With this book, IDW boldly goes . . .
This is a storyline that definitely moves ahead, warp factor . . .
Okay, okay, no more cheesy Star Trek clichés. The reality is that Star Trek: Starfleet Academy is a really solid start for a comic book franchise with potential . . . much like the characters introduced by writers Mike Johnson (DC’s Supergirl and Earth 2) and Ryan Parrott (DC Comics Presents and Batman: Gates of Gotham) who both have a rich history writing Star Trek comics.
In ST: SFA #1, which seemingly takes place just after the events at the beginning of the 2009 Star Trek film, we are reintroduced to the new movie’s version of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Chekov. We encounter them in the year 2258 and are then introduced to a new group of cadets (in a storyline that takes place in 2261), led by a young Vulcan named T’laan who is determined to leave the Academy to join the Vulcans who survived the planet’s destruction: Lucia Gonzales, a very confident human; Shev, an ultra-serious Andorian; an alien of undetermined race named Vel K’Bentayr; and another human named Grace Chen.
The latter group are the members of a team competing in the Inter-Academy Exploratory Competition, a Star Trekky Tri-Wizard Cup/Scholarship Bowl thing that pits teams from throughout the Academy and Starfleet against one another while competing in an intergalactic scavenger hunt. It will utilize the physical and intellectual capabilities of all five team members to win.
The story does a nice job of interweaving past and present and will, ultimately, bring the new characters together with the old to create an exciting end, which I am eager to see.
As I mentioned, both Johnson and Parrott have a good deal of experience writing Star Trek stories for this medium, and that shines through in the mannerisms of the characters. They clearly are acting like the folks we know which provides a real comfort level in meeting new characters.
The art from Derek Charm (a wide variety of titles, from Powerpuff Girls to Regular Show, as well as a handful of Disney titles) is really solid. He, too, has experience drawing Star Trek titles, and it clearly shows.
All in all, these are very familiar characters that are being used as a tool to introduce a whole new universe, which I love. If the future delivers the same promise that this first issue does, then we should be excited for what is to come . . . and for the clichés that this title will deliver to Star Trek lore.