Star Trek #5 Review

IDW’s ongoing Star Trek series begins its third story – a reimagining of the first season episode “Operation: Annihilate!”

Star Trek #5

The issue begins with confirmation that this timeline still has Jim Kirk the younger brother of Sam (however he’s been renamed to George).  We learn some of Jim’s early rebellion came from Sam’s departure from his uncle’s home following the death of their father.  Later, as an adult, Kirk and the Enterprise is trying to track down a spaceborne insanity that seems to be jumping from planet to planet and wiping out civilizations.  They head to Deneva when they find a shuttle flying into the system’s star and the pilot rambling on about finally being free.  When they are unable to save the shuttle they go to Deneva where they find the peaceful inhabitants have turned into savage defenders of their planet.  After finding little plasma like creatures that must be the source of the issue, Spock is attacked by one of the things.  They try to find safety and are led underground where Kirk surprisingly comes face to face with his big brother.

This series is simply fun.  I’ve enjoyed each of the issues leading up to this one and this might be one of my favorites of the young series to date.  This seems to have the most separation from its source material so far, but still very familiar.  In the original episode all the early stuff with the crew tracking the mental condition of colonies leading them to Deneva. They find the pilot rambling and turning lucid as he flies his shuttle into the system’s star.  The major difference is the condition of Kirk’s brother and the likely divergence from the original story that should be quite a bit wider than before.

As I said earlier, James Kirk’s brother, in the original canon, was named Samuel.  Like this issue, Kirk didn’t know until Dr. McCoy told him otherwise that Sam had a lab on Deneva.  When Kirk finds his brother, Sam’s dead, but his wife and son were still alive.  With his brother, now named George, still alive, there are a few things that could play out nicely in the next part of the story.  We could see sour feelings between the siblings, or we could be setting up for a heartbreaking conclusion that still sees George dying.  Either way, I’m sure the long standing idea that Kirk’s family is really McCoy and Spock as his blood relatives are all gone will still be in place in this new version.

Another idea that seemed new and I’m not sure I can chalk it up as a positive or a negative was one single frame about halfway through the story.  As Kirk tries to get Spock back to the Enterprise, he tries to contact the ship for transport.  Instead of pulling out his communicator and flipping it open, or using some sort of wrist version of a communicator seen in the first couple movies, Kirk is seen tapping his insignia like Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I’m not sure if this is a mistake or if this is a conscious idea they are positing showing these forms of communicators existed in this era.  It’s kinda funny how such a small frame in the middle of a story stood out and stuck with me like that, but, as a Trek fan, that’s kinda what we do.  We like arguing for or against the minute instead of the big picture.  I just don’t know what side I fall on with this.

Everything aside, the art by Joe Corroney is really nice.  He captures the likenesses of the actors very well – particularly Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban.  Corroney has done a lot of covers for just about all of the IDW published Star Trek series and while this marks his first foray into the interiors of the Trek universe, he does exceptionally well.  Before I realized who he was, I recognized his art from the covers he did before and after seeing he’s done other projects like Star Wars and True Blood, you can see he’s used to depicting actors associated with their franchises.  It’s good to know that he’s got a few more issues coming too.

This series continues to deliver the goods and should be well enjoyed by the vast majority of Trekkies and this issue in particular is perhaps the strongest yet.


Pros Cons
Nice art, nice changes made to an important episode in the series’ history. One little tiny communicator thing has left me wondering if I like this specific change or not.

More Star Trek @



  1. lemarjones says:

    The only thing that has been killing me about the reviews is the constant comparison to the original episodes. That happened nearly 50 years ago. I like the perspective that your knowledge of the episodes gives the review, but talking about Samuel when you should have been talking about George made the review confusing. It also had me thinking to myself, “WHO CARES?!”

    Otherwise, your reviews have been excellent. You actually have me wanting to buy the back issues. I can’t say you have me wanting to get the TV series.

  2. Geoff Arbuckle says:

    Thanks for the comment Lemar. I will admit, your critique of my review has me thinking. Yeah, at the beginning, you can’t help but compare this series to the earlier television series the stories are based on. After reading your comment and thinking about it a bit, I’ll definitely try to simply review the issues on their own merit and keep the comparison to a minimum, if not completely out of the review to begin with.


visit my website

I'm a lifelong geek. I don't hide it. I don't deny it. My true geek love is comics. I love reading them and discussing them. I am definitely much more a Marvel guy than DC, especially when it comes to my favorite, The Avengers. Questions? Comments? Email me at