Villordsutch reviews Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #5…
In last month Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #4 [read our review here], we left our group of cadets lost in time, bow-to-bow with the NX-05 Slayton (which has been declared missing for nigh on 100 years), both ships now trapped within the strange anomaly that has been classified as Wagner-219. It seemed that the Cadets and the Slayton’s desperate crew would possibly be perishing together until their end of days. Now in this climactic end to the first opening chapter in the series from Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott, we’ll see how these two gentlemen shall bring it to a close.
After the cadets aboard the A-317 appear to be coming to the aid of the stranded Slayton, the mutinous uprising – lead back Jack Somers – is put on hold. It soon becomes apparent however that both ships are now stranded within this energy-draining, time-altering anomaly. However, the passing decades and a Starfleet education is on the side of the Cadets, as using their wisdom a plan is formulated that may help both crews escape the grasp of this suffocating area of the galaxy.
On a whole, Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott have delivered something really rather enjoyable with Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Appearing lighter in tone, so far, to other Star Trek comics, there is a current slowly flowing underneath with the appearance of Admiral Marcus back in issue #3, that let’s us know that we should expect trouble later for our cadets.
Turning to the closure of this story however, everything is done, dusted and wrapped up with a nice neat bow. Everyone comes away unscathed, the Slayton is rescued, the A-317 is used in a risky manoeuvre yet nothing overly tragic occurs, the Mutiny is forgotten, and they all receive a nice medal. As said above it’s lighter in tone and maybe here as a reviewer I’m too long in the tooth to accept this; perhaps if – rather macabre on my part – Grace hadn’t managed to get across to the Slayton due to the energy draining cloud and lost her life, saving the cadets along with the rest of the Slayton crew, I may have felt a bit happier towards the ending – as gruesome as that sounds.
This being said, there were some moments within the comic that stand out as memorable. Mike and Ryan wisely chose not to let the cadets win the Inter-Academy Exploratory Competition, which is a nice touch especially with the Andorian commenting later on disappointing his father. It’s also now good to see the bonds forming between the cadets, seeing them gel together, not only with themselves but with those around them, and seeing the Starfleet Academy Universe growing in size.
The other standout moments – as always – relate to the work of Derek Charm, for which I’d love to see his art more across the IDW Publishing universe. Perhaps his arm could be twisted so he could do a stint on the main Star Trek run for a month or two?
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