IDW Publishing 2015
Written by Mike Johnson & Ryan parrott
Illustrated by Derek Charm
Lettered by Neil Uyetake & Tom B. Long
In the year 2258, Cadet Uhura's investigation into an unusual audio signal from a quarantined region of space has led her and Cadet Kirk to a secret mutiny responsible for the disappearance of the fabled U.S.S. Slayton. Sadly, their discovery has caught the eye of Admiral Marcus and placed Uhura on the edge of expulsion from Starfleet. Three years later, the Centennial Competition continues. Cadet K'Bentayr proved his moral constitution during a medical challenge. T'Laan is bested by the Vulcan delegation during a transporter exercise, causing her to lash out at her teammates and reveal her intention to leave Starfleet. Even with Professor Trumble's encouragement, our cadets are fractured as they depart Earth for the final leg of the competition.
There’s quite a bit happening this issue that is both expected and absolutely shocking to see. I love that because it takes us out of the ordinary and thrusts us into a realm of almost disbelief. Yes the cadets are there to learn to work together and embody what it means to be a member of Starfleet. No ship will consist solely of members of the same race and it’s integral that they learn to coexist and trust one another. That this group is so varied and diverse is one of those things that makes the Star Trek Universe shine brightly.
Yes the focus is on T’Laan and her learning there’s to life than what she’s known. She’s a strong young woman with unlimited potential that in all honesty would not be realized were she to stay with only those of New Vulcan. She’s almost a Spock in training without the half human side. So her journey through this story is one we need to see as she comes to grips with how to shall we say roll with the punches and become more than she ever thought she could be. Still that we also get a good look at her teammates is a wonderful thing. Without them, their actions and their ideas it would be illogical to think she would change her mind.
The characterization here is spectacular. As is what we see when Uhura is called into the Admiral’s office. Though I will say this much that Spock has come to her rescue as it were was noble, nice and shows his feelings towards her I really wish she’d been the one to defend herself and show her intelligence in a manner that would’ve allowed her to triumph. Not going to say she didn’t need the intervention but had she not it would’ve been more character building.
Overall and more so with the way this issue ends we see that there is so much more to the story than we could have imagined from the onset. This is wonderful in terms of seeing how acceptance can work regardless of gender, race, creed etc, but allows us to really get into some of the aspect of the various franchise shows and showcase some instances that tend to define the characters from there on out. I’m anxious for next issue already since there are already a ton of implications on the tip of my brain and seeing what actually occurs and how these young cadets handle it well that’s what makes Starfleet officers.
Derek’s work on the interiors continues to take that all-ages look into the world of Saturday Morning cartoons to new heights. His creativity in the opening and the expressions his characters emote all make me want to see this realized in an animated movie style.
Here’s hoping that this series can be a launching pad for new series under the Star Trek banner expanding the universe and introducing us to characters that showcase how all that matters is the person you are not what you are seen as.