Star Trek 1364: Countdown, Number Three

1364. Countdown, Number Three

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Countdown #3, IDW Comics, March 2009

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

STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last issue)

PLOT: Nero destroys Starfleet ships that have come to help Romulan survivors, and then kills the surviving ruling council of the Senate. The Vault, a secret Romulan base, then outfits his ship with advanced technology, not knowing that he killed the Council and thinking that they need to rebuild the fleet quickly. On Vulcan, Spock and Data have created red matter and Geordi LaForge supplies special ship that can go near the heart of an exploding supernova. Spock volunteers to pilot it. In the meantime, Nero goes on to cut a swath of destruction across all space between Romulus and Vulcan and is finally intercepted by a fleet of Klingon ships commanded by Worf...

CONTINUITY: See previous issues. Nero destroys three Olympic-class hospital ships (All Good Things...). Nero's weapon is revealed to be an icon of the Empire. The tattoos are explained as representing grief. The jellyfish ship makes its first appearance and its creator is Geordi LaForge. This issue explains how a mining ship became so well armed (retroengineered Borg technology has something to do with it). Worf has made it to General in the Klingon Defense Forces.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - What do you mean, we're toying with forces we shouldn't?
REVIEW: Well, we're back to the technobabble where a supernova threatens to destroy the entire galaxy unless "red matter" is thrown into it, creating a black hole. I'm just gonna move on and accept it, because it's part of the movie's plot, but it's still nonsense. Where Countdown does better than the film is in fleshing Nero out. His murderous revenge spree starts here, but more than that, we see how and why he and his ship are like they are at the start of the film. Though he has become the villain of the piece, we're meant to feel sympathy for him, and do. The issue throws in two more TNG guest stars in significant roles, making Spock's ship immediately more resonant. I think that's going to be the legacy of this "official prequel" - it'll make the movie better when I eventually rewatch it, by patching holes and making things more significant. Certainly, Nero is the better for it.

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