Star Trek 1329: Alien Spotlight: Romulans

1329. Alien Spotlight: Romulans

PUBLICATION: Alien Spotlight: Romulans, IDW Comics, February 2008

CREATORS: John Byrne (writer), John Byrne (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (just before Balance of Terror)

PLOT: The Romulan Praetor launches a new ship design with an experimental weapon and a cloaking device. He puts a Romulan commander in charge, destroying his former command, and sends him on a mission of war. The commander is tired of war and sees the young Praetor's aims in a bad light. Consequently, he forbids his own son from coming along and leaves his wife in the dangerous hands of the Praetor. Meanwhile, the Praetor has been secretly negotiating with the Klingons who hope to fleece this upstart of his technology.

CONTINUITY: The Romulans unveil their first cloak-enabled ship, which we see destroyed in Balance of Terror. The Romulan Commander, his Centurion and the well-connected Decius from that episode all appear. This marks the start of the Klingon-Romulan alliance that bears fruit in The Enterprise Incident. The Romulans characters established by Byrne here recur in later IDW series (The Hollow Crown).


PANEL OF THE DAY - They really aren't Vulcans, are they?
REVIEW: John Byrne returns to Star Trek after showing interest in it by working on the Who's Who, and he'll become one of the license's stable writers/artists. What to say about his spotlight on the Romulans? Well, it's all about set-ups. He sets up Balance of Terror. He sets up The Enterprise Incident. And he sets up more of his Romulan stories to come. Sadly, the character you most want to see after this is the unnamed Romulan commander, but we all know he dies in Balance of Terror. The Caligula-like Praetor could be of interest down the line, especially with the Klingons breathing down his neck, while the commander's wife and son could be protagonists in the making, but don't have much dimension at this point. There's certainly an interesting story to be told about early Romulan politics and Byrne will get to tell it. We'll see where it goes. For now, he extrapolates events very well from what we're told on the show, and his art is as good as it's always been.



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