Star Trek – Captain’s Log: Jellico

I’m looking back at IDW’s Captain’s Log series, which included Pike, Sulu, Harriman and Jellico. The latter of the group, is what I’m reviewing today.

Star Trek – Captain’s Log: Jellico
Published by: IDW Publishing

Written by: Keith R.A. DeCandido

Art and cover by: J.K. Woodward

Lettered by: Chris Mowry

Edited by: Scott Dunbier

Release date: October 2010

OVERVIEW: Captain Edward Jellico welcomes his new first officer, Commander Leslie Wong, aboard the U.S.S. Cairo, which is patrolling the Solarion System. While acclimating herself to Jellico’s rigid command style, Wong’s mettle is tested when a Cardassian ship breaks the treaty Jellico helped to negotiate, with an incursion into Federation space near the Campagna Station.

THE STORY: First, let me say, I’m a huge Keith DeCandido fan. However, I was a bit disappointed with this issue in the Captain’s Log series. Oh, Keith does a tremendous job of writing Jellico as the pompous, arrogant, micro-managing bully, that he is; but, don’t misconstrue that – I LIKE Captain Jellico. What I’m saying is, this just seemed like a rehash of the The Next Generation episode ‘Chain of Command’ – sans the TNG crew. (Note: According to the stardate at this issue’s opening, this story takes place prior to the above-mentioned episode.)

I would have liked something new, something original; I would have loved to have seen a side of Edward Jellico that we’ve never seen before. Maybe, placing him in a situation that was out of his element and showing us his vulnerabilities; having the fate of his crew fall on his shoulders, forcing him to think outside of the box to save his ship. A Q story would have been awesome!

On that note, even Leslie Wong came across as stereotypical; cowed, overwhelmed, fearful to take a stand; and I took issue with her handling an officer on the bridge in an insulting way. I would have liked to have seen Wong get in Jellico’s face, instead (much the way Riker will in ‘Chain of Command’) and set Jellico to task for being a domineering jerk; or maybe – having her save the day, in my aforementioned sugggestion, knocking Jellico down a peg or two. 

Yet, she does have a moment to shine, thus winning Jellico’s respect (albeit, because she follows his unyielding protocols); but, in the end, she wins her place aboard his ship and with its crew, as well.

THE ART: As always, JK Woodward shows the reader why he’s an ever-growing phenom in the comic-book industry. While there were some inconsistencies with likenesses and facial expressions from afar, he manages to still wow us with his tremendous talents.

Once again, I’m blown-away with the detail that JK puts into his panels; whether it’s a computer screen on Jellico’s desk, the lighting on the bridge’s ceiling, a turbolift shaft or Jefferie’s tube, to the way Jellico steeples his fingers on the bridge; even the placing of the various aliens he’s used amongst the Cairo’s crew. In this case, I’m referring mainly to the Edoan helmsman, Riik, and Soryk, the Vulcan, at navigation.

It’s always a thrill to see JK’s exteriors and battle scenes, and there are many in this issue. From the opening, with Wong rendezvousing with the Cairo, to  the initial confrontation with the Cardassians, and finally, ending up in a firefight at Campagna Station, these panels are terrific!

THE COVER: As he did with Pike, JK Woodward pulls double-duty with Jellico, providing an awesome cover. A beautiful likeness of Capt. Jellico and his duplicitous Cardassian foe, set against a starry nebula background, with the Cairo tearing thru space between them. Out of this four-issue series, JK’s Jellico and Pike are my favorites; hanging proudly on my wall.

OVERVIEW: While the story is good and well-written by Keith DeCandido, it’s not a standout. As I said, I wished we could have gotten something with more imagination – Jellico facing the Borg, or a fleet of Romulans, being put in a no-win scenario. The art by JK is fantastic, though – despite a few flaws with characters and blurry images, but otherwise, I was impressed. And, Chris Mowry does a great job of lettering, keeping the story and panels moving along. My overall thoughts at the end were: Why? What was the point of this rehash? 

SIDE NOTE: There is a Deep Space Nine connection in this issue. Can you figure it out? 

‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’

Lt. Eric Cone 

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