Star Trek: Picard’s Academy #4 is written by Sam Maggs and published by IDW Publishing. Artwork is by Ornella Greco and colours by Charlie Kirchoff, letters are by Jeff Eckleberry. Main cover art (left) is by Sweeney Boo.
Star Trek: Picard’s Academy #4 is available now, in print and on digital platforms where all good comic books are sold.
Time’s up! It’s Evasive Maneuvers exam day, the only shot Picard has at graduating early…and getting off Earth and far away from home. He’s as ready as he can be and actually feels like he can trust some of his group partners. But little does he know, their first test in space will bring an unexpected challenge—one the cadets would never find in their textbooks!
It’s crunch time in Star Trek: Picard’s Academy. The big Evasive Manoeuvres test is upon our young crew and it’s up to Picard to lead the way. Issue #4 feels like the culmination of everything this first arc of Picard’s Academy has been building towards. All of the series’ youthful exuberance finds itself poured in to yet another fun, Lower Decks-esque take on the Starfleet legend.
Picking up where we left off last month, Picard and his crew are gearing up to beam on to their ship for the exam. Along with Marty, Doq, Resh, K and Nir, Picard now finds himself in charge of the U.S.S Artemis. It certainly looks like a tough little ship… get it Star Trek fans? But the focus of Sam Magg’s latest story isn’t the ship herself, it’s the dynamics of this group of characters as they learn to function as a crew.
Maggs has done such an incredible job of crafting a unique tone for Picard’s Academy. It’s, of course, undoubtedly Star Trek. But at the same time it brings a new voice and a new perspective to the world and its lead character. This month’s issue has a number of nods to the franchise overall – transporter chimera anyone!? – but also to the character of Picard. Whilst the trope of the captain’s warp phrase has become overused in recent years. It was arguably Patrick Stewart’s delivery of the word “engage” which caused this movement to even begin. So it feels only right that we would give that term an origin and wrap it up in the character’s youthful naiveté and passion.
This is really the first time the ensemble cast works together in a similar vein to a Trek TV series. Jean-Luc is very much the central figure, exemplified by the fact he is chosen to act as captain for the exam. But with each of the supporting players being forced to worth together it puts them much closer to the spotlight. Maggs is able to balance each of the characters out well, quickly developing some great shorthand dialogue between them.
All of this is then embellished further when the exam goes horribly wrong… or does it? I wonder if next month we’ll learn this was all part of Spock’s plan. Which would be hilarious by the way. But for now the stakes and nicely high. Our crew is in danger and that creates some sizzling tension. Props to Maggs for not using the Kobayashi Maru as well.
I probably don’t need to repeat my thoughts on Ornella Greco’s artwork at this point. This book is just so cute. Even when Picard and his crew are at red alert and facing life-threatening danger it’s just so damn cute. But what’s important to say here is that Picard’s Academy doesn’t forgo tension for the sake of its more accessibly family-friendly artwork. Actually the cartoonishness of its aesthetic – much like Lower Decks – works incredibly well.
This is Star Trek: Picard’s Academy kicking it up to warp 9.5. Everything about this book is working perfectly. Each month its consistently topping itself, getting better and really creating something special for fans of this character.