Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #2
Marvel/Paramount Comics (January, 1997)
WRITER: Chris Cooper
PENCILER: Chris Renaud
INKER: Andy Lanning
COLORIST: Kevin Somers
LETTERER: Jim Novak
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
T’Prell, Kamilah, and Pava have a girl’s day out, which leads to a barfight, while T’Prell’s memory of an incident on Vulcan also involves a Romulan scolding her. (She doesn’t share that part with the others.) However, one of the other patrons, who escaped a Romulan slave camp, sees T’Prell as a Romulan and attacks her, the unaware others having to rescue her. Meanwhile back at the Academy Nog finds Decker’s old comic books but opening and reading them gets Decker mad…until he starts reading them himself. Nog does try to apologize by giving him an old comic he picked up during a time travel trip (in the episode “Little Green Men“) and agree to become business partners. However, a group called Red Squad wants to recruit Decker, and they have issues with other species.
What they got right: This comic handles social issues better than modern Trek. It doesn’t pick a side on the men versus women debate. T’Prell thinks it sexist for girls to be kept out of the Kahs-Wan, the survival test in the Vulcan desert. Kamilah comes from two cultures who have sects that restrict the rights of women. Meanwhile Pava likes messing with the guys there because she wants to have a little fun. The story itself doesn’t choose one point of view over the other but simply posts their various perspectives. There’s only one problem there in that we don’t get Pava’s reasoning like we do the other two girls but I think we’ll learn more about that as her character is developed through the series. We also see the big muscular creature is female while being mistaken for male due to her body type. Meanwhile the Red Squad will be an interesting storyline. And of course all of Decker’s comics come from Marvel. Look who the publisher of this imprint is.
What they got wrong: One thing that always bothers me about Trek classic and current is how some forms of media seem to have died. Books are a rarity printed and considered highly outdated though their version of ebooks are fine, plays and musical performances are abundant, but the one time we see a video game in the series, unless you count the holodeck but there are other kinds of video games, it goes and brainwashes people. Meanwhile movies and TV are nonexistent (though for some reason Tom Paris knows of classic movie serials but nothing NEW is being made). Audio dramas aren’t even acknowledged. The future seems to have abandoned perfectly good media. Also, if Earth is anti-profit why is Decker keeping comics sealed for their potential financial value and it’s Nog who has to convince him to actually read the darn things to see if they’re actually worth anything?
Recommendation: Overall this is a good issue that furthers the various subplots and gives us a look into the girls. It’s worth looking into because I remember this being a good series.