This is how to write female characters – Star Trek #30

Cat Staggs cover for this issue is simply beautiful.

Cat Staggs cover for this issue is simply beautiful.

As I mentioned in my review of Star Trek #29, I was apprehensive about reading this storyline because Kirk being a voracious lover means there’s often a very good chance that a female version of him will be played like a stereotypical slut.

Thankfully, IDW’s Star Trek #30 plays Jane Kirk in a far more suitable manner – that of a competent captain who just happens to be female. This is how you write female characters, guys!

Mike Johnson’s script is fast-paced, as would be expected of a story where there are just over 20 pages to wrap up a plot the previous issue spent its entire time setting up. It’s also funny and features great characterisation. I would not mind seeing more from this majority-female crew in the future, they really seem like a cool bunch of characters.

As plots go, there isn’t an awful lot here, but that doesn’t stop the adventure being an enjoyable one. A longer series would have been nice – three or four parts would have left space for some deeper interactions between the two crews – but what we get still manages to run along at a swift pace, and be fun to boot.

The interactions between the two Spocks (who are so hilariously identical) is brilliant, as is the way in which the two Kirks put aside their subtle differences in command strategies for the sake of their crews. Popping in some cameos from other universes here and there was also much appreciated – not just for comedy value but also because I could practically hear fans of the original Star Trek timeline cheering enthusiastically as I read the story.

Art-wise, Yasmin Liang’s clean line work lends itself perfectly to the modern Star Trek universe. Everything looks wonderfully clean and sharp.  The two crews sharing the same facial features is a really nice touch Liang’s artwork manages to pull that off while feminising the new crew enough that they look realistic (without resorting to turning everyone into anorexic teen space whore fan art).

Zac Atkinson’s colours fit the art perfectly, although I could have done without the lens flares. Still, I think we have to blame J.J. Abrams for that enormous faux pas and at least Atkinson doesn’t overdo it. Let’s just say it fits with the modern Star Trek universe and leave it at that. Lens flares aside, the art all looks brilliant.

Star Trek #30 is well worth the read. The characters are brilliant, the story is well structured and although I could have happily read a third or even a fourth part, what we have here is an excellent example of how to write gender-flipped characters. Stay true to the core personality and motivation of each character and you can’t go far wrong.

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