Review: Detmer Finds Her Inner Child In ‘Star Trek Discovery: Adventures In The 32nd Century’ #3

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.

A cover by Angel Hernadez

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.

Retailer incentive cover by Aaron Harvey

Available Now

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.

The fourth and final issue arrives next month with a focus on Linus. You can pre-order it discounted at TFAW or pre-order the digital edition at Amazon/comiXology.

A cover by Angel Hernandez

Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s comics category.

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Finally, an issue worth reading. Issues 1 and 2 were boring filler tales focused on a cat and a character who have had no impact on the show at all, but this one is solid, and it finally makes Detmer a character worth having in the crew.

“Star Trek: Discovery is commonly critiqued for focusing so intently on the main characters, leaving members of the bridge crew with little attention.”

That criticism hardly makes any sense. Traditional Trek shows had 7-9 main characters each. DSC had had seven main characters in S3+4: Burnham, Saru, Stamets, Culber, Tilly, Adira, Book. That’s exactly the number of main characters in most old legacy shows, only VOY had two more.

The bridge crew (Detmer, Owo, Rhys, Nielsen, Bryce) and the other recurring characters like Reno, Linus, even Zora, are ADDITIONAL characters NONE of the previous shows had to offer on a regular basis… maybe Reg Barclay and Nurse Chapel got that attention, but that’s about it. Normally we only had very few recurring characters in these positions: Kyle and Riley on TOS or Ayala and Wildman on VOY.

If anything, DSC does a MUCH better job at portaying a lot of extra characters worthy of being remembered by name.

“If anything, DSC does a MUCH better job at portaying a lot of extra characters worthy of being remembered by name.”


I can’t even name a bridge crew member after FOUR seasons!

Agreed on that last point in particular!

I love you like a brother, Garth Lorca, but you’re just saying what I was saying in the review. I phrased it neutrally – it is absolutely true that DISCO gets criticized for not paying much attention to Detmer, Owo, Rhys, Nillson, and Bryce, and I am not taking a position on whether or not that’s good or bad – and you phrased it positively, but we’re both agreeing that those crew members get very little development.

Not just development, I would bet that Bryce had maybe 5 minutes of dialogue in 4 seasons, that is insane for a show like this and devastation for an actor who was probably stoked to be in a Star Trek show. Imagine you made it onto a Star Trek show. Then for 4 seasons, you pretend to push buttons in the background, first when he was exchanged for another actor of color it took me an episode or two to realize it’s not Bryce, as I stopped paying attention to the bridge (side) crew.

You’re correct and those criticisms are always coming from the same people who repeat those same thing over and over again anyway. And they stick around places like this comment section because there is nearly zero moderation going on.

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but this show doesn’t even exist for me. Watched the first two seasons, only liked ‘New Eden,” then cut it off. Worst iteration of Trek ever IMO, and I’ve been a fan since the 70’s.

Oh dear… welp, you heard Danpaine — he doesn’t like the show. Cancel it. Fire the cast and crew. Pack it in boys… we tried.

You know as I was working on that cover I was like “What if Danpaine doesn’t even like the show? I mean we may as we just shut down the printing presses!”

I have never understood the desire to drop into the comments and say “Just want to let you know I hate this”. I mean, really what does that get you? it’s never been a better time to be a Star Trek fan–they should revel in something they have loved for 40+ years ago is STILL on TV and in theaters, and comic books, and books, and games and and and…sigh.

It truly has never been a better time to be a Trek fan. 1994 was something, but this is really something else.

People who drop into the comments just to bitch about the same things, over and over again, well, they’re not really Trekkies at all, are they?

Well, to be fair – I think that if there’s one thing we know about fans of Star Trek, and fans of just about anything, is that there is a wide variety of opinion. And while you may not agree with Danpaine and they might not agree with you, coming here and expressing opinions and thoughts on the various forms of ST is kind of the point of the place. And yes, some people show up and bash whatever show they want regularly, and that kind of just goes with the territory. That doesn’t mean that their opinion isn’t valid, it just means you might have to (or choose to) read something you don’t have to agree with.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Discovery either. I gave it lots of chances and it just didn’t do it for me. If it’s your cup of tea, that’s great and I hope you enjoy it. There’s too much animosity in the world right now and when it comes to something like this, there just isn’t any right or wrong. You like it, great. I don’t like it, great. I think the great thing about the time we’re in is that there is so much ST in so many forms being created – multiple series, comics, novels, games, maybe movies again – and the nice thing is that as fans, there’s hopefully something for everyone that fits your personal vision of Trek.

My wife has a great saying – “Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.” In other words, speak your mind, just be civil about it.

I agree. I like having MANY Treks to choose from. I don’t like them all but Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds are becoming my favorite shows of all time!

Your comment as well as Teddy’s are ridiculous. Let people express their opinions. They don’t have to be positive and certainly they don’t need to agree with you. Your understanding is not a prerequisite to people’s right to express themselves. I agree with Danpaine that DISC is drivel and that doesn’t make me or him (or her) any less of a trekkie.

There’s a difference between having a reasoned discussion, there’s many things in DSC I don’t like and I discuss them frequently, and just swooping in being negative and leaving.

Not really. Just different forms of expressing an opinion. The former might be your preferred way of expressing yours (reasoned discussion) but the latter (dropping in and saying something and leaving) is just is valid, while frustrating for you. Personally, I like reasoned discussion – I’m with you on that. But if someone wants to drop in here, say they don’t like something and leave, that’s their prerogative. Even if they do it often. As long as they are not being antagonistic or attacking others, then it’s the way they express themselves.

Let’s put it another way. Is it any different than someone swooping in and saying “I love this show!” and then leaving? Does the person who loves the show have to have a reasoned discussion about why they love it?

You can express your opinions all you like, but you also need to listen to opinions about your opinions in return then.

Sure, they don’t have to be positive, but why should I care about those negative opinions at this point? I watch this for entertainment, and reading negative opinions suck the fun out of this.

Yes, you are a Trekkie still. Just one that I would avoid to interact like a plague if I run into you at a convention, because, again, I’ll be there for fun, not for cold wet towels.

Except that Teddy’s opinion was ridiculing Danpaine’s opinion, which is not an opinion, it’s an insult. Sorry if you’re letting other people’s opinion suck the fun out of your enjoyment. But if you’re asking why should you care about a negative opinion, then why should anyone care about anyone’s opinion?

No worries. I wouldn’t interact with you at a convention or anywhere else anyways. I have no problem with your opinion and what you said here. My problem is gatekeeping and not letting people say what they feel, like Teddy and Aaron first did. They were out of line. An opinion is an opinion, positive or negative.

Ok for the kiddies I guess…

many thanks for the kind words, Denes! I had a lot of fun working on that cover–it may be my favorite of the 4 issues–though I have a special fondness for the Linus one!

I can’t wait!

Aaron, your covers have been the best thing about this unfortunately lackluster comic series. It’s all well drawn, and your covers are the best ones, but it’s hard to get excited about a comic focused on a cat and a dead-end character like Adira, who contributes nothing to the show. However, this issue about Detmer is very good.

You are lackluster and what a bored grumpy person you are to leave shit comments like this to the authors.