“Well, they didn’t mention this in the Risa travel brochure.”

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #3

Marvel Comics (February, 1997)

“Loyalty Test”

WRITER: Chris Cooper

PENCILER: John Royle

INKER: Tom Wegrzyn

COLORIST: Kevin Somers

LETTERER: Jim Novak

EDITOR: Bobbie Chase

Matt Decker is inducted into Red Squad, the snobbish “best of the best” group, that isn’t an official training squad. This includes separating himself from Nog, which doesn’t sit well with the rest of Omega Squad, the actual official training squad he’s supposed to be part of. However, Red Squad take part in the events of “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost“, when the group took part in an attempted coup, believing that the Federation President wasn’t taking the threat of the Founders seriously enough. Decker objects to shutting down the power grid and blaming it on the Founders, so Layton shoves him into a transporter and locks him in the pattern buffer (similar to what happened to Scotty in the TNG episode “Relics”), but one of the Squad, Olaf, doesn’t want to see him killed when the power is cut and connects a battery to it. Omega Squad finds him days later, after the coup is foiled, and takes out Red Squad. Things are back to normal and Decker and Nog patch things up, but Red Squad’s “true disciples” make it clear they see Matt as a traitor.

What they got right: It’s a good character arc for Matt as he realizes who his real friends are (though he’ll never admit Nog is one at this point). I haven’t seen the episodes in a long time but it’s a look at a group of cadets that weren’t really explored in the episode. We also get to see Jake hanging out with Nog and more advice from Boothby.

What they got wrong: I still don’t understand why Nog is being singled out for being a Ferengi. It’s not like they care about any of the other aliens and by this point such bigotry should be gone anyway. Is this why Nog wanted to join Red Squad during this two-parter on the show, to hang out with Matt more? I don’t think that was the plan in the episode. Maybe if I watched them again it would feel like they fit better but going by the Memory Alpha entries I linked to it doesn’t quite work.

Recommendation: A good story overall, and worth checking out. Read it alongside watching the episodes and tell me if it fits better.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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