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REVIEW – Star Trek: Picard’s Academy #6

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It’s the final chance for Cadet Picard to pass his exam in Star Trek: Picard’s Academy #6, which is out now from IDW Publishing. Finally ready to work with others, and value the input of those around him, can he beat a seemingly impossible task? An invading force of rogue holodeck-projected Romulans is close to seizing control of the test ship. The stakes are high, with Picard’s ability to graduate early on the line. This issue is billed as the final part of the story, so hopefully it’s able to come to a satisfying conclusion.

Let’s see if Picard and his friends can successfully manoeuver Starfleet Academy’s practical exams in this review of Star Trek: Picard’s Academy #6!

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

Commit No Mistakes

Picard’s Academy Issue #6 – Cover (B) by Aaron Harvey

Picard as a character has gone through an interesting journey over the course of the series. He started out as a bit of a stick in the mud, focused only on academic pursuits and neglecting those around him. To be perfectly honest, I think it made him really unlikeable at first. Perhaps it’s my love for Picard as a character, but that’s not a way that I wanted to see him. Thankfully, those errors were slowly rectified, and he’s now a strong leader and a good team player.

I’m a little mixed on the series’ use of iconic catchphrases, such as “make it so”. Given the age and experience level of the characters, it feels a little jarring. I’m all for connective tissue and little easter eggs and nods, but it seemed a little excessive. Although the series is ending, so it’s nice to see them go all out with a bang. Nitpicks aside, this is an action romp that’s just the right amount of heart. The back half of this series took what was an okay comic and turned it into something memorable.

While the Romulans didn’t pose much of an actual threat through the issue, where else do you get to see them spending time escaping a grocery store? The idea of fake Romulans spending fake money in a fake grocery store is absurd. There’s no real way around that, but it works. That level of surreal humor appeals to me a lot, and I’m glad that the series was able to not take itself too seriously. Genuinely, compared to the horror bloodbath that was Star Trek: Defiant #12, this was a walk in the park. I really love the variety.

And Still Lose

Picard’s Academy Issue #6 – Cover (A) by Sweeney Boo

Unfortunately, not all is as it seems in Picard’s Academy #6. The “evasive maneuvers exam” is a test of how a crew operates in case of an emergency. It’s a test of teamwork, creativity, and playing off one another’s strengths. As a result, Picard and his group actually fail the exam. Having the crew not actually achieve their goals was an interesting decision. Especially this younger, far more impulsive Picard, seeing him deal with failure is important. The scene with Boothby toward the end in particular was rather sweet and impactful.

As even Spock points out, their teamwork at the end is commendable. However, the arc’s title Commit No Mistakes is something of an obvious misnomer. The team made a bunch of mistakes, Picard especially. Although the back end of this issue is a real meditation on the “that is not weakness, that is life” part, it’s not all bad. Picard may have failed the exam, but he won himself a solid group of friends. It’s a sweet, if too soon ending for this young future Starfleet legend.

There’s still one more surprise in the story, however. It turns out that Doq is secretly a member of the Q Continuum, and was the one behind the self-aware captions. It’s a bit of a shame that we seemingly won’t return to this anytime soon. I would have loved to spend more time with these characters, seeing more of their journey through the Academy. This became a very enjoyable ride, and if the upcoming Starfleet Academy series is anywhere near this good, we’re in for a treat.

Issue Preview

Conclusion

Actually seeing this band of characters get along and work together felt long overdue, but also very rewarding. Honestly, my only real problem with this issue was the final reveal. It was very out of left field and doesn’t feel like it’s going to result in anything. That being said, it does re-contextualize the self-aware captions throughout the whole series. I think they gave the series a unique tone that made it an enjoyable read.

Unfortunately, this looks like the end of Star Trek: Picard’s Academy, not just for this single issue, but the series. It’s a series I really didn’t love right from the start, but approached it with an open mind. I had my problems with it, but over the last few issues, the series really became something quite cool. Sure, the characterization was a little irritating, and the non-existent threat created a bit of a lull in the middle, but there was still a lot to love here. Getting to see the rise of a legendary Starfleet captain? What could be better?

You can pick up your own copy of Star Trek: Picard’s Academy #6, which is out today from IDW Publishing. It’s available to order both physically and digitally from retailers such as Amazon, as well as IDW’s own website. You can also find it out now on the shelves of all good comic book stores. For more reviews, all the latest news, Star Trek lore discussions, and more be sure to follow the team here at Trek Central!

Issue Credits

Picard’s Academy Issue #6 – Cover (RI) by Megan Huang

Writer: Sam Maggs
Artist: Ornella Greco
Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Design & Production: Neil Uyetake
Group Editor: Heather Antos
Editorial Assistant: Vanessa Real


New 4-Part Series!

Cover Artists: Jake Bartok
Hayden Sherman
Andy Price

NEW SERIES: ‘Sons of Star Trek’ – From the mighty pen of acclaimed Cyborg writer Morgan Hampton comes a new four-part miniseries spinning out of IDW’s Eisner-nominated Star Trek series and fan-favorite Star Trek: Defiant series! 

Issue #1: In the aftermath of Kahless’ harrowing Day of Blood, Jake Sisko struggles to find his place in the universe now that his family has been reunited and his father, Benjamin Sisko, has once again saved the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Alexander Rozhenko is recovering mentally and emotionally from his time as one of Kahless’ devout followers. Although his father, Worf, was able to break him away from the Red Path cult, Alexander is haunted by his actions during the bloody coup and is unsure of his ability to atone for the devastation he caused.

Jake and Alexander find their stories intertwined as they’re thrust into an alternate universe where they follow their father’s footsteps into Starfleet stardom. As officers aboard the U.S.S. Avery, Jake, and Alexander encounter alternate versions of other children of Starfleet legends who show them they all may have a bit more in common than it would seem.

Release date: March 13, 2024


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Connor Schwigtenberg
Connor Schwigtenberg
All round science fiction geek and a passionate Star Trek enthusiast. Can reliably be found nerding out online. Currently exploring the expanded media. A writer at heart, look out for deep dives, reviews, and feature articles.

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