Star Trek: Boldly Go #9 and its story have a direct correlation with the cover page. The regular cover artwork has a calming effect with a serene image of Uhura at the forefront. As she looks out into the distance, Spock and other Vulcans stand behind her, as if patiently waiting, expecting something to happen. The nuances of this scene provide a wonderful sense of anticipation for what you’re about to experience as you flip through the pages. George Caltsoudas is the artist for this main cover page, as there are three additional variant covers, and he knows how to translate the story within onto the cover page. Another perfect example of his abilities can be seen in Issue #3, where feelings of anxiety bubble to the surface as the Borg land on an alien planet with dramatic force.
With the stage set and Uhura at the lead of the front cover, the story continues and she takes center stage. Writers Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott collaborate on this story as they focus on Uhura and Spock, and their life on New Vulcan. Although both characters are the only ones we see from the Enterprise bridge crew, this new life on a new planet takes Uhura and Spock in different directions. Spock is asked to join a research expedition, while Uhura will teach at the Science Academy.
Throughout the story, there are several moments of “what just happened?” Johnson and Parrott are able to highlight Uhura’s intelligence as she deciphers subtle remarks made by Spock’s father, Sarek, as he seems to indicate his thoughts on his son’s future. Her ability to understand emotionless, Vulcan responses allows for speculation that Vulcans can, in fact, be indirect and complicated. Another sequence of events, building anticipation like the cover page, are a series of visions that seem to transport Uhura in time or to different locations or both.
Artist Tony Shasteen creates images of a new planet with a seemingly bleak landscape, as constructed skyscrapers are surrounded by desert and plateaus. Colorist JD Mettler generates softer hues that don’t overwhelm any scene, allowing the story to be the primary focus, in most cases. One particular vision Uhura experiences is filled with blazing reds and oranges, further intensifying her feelings as she tries to understand what’s going on, while equally making the reader want to further explore its meaning.
From the beginning of this story, Uhura is the main character, and she takes Star Trek fans for a classic ride. Life for her and Spock is somewhat unclear, as she explores the uncertainties with their relationship and when the Enterprise’s construction will be completed. Life seemed to have purpose, a direction that would never change; however, her life on New Vulcan might change all that she knows.
Star Trek: Boldly Go #9 is a product of IDW Publishing and will be available on Wednesday, June 21, for print and digital release.