Picard’s Academy — “Tapestry” era revisited in new series

Review by C.J. Bunce

If you can’t get enough of Star Trek legend Jean-Luc Picard, a new comic book series from IDW Publishing is there for you.  The next Picard series is coming later this summer: Star Trek: Picard’s Academy, which takes a look at Picard before the events of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Tapestry.”  In a story by Sam Maggs with artwork by Ornella Greco and Charlie Kirchoff, we see Cadet Picard and his peers in those memorable red crewman uniforms first made famous in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and revisited in a photograph of a young Picard played not by Patrick Stewart but Tom Hardy, from Star Trek Nemesis.  Will we get to see Picard get together with Marta Batanides again?  Probably only if Q returns, but get ready to see Picard & Co. in their second year at Starfleet Academy, along with a certain grounds caretaker as well as some surprises.

Will the real Jean-Luc please stand up?  It’s always interesting seeing what newcomers to Star Trek will do with Picard.  Do you pick the Picard with hair as depicted in “Tapestry,” or Hardy’s as glimpsed in Star Trek Nemesis?  Ornella Greco opts for an early edition of the “Tapestry” Picard.  It’s Star Trek, so you never know what changes made in other series or movies will have an impact, even in a prequel series such as this.  This series also doesn’t take its influence from those Academy action figures from the Playmates toys days.  But that’s not saying it won’t in coming issues.

The first issue educates readers of the events at hand.  This is well after the Romulan War, well before Picard would revisit them in “The Neutral Zone,” although in this series they are sporting uniforms we won’t see until 2365 in the episode “Contagion.”  Picard comes face to face with another familiar face in the Star Trek universe, which also seems at odds with the NextGen series.  We seem to be in the Prime Universe, but it’s anyone’s guess what timeline manipulation may be happening.  The first issue is a re-introduction of sorts, and allows readers to see the tone set for this story.

Look forward to college student antics as Picard tries to discover who he is.  The target audience seems to be teen readers.

Collectors may want to check out the load of variant cover options available for each issue.

The first issue of Star Trek: Picard’s Academy is slated to arrive in September.  Add this fun new title to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comic shop today.


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