1237. Between Love and Hate
PUBLICATION: Starfleet Academy #19, Marvel Comics, June 1998
CREATORS: Chris Cooper (writer), Chris Renaud and Andy Lanning (artists)
STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last issue)
PLOT: Pava fights her former lover Kovold and the distorted monster that First Cadre leader Murg has become. Every time she's about to avenge Kamilah's death, however, the locket with Kamilah's holographic picture gets in the way of the blade. Pava accepts this as a sign, and Kovold comes to his senses long enough to warn her about a Viator artifact that has turned them into monsters and heralds the Viators' return. She is beamed off the ship just before Kovold destroys it, and First Cadre swears revenge. And so goes the story telepathically told to a young cadet named after Kamilah by her uncle, Captain Edam Astrun, some time in the future.
CONTINUITY: See previous issue (First Cadre).
DIVERGENCES: The uniforms, especially the Starfleet combadge hasn't changed in the future (not necessarily a problem, except the convention has been to do so when presenting alternate futures).
PANEL OF THE DAY - Wonderland wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
REVIEW: Marvel lets go of the Star Trek license and I fear this series was its greatest casualty. While the issue itself resolved the story of Kovold, it also sows the seeds for a Viator invasion (whoever they might be), and leaves many unanswered questions - was the mean old Academy Commandant a shapeshifter or just a jerk? Will First Cadre make good on their blood oath? Did Yoshi and Halakith learn to live with the differences? And how was graduation day? Cooper at least gives us an epilogue in which he pays off the cadets' promise. Edam has made captain and a new generation is about to embark on the journey. Bittersweet to say the least. The main story is pretty much one big fight, lots of angst and a couple of coincidences that might make the reader grit his or her teeth - all in all not Cooper's strongest issue - but still has fun moments, such as the Cadre using the metal jaw's trauma to distract the telepathic Edam. A very fun series, and I wish these characters' adventures had continued somewhere else.