Star Trek: Discovery has so many characters and plot lines that it sometimes gives minor characters the short shrift. This series seeks to right that wrong – and it consistently tells compelling stories of those spacedwellers who don’t get their due.
It seems odd that arguably the best Star Trek comic book series from publisher IDW focuses on the minor characters from Discovery. And yet despite the commercial and critical success of the original series’ Year Five title or the current Mirror War story, the brief character studies showcased in Adventures in the 32nd Century are consistently entertaining and enlightening.
After all, where else are we going to learn some of Keyla Detmer’s backstory? We know she’s a pilot. She was severely hurt during the Klingon War during Discovery’s first season, leading her to wear implants to help her manage the severe pain she suffers. Beyond that, though, there’s not much time for character development when Michael Burnham and Saru are off trying to save the universe from that particular season’s disaster.
This time, we meet Detmer as a child, boldly exploring an ice planet and making friends with the local fauna. While the story can start off a bit disorienting, the mystery soon unravels, thanks to a story penned by Mike Johnson. Detmer is in trouble and has reached back to her childhood to help her out of her current jam.
Angel Hernandez artwork has an animation-like quality to it when portraying the child but becomes more traditional when we encounter her grown-up self. It’s a different style that we’ve seen from Hernandez in past issues, but the change is welcome and true to the story being told. A special shout-out to Aaron Harvey for his gorgeous retailer incentive cover, which is worth the cost of the book by itself.
Star Trek is alive and well in the hands of this creative team. Given the uneven quality of the Paramount+ show, it’s worth asking whether Johnson and team shouldn’t be allowed to take the conn for an episode or two to see what that can make of Discovery.
Star Trek Discovery – Adventures in the 32nd Century #3 will be available for purchase on May 4, 2022.