The countdown to next summer’s STAR TREK movie series continues here in the pages of the hit ongoing comics series! This issue puts the brave and beautiful Uhura in the spotlight as we learn new secrets about her past and witness her first meeting with Spock! Don’t miss this all-new tale overseen by Trek movie writer/producer Roberto Orci!
IDW really has been helping to hype up the already highly anticipated Star Trek Into Darkness by delivering a one-two punch of movie prequels. Besides the official prequel comics, the ongoing Star Trek title has started doing one-shot issues looking at different members of the Enterprise’s crew. Last month we got Dr. McCoy and now it’s Uhura. Star Trek #18 is written by Ryan Parrot with Mike Johnson on as a script consultant. Roberto Orci serves as a creative consultant on the one-shots. Claudia Balboni handles art with Erica Durante tackling colors. Claudia SGC provides colors with Shawn Lee rounding out the cast with lettering. Does the Uhura issue set a course for a good story, or does it just drift off into space?
This issue does double duty by not only giving us a character piece on Uhura, but also Uhura and Spock’s relationship. The story opens at the Starfleet Academy in San Francisco where Spock is holding class. When class is dismissed, he is approached by Uhura who notifies him that she has already completed all of her assignments for the semester so there’s no reason she can’t ask him out for dinner. After finding out the origin of the relationship, we flash forward to the Enterprise where Spock and Uhura are talking about how their relationship has lasted longer than they both had thought possible. Spock proposes that they take it to the next level by engaging in the Vulcan coupling practice of Emafa Kito. This isn’t what Uhura, or even the reader, thinks it is. It’s a mind-meld. While it only lasts moments, Spock sees the story of how Uhura was traveling with her parents and uncle off world when things went horribly wrong. In this trouble time, Uhura learned a lesson that set her on the path to becoming the person we now know.
Parrott writes a great character piece for Uhura that is pretty self-contained. We never knew a whole lot about Uhura’s early years, but Parrott makes an interesting story that makes sense for the character. He also does a brilliant job with the framing device, keeping things fresh while trying to stay away from a simple flashback story. The art is just as great. The only big characters we see are Uhura and Spock, but they both look more like their Abrams’ movie counterparts than some of the other Star Trek books we’ve seen recently. The colors help make everything look bright and futuristic as well.
Bottom Line: Star Trek #18 is a fantastic self-contained story that gives us a look into what makes Uhura tick. Issues 17 and 18 have been great entries that serve not only as a refresher course for the movie version of the characters, but also a great study on McCoy and Uhura’s largely untouched backstories. Next month’s teasers shows us Scotty, and if it’s anything like this month’s issue it will be a treat 4/5