REVIEW: Star Trek Picard: Countdown
Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13
Writer: Kirsten Beyer, Mike Johnson
Art: Angel Hernandez
Colors: Joana LafuenteLetters: Neil Uyetake
Cover: Michael Pangrazio, Sara Porte-Durocher
Editor: Chase Marotz
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: 3.7Interior Artwork: 3.9
Cover Artwork: 4.0Dialogue: 3.7
About the Book:
Set between Star Trek: Nemesis and the Chris Pine reboot. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard is leading the efforts to evacuate the worlds that will be affected by the pending Romulan supernova that will eventually take place. While on the planet Yuyat Beta, Picard makes a discovery that delays the process and causes a few issues in the evacuation. That will end up with two Romulan survivors taking up residence in his home in France, on Earth.
Star Trek, like Star Wars, is a multifaceted universe. Sometimes when telling a story, the multiple medium types collide with each other, sometimes they do not. In the case of this book series, it is a case of mediums colliding. The story is a prequel story to the highly rated Star Trek Picard, that just finished on Paramount+.
One of the collisions come from a more interactive source, the game Star Trek Online. The uniform they are all wearing in this series is at the very least, a modification of an existing uniform from the game.
The other thing that I noticed, is that the ship that Picard commands, is in fact a ship from the game itself. Which is an Odyssey class vessel that was fan created and voted upon when the game asked the player base to design the next Enterprise. Which in Season 3 is why the Enterprise-F is in fact an Odyssey class vessel.
That said, the ship is also in the paramount+ series, as well as the uniforms in flashbacks, if memory serves. While all that back story may or may not seem relevant, I find it to be something to keep in mind as I read the story, as I enjoy the use of the game.
The story itself shows Picard as he orbits the Romulan planet Yuyat Beta, trying to save the Romulan population from the predicted catastrophic supernova, which is referenced in the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise.
When he arrives and begins meeting and examining the colony, he discovers that the Romulan colony is using the native species for labor purposes, which adds the complication of not being prepared for the additional species and a confrontation of will’s ensues as the Romulan Ambassador hopes that Picard will change his mind.
By the end of the story we discover how two Romulans, by the name of Laris and Zhaban ended up at Picard chateau in France. Leading right into the season 1 start of the Picard series.
I always enjoy back stories like this that have a direct connection to other mediums, whether it be a tv show, or an online game. It adds depth to the other medium in a way that others can’t experience, unless they absorb the content that is offered in other places.
Knowing the backstory of the Odyssey class vessel like I do from that game, gives my gaming heart a little jump as I like seeing it being integrated into the visual cannon, especially since the game itself went to great steps to try and explain what happened with various characters and location in what became known as the prime universe. Especially since the start of the game is just after the events of the supernova and the disappearance of Ambassador Spock.
The artwork is a separate thing entirely. The cover art on all the books looks like something that can easily be turned into a poster and exquisite in appearance. Highlighting the uniform of the time frame and showing in great detail Picard front and center the covers are also great reflections of the stories attached to them.
The interior artwork is very well done, and has great resemblances of the character they portray, making you feel like you’re essentially watching another episode or movie. The scenery for the planetary appearances match the same detail adding to the aesthetic of it all.
The collaboration of all the sources that went into this book series adds to the overall experience to make this series a great series, and then seeing the backstory about 2 characters who later appeared in the live action series added more depth to the existing story.
If you are a fan of Picard at all I highly recommend that you pick up this book series, and dive into the back end of Picard. As gives more understanding to where things are at the start of season 1 of the series on paramount+.
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