826. ...Promises to Keep
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #9, DC Comics, December 1984
CREATORS: Mike W. Barr (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)
STARDATE: 8215.5, immediately after ST III.
PLOT: Following the events of ST III, Kirk and crew leave Vulcan to announce Davis Marcus' death to his mother. They also use this time to reflect on where their careers are now headed. On page 20, we're suddenly in the Mirror Universe as Mirror Kirk attacks Mirror Regula I and his former girlfriend after having killed their son himself...
CONTINUITY: T'Lar discussed the success of Spock's fal-tor-pan. Sarek and Amanda extend their thanks to Kirk. The crew gives the bird-of-prey a good shakedown, which might explain why they're so comfortable with its systems in ST IV. They head for Regula I to tell Carol Marcus her son is dead. A monument for David is erected in the Genesis Cave. Captain Styles and the Excelsior (ST III) are sent after Kirk. This is of course a sequel to Mirror, Mirror.
DIVERGENCES: Tom Sutton refuses to now draw Saavik as Robin Curtis, insisting on the Kirstie Alley model (this actually corrects a divergence made by the films). Captain Styles appears here without a moustache. It's uncertain how Kirk leaving and returning to Vulcan will mesh with the beginning of ST IV. Similarly, the Mirror Universe elements may contradict the story told by Mirror Kira in Crossover.
PANEL OF THE DAY - Batman?
REVIEW: While it seems like ST III flows directly into ST IV, it does create something of an omission in that we never hear from Carol Marcus again. Presumably, Kirk notified her of David's death behind the scenes, but I applaud the comic for providing some proper scenes around the event. In fact, the issue makes a fine, character-driven epilogue to the latest film. The cast gets some rare downtime in which to reflect on their soon to be dead careers, and Kirk contemplates the loss of his son in the wake of a grief stricken Carol's reaction. Small touches like McCoy beaming over with Kirk for moral support are really appreciated. It makes me wonder how much Barr could have known about the follow-up film, since these scenes could just as easily have been used in ST IV. And then when you think it's all a nice quiet issue, there's a cognitively dissonant shot of the Enterprise bearing down on Regula I - is this a flashback of some sort? - and BAM, you realize you're in the Mirror Universe! The Motion Picture Era Mirror Universe! Oh yes.