Writers: Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott
Art: Derek Charm
We are less than a month away from the 50th anniversary year of Star Trek. There will be plenty of celebrations, commemorations and tributes, all culminating in the summer motion picture Star Trek: Beyond. This is the perfect time for IDW Publishing (the distributor of the family of Trek comic titles) to strike when the iron is hot. I had the opportunity to review the latest limited run title from writers Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott, Starfleet Academy #1.
The story begins with the future crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise still in the academy, with Uhura obsessed with a distant signal that she discovered during her studies in the long range sensor lab. Over dinner with her secret beau, Spock, she exclaims that she wants to explore it further by being allowed to access the sensor equipment on Mars Spock uses this time to announce that they should break up as to not cause a conflict of interest. Understandably upset, she is further bothered by Cadet Kirk, who tries to seize the chance to ask Uhura out, but to no avail.
While it is interesting to see the well known characters still in school, I was most intrigued when the book shifts 3 years into the future and we are introduced to T’Laan, a Vulcan cadet who is having a crisis of conscience. Since the destruction of Vulcan, she has been torn to remain in Starfleet or to return to the new Vulcan colony to assist in the stabilization of the Vulcan species. She decides to have a meeting with Professor Trumble, who convinces T’Laan to delay her resignation until she has competed in the Centennial celebration of the Inter-Academy Exploratory Competition. She joins the team of humans Lucia Gonzales and Ni Men Ho, An Andorian named Shev, and alien Vel K’Bentar.
Johnson and Parrott have created an engaging story. They smartly begin the narrative with the familiar before venturing into the unknown. By starting off with Uhura, Spock and Kirk, it allows the reader to settle in and become easily engrossed into the adventures of the cadets. Derek Charm’s artwork is excellent as usual, I love the lines and shadowing he uses. It might not be up to the lofty standards of his work on Samurai Jack, but his work is excellent just the same.
Even though Starfleet Academy is a limited run title, if future issues continue to be done right, the possibilities for a larger shoot off with these characters are endless.
4.5 Parrises Squares out of 5