IDW Publishing releases Star Trek #18 this week. This issue of the ongoing series focuses on Uhura, the beginning of her relationship with Spock, and an event that takes place when she was a child. Spoilers ahead.
Star Trek #18
Written by Ryan Parrot, script consultant Mike Johnson, creative consultant Roberto Orci, art by Claudia Balboni, inks by Erica Durante, colors by Claudia SGC, letters by Shawn Lee, edited by Scott Dunbier
Starfleet Academy: It’s the end of the term and Uhura has already uploaded her thesis and finished with the highest score in the class. She invites her teacher, Spock, to dinner. Several months later, Spock asks Uhura to engage in Emafa Kito, a momentary mind-meld to share fears, hopes, dreams and memories. Years earlier: Nyota is aboard a shuttle with her parents and uncle. Meteorite damage forces Nyota’s uncle Raheem to suit up and check the shuttle exterior. An explosion severely damages the shuttle. Still outside the shuttle, Raheem must calm his frightened niece and carefully instruct Nyota how to get her parents safely into the escape pod. Once free from the shuttle, it explodes, and Nyota is stunned to see her uncle already beginning to re-enter the atmosphere. Burning up, Raheem tells Nyota how proud he is of her.
Sharing a private memory.
I found the last issue of the ongoing series, featuring McCoy, a little disappointing. Not so for Ryan Parrot’s tale of Uhura’s past. Her courtship of Spock and a very emotional story from her childhood tell us a lot about her strength and passion for life. We don’t see this depth of character in comics very often. Her story doesn’t tell us anything about the forthcoming movie, but it’s clear that Uhura can handle anything that comes her way. The artists, Claudia Balboni and Erica Durante provide sensational artwork to go with the story. Likewise, Claudia Scarletgothica’s colors add to the poignant atmosphere of this very satisfying episode in the ongoing series. Still to come in the run-up to the new movie are issues featuring the rest of the crew, Scotty (issue #19), Checkov and Sulu (issue #20).
Tim Bradstreet’s cover art features Uhura over a profile of Spock, who is also featured on the retailer incentive photo cover. Uhura has great posture in all the cover images she appears on. I don’t know why, but that seems amusing to me. I suppose that’s better than being hunched over a comm panel.
Star Trek #18 is coming to your local comic shop this Wednesday, February 20, and in digital format same day as print. This issue will be available in a trade paperback collection this summer, Star Trek, Volume 5, July 2013.
Preview of Star Trek #18
Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. You can visit his website, the Star Trek Comics Checklist for more than you ever needed to know about Star Trek comics.