Star Trek Discovery: Adventures in the 32nd Century #1
Written by Kirsten Beyer & Mike Johnson
Art by Angel Hernadez with coloring by JD Mettler, and lettering by Neil Uyetake
When Michael Burnham landed in the 32nd Century at the beginning of Star Trek Discovery’s third season, she encountered a galaxy full of fascinating and colorful characters, including the dashing rogue Cleveland Booker, and his regal feline companion, the Queen herself, Grudge the Cat. Speculation about Grudge ran wild as the Disco publicity machine hyped the cat to the Galactic Barrier and back, trying to match that the franchise’s stellar competition, Grogu. Star Trek has had its share of curious creatures like Gary Seven’s Isis and Sylvia from “Catspaw,” but in the end, it turned out that Grudge was more like Commander Data’s feline companion Spot–just a pet. A beautifully regal, if somewhat lethargic pet, with a thyroid condition.
In January, Hero Collector published The Book of Grudge, a 96-page tome filled with beautiful promo pictures of Booker’s Queen, alongside musings from the cat about a variety of topics. This month, IDW joins the Grudge publicity juggernaut, releasing the first of a four-issue miniseries focusing on Disco characters in the 32nd Century. Issue one explores seasons three and (a bit of) four through the eyes of a very large cat. Written by veteran Trek comics scribe (and recent audio drama author) Mike Johnson, with art by the phenomenal Angel Hernandez, this book is a lightly funny, dramatically slight starting-point for the series, offering mild amusement, fantastic art, and… very little else.
The book is narrated by Grudge and takes us through the history of Book’s relationship with Michael Burnham from the perspective of a cat who sees herself as the center of the universe, and Burnham as an intruder into her perfectly-ordered realm. Grudge sees Book’s role in the relationship–his work as a courier, rescuing endangered animal species, and his conflicts with hostile aliens–as one of leisure and providing for her more-important needs, while Grudge’s role onboard ship–napping, eating, and gracing the world with her presence–is the essential leadership job. But there is a bit of drama when Grudge is actually forced to save the day. In addition, finding out which member of Disco’s crew gets Grudge’s reluctant approval is a bit of a hoot.
The best part of this comic is Angel Hernandez’ art. His proven facility with likenesses and dynamic depictions of Trek ships in action are on full display here. Grudge always looks suitably gorgeous, and as she meets the various members of Discovery’s crew, they all look spot-on, even as they have very little to do in the tale. Hernandez’s depiction of David Ajala’s Book is particularly good, fully embodying the character’s devil-may-care good looks, ease of movement, and charm. Colorist JD Mettler is a pro at tinting Hernandez’s line work to create an almost painterly quality to the final art. And Neil Uyetake’s lettering is reliable, clear, and attractive throughout.
The book sports a cover price of $3.99, and I’d say that’s exactly right for what this is–a light, fun romp of very little significance that’ll bring a few smiles to your face, maybe a chuckle once or twice, and featuring art that’s worth looking at more than once.
Star Trek: Discovery—Adventures in the 32nd Century #1 was released on March 2nd at a retail price of $3.99. You can find it at your local comic shop, or pick up the digital edition at Amazon/comiXology.
Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s comics category.