Friday, 3 June 2016

Drawn to the Story: IDW's Starfleet Academy

Welcome to Ian Kimmins from the USS Cuchulain group who joins Some Kind of Star Trek for his first solo post today!

Released by IDW over the last few months is Star Trek Starfleet Academy.

The team behind this particular five issue run are Mike Johnson, Ryan Parrot and Derek Charm. Starfleet Academy is in good hands as lead writer Mike Johnson writes the ongoing series. Be warned of spoilers as we take a quick overview and tour of this miniseries.

The story takes place in two different times; 2258 and 2261. We have the characters we all know and love from the alternate universe plus we get to see some quite interesting new ones!

The story starts off with Uhura in 2258 who is following a strange signal in a restricted sector of space and in 2261 our new characters are participating in the Academy Centennial Games.

Issue two pushes the story on and we get some good character revealing scenes for the cadets. Meanwhile Uhura and Kirk continued to investigate the strange signal. There is some good interchanges between the characters and we see the determination that is the hallmark of the future Enterprise crew. 

In issue three Uhura finally finds out where the signal is from and uncovers what happened to the USS Slayton in the Wagner 219 system. I won't go into much detail on this issue as it contains quiet a lot of spoilers there are some standout moments in here. It's also nice to see that our cadets aren't infallible.

Issue four kicks off with the cadets on the wrong end of a nasty space worm! At this stage they've so far behind in the games they decide to slingshot around an anomaly to gain time. The anomaly is located at Wagner 219 and this is where everything kicks up a notch. We get to see Spock's mentoring of Uhura and how he gets her out of a tricky situation. Admiral Marcus even pops in for an appearance!

Finally we come to issue five and the story wraps up a little to easily and the cadets end up with a medal. Although not having them win the games was a nice touch.

While this story was aimed at a slightly younger audience than normal it is a good read for all ages. The story works well even if you aren't familiar with the characters although you will get more from the story if you do. Special praise should go to Derek Charm who's art on the series gives it that lighter and brighter look compared to Tony Shasteen's work on the ongoing series. 

It is a nice alternative to the ongoing series artwork and I liked it. It did remind me a little bit of The Animated Series! While it was a little slow to get going and it was tied up very conveniently-It is worth a read and I for one hope we get to see the cadets again.

Both Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott do a good job on this series. I'm looking forward to them continuing work on the ongoing series and also the upcoming Klingon story Manifest Destiny. Hopefully we will get to see Derek Charm's art again in the comics as really adds to the enjoyment of the story.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy is now available from comic book stores and is due for  release in Graphic Novel format on 4th August 2016.

Have you been reading this series? What have you thought to it?

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