is that this story is included in the middle of the book as an "interlude," breaking the continuity of an already dragging story.
So, for the most part I did like this story. I just think that it could have been much better, and should have been much better. So, I give this graphic novel a guarded recommendation.
The TNG tale I really enjoyed, as a single-issue story it seemed a lot more focus, it had a story to tell and got on with it. The TOS story on the other hand really seemed to drag on. Each issue of the series seems rather light on content, each with its own little sub-plot building up the series arc, but none of the issues' individual stories felt very big or engrossing. Messina's art is its usual top quality, but there are a lot of big empty panels in this series because there just isn't the story to fill the issues. Overall a disappointment for me. If you like TOS (and Pike, I'd say Pike was the biggest draw for me in the series) and the mirror universe you'll likely enjoy it for what it is.
My biggest complaint was actually the "Interlude" detailing Jean-Luc Picard's rise to the captaincy of the ISS Starbreaker. The story was out-of-place where it was placed in the book itself and, continuity questions aside (when exactly did the Empire fall? Could this story actually have happened in the Mirror Universe continuity?), it just seemed slow and space-filler to me. I enjoyed seeing a later version of an Imperial Starship, but that was about all that appealed to me. The Starbreaker's Vulcan captain's inability to see what was happening to the Empire just didn't seem "realistic" to me (as "realistic" as the whole concept could be said to be). How could someone that was apparently as non-ruthless as that Vulcan rise to the captaincy of an Imperial Starship?
At any rate, the book is worth it for James Kirk's story. I just wish the story could have been longer with more buildup and a better history between Kirk and Pike. That would have earned it five stars, versus the four I'm giving it.