January 28, 2023
Comic Review | Star Trek: Starfleet Academy

A new group of intrepid cadets sets out to win a scavenger hunt…but encounter a one-hundred-year-old mystery along the way.

Cadet Nyota Uhura was proving herself months before the events shown to us in Star Trek (2009). In Starfleet Academy, Uhura discovers a long-distance cry for help in the long-range sensor lab. When she tries to investigate, however, she finds herself blocked by red tape. She’ll need the help of Pavel Chekov, Jim Kirk, and Commander Spock to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy | Written by Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott, Art by Derek Charm

Three years later, Cadet T’Laan is leaving Starfleet to help rebuild her people on New Vulcan. Or at least, that’s what she thinks she’s doing when she enters her advisor’s office. When she comes out, though, she’s been enrolled in the Inter-Academy Exploratory Competition as part of Starfleet Academy’s centennial celebration. T’Laan joins her team and sets out on a scavenger hunt around the quadrant. The group takes a short cut only to find themselves literally trapped in Uhura’s ancient mystery.

A ‘Star Trek’ feel

The comic weaves the two storylines together seamlessly enough. It’s a nice surprise how they come together in the end. It’s not shocking how T’Laan’s story ends, but it’s done so well that it brought tears to my eyes to see how friendship and belonging envelope her.

The characterizations of our favorite Kelvin Timeline heroes are spot on, with Uhura finally getting her fair share of attention and appreciation. In a twist, the new characters outshine them. Getting the internal monologue of a Vulcan woman was a nice treat. T’Laan’s group of friends was refreshingly diverse. It reminded me of how easy it is to include many different identities in science fiction. In fact, it’s pretty inexcusable to fail to do so apart from extenuating circumstances. I was especially pleased to see a character wearing technologically advanced leg supports. There’s never an explanation as to why Grace Chen needs them, but in a way, I like that it’s not even something worthy of acknowledgement.

Writers Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott did a masterful job weaving emotion and that Star Trek feel into the series. Combined with Derek Charm’s sharp and peppy art, I was transported into the imagined, idealistic version of our future. The tenderness and optimism had me tearing up by issue 5. It’s a great short series for any Trek fan.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy by Mike Johnson, Ryan Parrott, and Derek Charm is published by IDW Publishing and is available to buy NOW!


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Katarina Schultz is the Features Editor for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars, Star Trek, and Marvel fan. Follow her on Twitter @asuperhumanlife where she uses the force frequently!


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