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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: Never Bet Against the Romulan "Never Bet Against the Romulan"
Star Trek: Nero #2 (IDW)
Story: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Writers: Mike Johnson & Tim Jones
Artist: David Messina
Cover by David Messina
September 2009


Nero and his crew spend 25 years imprisoned on the Klingon prison asteroid of Rura Penthe.


Read the full story summary of this issue at Memory Alpha


Didja Know?


The Nero mini-series did not have individual titles for the four issues. I titled this one "Never Bet Against the Romulan" from a line of dialog in the issue, spoken by a Klingon prison guard of Nero. I also like the phrase in reference to Nero, because it also makes Kirk seem that much more badass when he hands Nero his kiester on a plate near the end of the Star Trek movie ("The Vengeance of Nero").


Didja Notice? 


On pages 1-3, Nero is pitted against a Klingon monster dog similar to the one owned in the original timeline by Commander Kruge in Star Trek: The Search for Spock. References differ as to whether these monster dogs are the same (or related to) Klingon targs seen in a few different episodes of the various ST TV series.


During the above battle between Nero and the monster dog, we see how Nero lost the top of his right ear (as we see him in the majority of the Star Trek movie ["The Vengeance of Nero"]). Throughout the rest of the mini-series the scars from the tooth marks of the monster dog are also visible on the right side of Nero's head.


Page 4 reveals that Nero has made 57 escape attempts from Rura Penthe in the years he's been incarcerated there. He's also killed 22 guards.


On page 8, Clavell remarks that the Klingon guards regard Nero as a demon straight from Gre'thor. Gre'thor is the Klingon version of Hell, as mentioned in the ST-TNG episode "Devil's Due".


Part of the tattoo on Nero's left cheek is missing on page 10, panel 2.


Page 11 reveals that Nero has been able to obtain a drug in prison, meant to ease his mind, that has the unexpected added benefit of opening up the telepathic abilities of his Vulcan forebears. But is this a permanent side-effect? Or does it only last until the drug wears off? It's unclear. "Voyagers" reveals that Nero has honed his psychic abilities during his time on Rura Penthe and it allows him to hear signals from V'Ger as the Narada does.


The name of the three-faced, four-eyed purveyor of contraband in the prison is spelled two different ways in the issue: Quocch and Quochh. According to an article at the end of Star Trek #50, "Continuing Voyages in a Four-Color Frontier", the correct spelling is "Quocch" and it is intended as a play on quattro occhi, Italian for "four eyes".


On page 13, a Klingon guard appears to be receiving contraband tri-ox from Quochh. Tri-ox is a medical compound that rapidly oxygenates blood cells, first mentioned in the original Star Trek episode "Amok Time". Why did the guard want it? Do Klingons gain some kind of high from the excess oxygenation?


On page 12, Nero's thoughts indicate that he thinks the human, Clavell, may be mad. That's ironic coming from Nero!


The Narada is shown to be in orbit around Rura Penthe while the Klingons have tried to decipher its secrets all these years. It seems odd that the Klingon Empire would not have taken it to a more secure and compatible facility for reverse-engineering the ship. 


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