Words: Mike Johnson
Art: Joe Corroney
Published by: IDW
Beginning a new story arc, Operation: Annihilate is based on the last episode in the first season of the television series. Kirk and crew arrive at the Earth colony Deneva to find that a mysterious madness has overtaken the population. This same insanity can be traced from ancient times moving across the galaxy with inexorable purpose bringing one world after another to its knees.
In keeping with this series’ mission operandi, this first part immediately features noticeable deviations from the original television episode. In both, Kirk forms a landing party to investigate the situation on the surface but the composition of the party is markedly different.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the aspect of this series that I am undeniably enjoying the most is Mike Johnson’s re-writing of the female characters. This is most noticeable in the minor characters such as Yeoman Zahra who forms part of the landing party. Like Yeoman Mears in The Galileo Seven, Yeoman Zahra appears to fill a vague secretarial function in the original landing party. She doesn’t have a phaser and doesn’t contribute much to the mission. In part one of the comic re-envisioning however she is something quite different, which is very gratifying to see for a fan who has often felt frustrated by the limited role of women in the 1960s television show.
This month Joe Corroney steps in on pencils and his work is in keeping with the bold style of the series. John Rauch’s colours continue to make this title bright and vivid to look at while the panel arrangements keep the flow of the story fresh and dynamic. One notable detail that particularly pleased me was the holographic model of Archer’s Enterprise NX-01 hanging in young Jim Kirk’s bedroom. Details like this make the series so fun to read. 8/10