In IDW's popular series we get to revisit a character we last seen in Star Trek '09 - Gaila who was played by Rachael Nichols.
The story starts 2248, 14 years before the main part of this story. An important event in Gaila and her brother Kai's life takes place when their father kidnaps his two children to prevent their mother marrying off Gaila as part of a deal for the Orion syndicate to seal a deal. The backstory to this event is well established and leaves us looking forward to seeing how the story plays out. Just be aware there may be SPOILERS ahead!
In the present - 2262 - the USS Enterprise and the USS Tereshkova meet up for some shore leave. Gaila, now a science officer on the Tereshkova meets up with her brother who is now assigned to the Enterprise. Obviously she meets up with former Academy room-mate Uhura (as seen in the first reboot), who gives her a tour of the flagship of the fleet. I found this piece a little odd as it just looks like the two ships parallel parked and the crews went from ship to ship. No space station or outpost. It did take me out of the story a little bit.
We get to meet Captain Campbell of the Tereshkova and she is well handled throughout the story. She admits she had issues with how Kirk got to sit in the chair but he has earned her respect. She is a good addition to the comic-verse and hopefully someone we see again.
As this issue ends Gaila and Kai's problems are only starting as they are kidnapped from their ships and taken away by their mother who has waited all this time to fulfill her agreement with the Pacari.
Issue 54 starts off with Kirk's captains log recapping what happened in the previous issue but we spend most of the time with Gaila and her brother while they try to escape from the situation they find themselves in.
As the Enterprise is out of commission it is up to Gaila and Kai to organise their own escape.
As Gaila prepares for her wedding her brother is sent to become a bare-knuckle fighter for the Orion public's amusement. However the Orions don't plan for Kai's Starfleet training mixed with his Orion fighting skills and he escapes just as Gaila manages to release her shackles. They escape together but look like they may be caught - but the enterprise shows up in the nick of time!
As the story wraps up we get two references to the previous movies - Scotty says he promised the Enterprise would never be under water again(Into Darkness) and an amusing, if predictable few scenes between Kirk and Gaila over what happened in Uhura's dorm room in Star Trek '09.
While this was a good read it and was nice to see Gaila back after her appearance in Star Trek '09, it feels that this issue was a little bit of a filler as we await the next story which is the much hyped Legacy of Spock.
There is a nice bit of continuity in this issue with a nod to the USS Tereshkova which appeared in the book The Lives of Dax It was studying a rogue comet and some of the crew died. It seems to have faired a little better here!
Once again Tony Shasteen's artwork is to be commended. Having the Orions feature in the story really makes the colours pop off the page. The Enterprise and her crew are all very well drawn. It's also fun checking out the background aliens and in this issue we get to see an Andorian crew member.
All in all this story is worth a read but it doesn't reach the heights of some of the stories. It is a little flat and I get the feeling that the writers were already thinking of the Spock story line coming up. Another little inconsistency is that I felt the writing staff's mind was elsewhere as issue two's stardate was 2262.141 and issue 1 was 2262.335!!!
Hopefully the team returns to form with Manifest Destiny and Legacy of Spock.
IDW's Star Trek comics are currently available from your local comic book store or the usual online digital suppliers.