Review: Star Trek Boldly Go #10
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Mike Johnson
Art by Tony Shasteen with colors by JD Mettler
This month brings us another one-off “bottle” story, this time from the perspective of the diminutive Kevin, whom you might remember as one of two Teenaxi beamed aboard the Enterprise after encountering Kirk in Star Trek Beyond. During the IDW panel at this year’s Comic-Con, editor Sarah Gaydos described this issue as “one of the best things Mike (Johnson) has ever written. It reminds us of the humor and how smart his writing is so check it out.” That’s high praise for someone who has become “the most prolific writer of Star Trek comics” (as noted in this issue’s “Open Channels” section), so let’s dive right in…
Initially, the Teenaxi are seen as antagonists in Star Trek Beyond, but by the end of the film we catch a glimpse of Kevin wearing a blue tunic and even receiving a call out from Kirk for not wearing any pants. This issue attempts to address his change of heart and what happened to him after the events of the movie. But once again, in the comics world, things are not always as they seem.
After spending time among humans (Uhura, specifically), Kevin had come to “appreciate the peaceful and vibrant society known as the Federation”, and decided to stay behind on the Yorktown and learn as much as he could. It’s made clear that he is NOT in Starfleet, however, and wears the uniform as a gesture of goodwill. He is working with Lt. Keenser on the new Enterprise, and thus, the student (to Scotty) has become the teacher.
It is now months since the events of Star Trek Beyond and Scotty arrives at the Yorktown with the Starfleet Academy cadets (who have made numerous appearances in Boldly Go thus far) to check up on the status of the new Enterprise-A. There, Kevin is reunited with the chief engineer-turned-Starfleet professor, and is still impressed with the Scotsman’s ability to consume many, many mind-altering beverages. There’s a brand new captain’s chair (we’ll come back to this later) that Scotty allows practically anyone to sit in, including Kevin, whose ominous stare is eerily reminiscent of Nicholson’s Joker. Could this be foreshadowing?
We are soon joined by the Teenaxi flagship carrying the Grand Audarch, appropriately named (much to Scotty’s delight) “Steve”. “Steve” has been invited by Commodore Paris to tour the Yorktown and, as a show of good faith, get a glimpse of the new Enterprise under construction. After an awkward dinner, the Teenaxi’s true motives are revealed when they end up stealing Kirk’s new command chair – something they see as a “seat of power.” Unfortunately for them, that is a figurative term – the chair is not a power source that can cripple the Federation. What comes later is a hilarious, satisfying conclusion with some twists and turns along the way.
Tony Shasteen’s art is excellent and is able to seamlessly complement Johnson’s humor, especially the range of emotions for the Teenaxi. If you’re a fan of Star Trek Beyond (especially the opening scene with the Teenaxi), you’ll love this issue. There’s no doubt that Mike Johnson has captured the humor of that opening scene, extrapolated on it, and created an enjoyably funny, charming and classic Trek story. That’s what I love about an expanded universe, especially comics: you can take a throwaway line – in this case, “Hey, Kevin, still no pants?” – and create a whole new character, with an intriguing backstory, clear motivations, and full of heart. Sarah Gaydos could be right – this could be one of Johnson’s best works and as Star Trek fans, we are lucky to have him. But as the Teenaxi say, “what do you expect from a species that wears pants?”
5-Page Preview: Star Trek Boldly Go #10
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Star Trek Boldly Go #10 arrives in comic book stores today, Wednesday, July 26th and retails for $3.99. You can also order it at TFAW with a discount. You can also order the variant cover by Jason Badower or the photo cover.
And if you want to catch up, the trade paperback collection of Star Trek: Boldly Go (volume 1, collection of issues #1-#6) was also released this week. It retails for $19.99. You can pre-order from Amazon for 33% off.
Keep up with all the latest inked Star Trek in TrekMovie’s Comics Category.