Gender politics, for the most part, is always something STAR TREK got right. Casting Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura made sure there was a regular female presence on the bridge, and with recurring characters in Yeoman Janice Rand and Nurse Christine Chapel there was no shortage of women on the Enterprise. Some of the outfits may have been pretty revealing, but this was the sixties, after all.
IDW Publishing’s PARALLEL LIVES, reverses the gender of the entire original crew, introducing fans to Captain Tiberia Jane Kirk. Uhura is replaced by Nnamdi Uhuro, naturally.
While it’s hard to get overly exciting about what appears little more than fan fiction, the two-parter is not without its merits. Described as "attention-grabbing and slightly weird, in the tradition of the more daring original episodes" by writer Mike Johnson, the comic is sure to raise a few pointy eyebrows.
A woman was put in the captain’s seat in the divisive spin-off VOYAGER, and both THE NEXT GENERATION and DEEP SPACE NINE were populated by influential and powerful woman. Sexuality was one of the last frontiers the show never explored in any great depth, and that would have made for a more progressive read. While the comic is an interesting enough addition to a densely-populated medium, it’s hard to kick up much of a fuss in 2014. Having been received warmly by most fans and praised by a Trekkie feminist, it must be worth a read.
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