Star Trek 1363: Countdown, Number Two

1363. Countdown, Number Two

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Countdown #2, IDW Comics, February 2009

CREATORS: Tim Jones and Mike Johnson (writers), David Messina (artist)

STARDATE: 64390.1 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: Captain Data of the Enterprise-E stops the Remans attacking Nero's ship and impounds their decalithium. Together, they head to Vulcan to ask the Science Council to help them make red matter from it. On the trip, Nero studies Federation history, one of the few subjects accessible to him on the Enterprise computer. He learns of Kirk. Though Vulcan isn't receptive, Ambassador Picard has oiled diplomatic gears to get them an audience. The Council refuses to give a potential weapon to the Romulans, and though Spock swears to create the red matter by himself, Nero leaves bitter and angry. He hopes to get home to get his family off-world, but arrives just in time to see Romulus destroyed by the Hobus nova...

CONTINUITY: See previous issue. Data's memory engrams were successfully imprinted on B-4's neural net (Nemesis). Picard is now Federation ambassador to Vulcan.

DIVERGENCES: Though it's possible enough time has passed for sweeping changes in the way Vulcan works thanks to Spock's unification efforts, it is still odd for such an ancient society to suddenly have a Senate and a Praetor like their Romulan cousins.

PANEL OF THE DAY - At some point in the future, one of my favorite websites goes pay-per-view.
REVIEW: There's less technobabble this time around, with the nova's shockwave more explicitly referred to as the threat to Romulus, as opposed to some strange expansive properties of the star. However, Vulcan has gone through a strange political makeover which puzzled me. It's like they arrive at Romulus instead of Vulcan. But that aside, it's a good issue. The writers don't dwell too much on the details of this "8-years-from-now" future, introducing characters naturally and with a minimum of background. It keeps the focus on Nero and Spock, characters from the upcoming film, rather than making it all about this "alternate future". Picard taking an ambassadorship has been foreseen a number of time, and Vulcan seems a good world for someone who's shared Sarek's mind. As for Nero, we see here where he gets his information about Kirk, his grudge against Vulcan and of course, the enormous burden of having survived his race (and family). We knew it had to happen. I'm actually surprised that it happened so soon in the mini-series.

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