Star Trek Discovery: Adventures in the 32nd Century #2
Written by Kirsten Beyer & Mike Johnson
Art by Angel Hernadez with coloring by JD Mettler, and lettering by Neil Uyetake
When an asteroid hit the generational ship that was the home of the human Adira and their joined Trill boyfriend Gray Tal, all of their lives – human, Trill, and symbiont, were turned upside down. That accident caused the death of Gray, and led to the Tal symbiont being implanted into Adira, a virtually unprecedented joining that ended up not only saving Tal’s life, but eventually Gray’s as well, and led to the USS Discovery locating Federation Headquarters and solving the mystery of the galactic anomaly known as “The Burn.” With just a few glimpses into Trill culture and society through Deep Space Nine, the second issue of Star Trek Discovery: Adventures in the 32nd Century gave writer Mike Johnson a chance to explore some of these Trill mysteries with an issue focused on Adira and Gray’s backstory.
And issue #2 of this limited series from IDW does tell us the story of an incident that was only mentioned briefly in the Discovery episode “Forget Me Not.” Unfortunately, it is only a three-page expansion of “the time we broke the replicator and it wouldn’t stop making apples,” a memory that Adira turned into a square in the quilt they made for the newly-joined Gray. I suppose we are lucky we didn’t get a retelling of the time they imagined playing chess together.
Like issue #1, issue #2 eschews the opportunity to give us interesting incidents or a deeper look into the character it features. Instead, it mostly illustrates stuff we already know, guided by a light voice-over narration that touches almost entirely on surface issues and never really digs into what makes the characters tick. We do get to see Senna Tal ask Gray to accept the symbiont when he dies, and we get to see a very few panels about Gray and Adira’s relationship before and after Gray is joined. But virtually all of the emotion of those scenes is dependent on what we know of their feelings for each other as shown in season three of Discovery.
As with the previous issue, what makes this story well worth having is the artwork by Angel Hernandez and the spectacular colors of J.D. Mettler. Together they capture the characters perfectly, with expressive, joyful linework and powerfully graphical layouts. Hernandez is equally at home drawing spacecraft and interiors as he is drawing likenesses, and I particularly enjoyed the design for the slab-sided generational ship, bringing an almost Sulaco-like vibe into the Star Trek universe of ships. Mettler’s colors continue to amaze, with standout pages including the aforementioned shot of the generational ship in space, its subsequent destruction by asteroid later on, and the shot of the Discovery surrounded by Earth Defense Force vessels.
Again, this issue’s $3.99 price tag is about right for a light, insubstantial story with fantastic art that will reward re-reading. You won’t resent the money spent, but you may wonder exactly what made IDW feel that this was a tale that needed telling. Here’s hoping that the next issue, centering around Kayla Detmer, will feature a story worth sinking your teeth into.
In addition to the A cover by Hernandez, the series also features retail incentive covers by Aaron Harvey.
Star Trek: Discovery—Adventures in the 32nd Century #2 was released on April 5th 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.
You can pre-order the two remaining issues from this series discounted at TFAW
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