I am so delighted with this issue that I’m not sure I have the words to properly explain why. Like all of the best episodes of Star Trek, Star Trek #30 touches on a serious exploration of a real world issue and has fun the entire time it’s doing so. These examinations of our culture are why I love Trek in the first place, and Star Trek #30 tackles the issue of gender, and all of our modern-day stereotypes of gender, wonderfully.
The crews of two Enterprises from different realities are featured in this issue: one captained by Captain James Tiberius Kirk and the other by Captain Jane Tiberia Kirk. Any member of James Kirk’s crew that’s male is female on Jane Kirk’s crew and vice versa. While the Enterprise crews have a problem to solve in escaping a realm where alternate realities intersect, the biggest question this issue asks is, “How much does our gender affect our identities?” Mike Johnson treats the topic with respect and intelligence, acknowledging that there would be differences—mostly cultural—but, like the previous issue, shows us that personalities are largely unchanged regardless of biology or how someone identifies.
I raved about the art team of Yasmin Liang’s inks and Zac Atkinson’s colors last issue, and Part 2 is no exception. Liang’s designs for Jane Kirk and her crew closely match that of their counterparts of different genders, but each is distinctive enough that if you put any two side by side, it results in a comparison that either Commander Spock would say is, “Fascinating.”
The layout of this issue is phenomenal and combined with Liang’s art does such a wonderful job of telling the story of these two, so similar, crews. The use of mirroring and jumping from the same grouping of characters to continue a similar, but not identical, conversation is brilliantly handled and adds a lot to how this particular story is told.
On top of being a good comic and a good “episode” of Star Trek, Star Trek #30 plays with the universe’s mythology in such a way that I was grinning from ear to ear by the end. This is a fun and intelligently written issue that you don’t want to miss.
Five Shattered Gender Stereotypes out of Five