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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness (Part 3) "Countdown to Darkness" Part 3
Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #3
Story: Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson
Script: Mike Johnson
Artist: David Messina
Cover by David Messina
March 2013


Spock attempts to rescue Sulu and Hendorff from the Shadow forces, while Captain April has plans of his own.


Read the full story summary of this issue at Memory Beta


Notes from the Star Trek Chronology


The 4-part Countdown to Darkness mini-series leads into the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness.


Didja Notice?


The "Story So Far..." paragraph on the inside front cover states that Kirk and his landing party encountered Captain April after responding to a distress signal on Phaedus IV. But there was no distress signal involved in the previous issues. The landing party went down to the planet's surface in a shuttlecraft after the Enterprise is bombarded with high energy transmissions from the surface blocking long range communications and transporter capability.


On page 2, Sulu reveals he's received special dispensation from the captain to carry whatever he needs, in this case a knife hidden in his boot, despite it being a violation of a number of Starfleet uniform and weapons regulations.


On page 7, Uhura remarks to Kirk that Spock, ever since the destruction of Vulcan, keeps risking himself unnecessarily; for example, when the Galileo crashed. The Galileo crashed in "The Galileo Seven" Part 1.


On page 8, Dr. McCoy, currently in command of the Enterprise with the usual command personnel away, remarks that he could just turn the ship around and fly back to Mississippi. Previous stories in the series have revealed that he is originally from that state.


Also on page 8, McCoy is sitting in the captain's chair. In "Countdown to Darkness" Part 2, he chided Uhura for not sitting in it while she was in command, saying, "I would."


On page 11, we see a Klingon tricorder for the first time in the new timeline.


The proxy war being fought on Phaedus IV between the Klingon-backed Shadows and April's minority faction is reminiscent of the Klingon/Federation proxy war fought by the natives of the planet Neural in the original series episode "A Private Little War".


On page 15, Spock remarks that he mistakenly put the needs of the few before the needs of the many. This is from a quote by the Vulcan philosopher Surak, which Spock previously used in The Assassination Game and in the original timeline in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.


On page 18, April commands the Enterprise computer to activate emergency protocol 31 with the password "Caroline". The number 31 might suggest that April is part of Section 31, the covert unit of Starfleet Intelligence seen in episodes of the various Star Trek TV series and which was hinted at in "Return of the Archons" Part 1. It is unknown what significance may lie in April's password "Caroline"; his wife was named Sarah in the ST animated series episode "The Counter-Clock Incident".


On the last page of the issue, what happened to the unconscious bodies of the bridge crew? Suddenly, the bridge seems to be empty except for April and Mudd. 


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