Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Picard: Countdown - Let the Revelations Begin


Next month...Picard.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD...

For now though we get to revel in the buildup which will without question be fired up like a bonfire soaked in petrol through the release of the Countdown series for the upcoming CBS All Access show.

Written by Star Trek comic legend Mike Johnson and novelist turned Discovery scripter Kirsten Beyer, this first 32 pages opens up a few tantalising glimpses into the future beyond the climax of Nemesis and into the Earth years 2385 and 2386.

It's not too much of a giveaway to note that we find out where Geordi La Forge ended up as well as where Picard's career took him once he was off the Enterprise.  Now, the recent Picard exhibition revealed that he was placed on special assignment from the flagship and I would surmise that this is that very mission. Now an admiral, Picard has planted his flag aboard the Odyssey Class USS Verity to spearhead the evacuation of a large section of Romulan space ahead of an impending supernova that will cause mass destruction across the Empire.

Now we know the results of this to some degree from the 2009 reboot but here we get to step back a little further and see the developments to that point and one might hope some of the events that will lead to Picard's departure from Starfleet.

The evacuation of one colony is the starting point here and while I won't go into the twists and turns too much, it's very much keeping in the Star Trek mould from The Next Generation.

There are also a few hints that the Enterprise herself is still out there (but no specifics if it's the E) and we also get to see just how Raffi Musiker and Picard were acquainted before the series.

What of course this will counter is the original Countdown written to link in with the JJ Abrahms reboot if only in regards to uniforms let alone any of the plot points. That was an excellent piece and, from memory, regarded as canon by the movie production. My belief too is that this series of comics will be considered canon given the writing credentials attached to the project and there might be a bit of conflict versus that earlier work.

The choice of the Odyssey Class is an interesting one too, bringing Online into the fold more than ever before and recognising the ship designs as part of this later universe expansion. This could suggest Picard will be taking inspiration from the online game and retroactively tying multiple aspects together and even managing to add in aspects of the bridge design.

Issue one really just sets up the scene and the moral dilemma for Picard with the focus firmly on the Romulan Empire. No hints at the Borg connection so far but as this is only thr beginning I wouldn't be surprised if they, and other The Next Generation alumni, turn up in issue two. Remember too that the Narada from the 2009 movie was outfitted with Borg tech which again would nicely tie into the apparent scope of Picard. 

I've not been a big comic reader for a while (not since the Graphic Novel collection went to four issues per month and priced itself out of my wallet) but this one has to be seen as an essential read prior to January. Something tells me it will dovetail in...

Oh and one more thing - that cover...what the hell is going on with Picard's neck?!

What are you expecting from the comic series ahead of Picard?


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