Star Trek Discovery: Adventures in the 32nd Century #3
Written by Mike Johnson
Art by Angel Hernadez with coloring by JD Mettler, and lettering by Neil Uyetake
When her cybernetic implant is damaged and in need of replacement, Keyla Detmer embarks on a wild adventure with a younger version of herself – Captain Keyla the Starfleeter! Armed with her phaser (set to “domesticate”) and tricorder, Captain Keyla explores a strange new ice world, where she picks up her older self as a passenger and they partner together to explore an anomaly that threatens their very lives. If you ever wanted a “Calvin and Hobbes”-style romp in a Star Trek world, this comic is for you.
Star Trek: Discovery is commonly critiqued for focusing so intently on the main characters, leaving members of the bridge crew with little attention. Keyla Detmer, Discovery’s crackerjack pilot and trauma survivor, has long stood out among the cast as a character with fascinating possibilities, and “Adventures in the 32nd Century” is a rollicking and fun entry into Detmer lore.
Issues #1 and Issue #2 in this series focused on Grudge the cat and Adira, respectively, and unfortunately, they did very little to expand our connection with those characters. This issue is different, plunging us deep into Detmer’s childhood and recent past, opening up a crate full of wild fun in the process. As always, Angel Hernandez’ artwork is top-notch, rendering character likenesses and technology with a style that is equal parts precision and loose expressiveness. Here, Hernandez draws a Keyla Detmer who is maybe seven years old and is both recognizably a girl who could grow up to look like actress Emily Coutts and a Bill Watterson-esque cartoon character of a bold child adventurer.
Hernandez’s environmental effects, settings, and creatures are similarly appealing. Colorist J.D. Mettler brings a bright, vibrant palette to this issue, befitting the sunny nature of the bulk of the story, becoming darker and more muted as the real-life drama of Keyla’s present-day conundrum becomes clear. Letterer Neil Uyetake is able to keep the dialogue and narration grounded, while turning the “fun” dial up to 20 with his sound effects.
The contributor who really ups his game for this issue is writer Mike Johnson. Whereas the first entries in this series mainly repeated ground we had already covered in the show, in this issue, Johnson takes us to new places, and has a ton of fun in the process. Unlike previous issues, this one has plenty to say, and it says it in just about the most entertaining and Star Trek-ish way possible. Johnson also brings the feels: by the end, I had tears in my eyes, not just for Captain Keyla the Starfleeter, but for Captain Dénes the Starfleeter, back when I romped about the woods near my home with my scratch-built landing party gear. This is a story that connects with Trek fans.
Bottom line? I’ve re-read this comic three times since first reading it, and I have to believe you will, too.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that TrekMovie contributor Aaron Harvey’s “Retailer Incentive Cover” for this issue is absolutely incredible, capturing the look and feel of the story within with perfection. His cover for Issue #2 showed that he can draw likenesses well (even though he claims not to be able to!) and this issue proves that he can do colorful whimsy with equal aplomb. The Regular Cover by Angel Hernandez is great, too, but when I go looking for this issue at my comic store, I’ll be asking for the version with Aaron’s art on the front.
Star Trek: Discovery—Adventures in the 32nd Century #3 was released on May 4 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.
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