By Chris Clow
As a huge Star Trek fan, I sometimes find the comics to be lacking the same sense of scope, action, optimism, and adventure that the filmed adventures have, be they television or movies. Given the mass revival of interest in the franchise following the 2009 film, a flood in the comics market by the current holders of the license, IDW, was inevitable. Sometimes, the outings are hit-or-miss. But, every once in awhile, they manage to tell a story that answers questions for longtime fans like me, and has a level of poignancy that I think everybody would be able to sense regardless of your level of Trek-appreciation.
Enter the mini-series Spock - Reflections, focusing on one of my absolute favorite characters in the entire franchise and some unseen adventures of his long life. Now, as a fan, I always prefer the characters, episodes, and films of the Original Series. So, when Star Trek: Generations came out in 1994, six-year old me was utterly crestfallen when my favorite Star Trek hero, James Tiberius Kirk, was killed by a second-rate villain (although played by a first-rate actor) in a situation that didn't warrant his death. But, since that event is firmly a component of the Star Trek canon, one of the things I always wanted to see was Spock's reaction to his friend's revival and "second" death. Reflections manages to give me those moments.
As we learned in a fifth season episode of The Next Generation, Spock has been living on Romulus in the 24th century to work toward the eventual reunification of the Vulcan and Romulan peoples. During a teaching session on Romulus, Spock is handed a message from Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise, informing him of the miraculous return and subsequent death of Captain Kirk after stopping Dr. Soran from destroying the Veridian star. When he learns that there are now physical remains of his friend out in the galaxy somewhere, Spock decides to leave Romulus and embark on a journey to Veridian III, with a final stop on Earth.
During Spock's journey, we are treated to various anecdotes of his life from his childhood under the disciplinary eye of Ambassador Sarek, to his career aboard the Enterprise under Captains Pike and Kirk. The moments shown are some that Star Trek fans have been hinted about in the past, but it's nice to see how Spock's path of solitude and pure logic has led him to where we find him on Romulus, and later in the 2009 film, embracing more of his humanity.
The conclusion to the series has a scene that gives an appropriate finality to the legendary friendship of James Kirk and Spock, and would've made a much more satisfying end than the one given. While I love Star Trek VI, there wasn't a definitive finality to it that closed the book on the cornerstone of the entire mythology of Star Trek, but the final scene in this series gave me a satisfying conclusion to my favorite relationship in science fiction.
David Messina's artwork is very clean and although slightly stylized, the likenesses of each actor that brought each character to life are clear and present. Messina's lines are clean and the emotional center of the book is very apparent, and I think that's saying something considering that the main character in the story is a Vulcan.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series and if you enjoy Spock, the Original Series, and are looking for some interesting anecdotes about Spock's life and a send-off to his most important friendship, Reflections might prove to be a very fulfilling reading. I hope you agree.
GRADE = A