This year I started with a graphic novel that I missed when it came out in 2016. Which is actually weird because I love Star Trek, am a fan of the Kelvinverse, and have read all of the other IDW comics featuring the nu-Kirk and crew.
This particular novel lightly touches on the time Kirk et. al were at Starfleet Academy. The primary focus being Uhura investigating an unexplained radio signal from deep space and asking Kirk to help out as it involved hacking classified data. It turns out to be a signal from a long lost ship whose disappearance led to the foundation of the academy itself.
The majority of the story is set instead a few years later featuring a group of cadets competing in a challenge against other students from across the galaxy (there’s an inevitable Vulcan team with an attitude problem towards the Vulcan cadet – feeling that she’s a traitor for staying at Starfleet rather than helping them build New Vulcan). Contest wise imagine the Triwizard tournament from Harry Potter with more spaceships, less dragons, but probably still the same level of risk.
In a relatively short book we still managed to get decent insight into a new group of characters and some clear personality traits. As for our existing characters it helped cement the relationship between Uhura and Spock, and made it clearer that she didn’t dislike Kirk just found him frustrating but they could work well together.
There was also very much a Dumbledore and the House Cup moment as Team Starfleet lost the race but gets a consolation prize for doing the right thing. Which is very much the Starfleet way!
I’d like to praise the artwork from Derek Charm for this as well. The style is clean and simplistic but accurately represents the known characters and provides distinctive traits to the new ones. A worthwhile read if you like Star Trek.