Warning: This article contains spoilers that some readers may prefer to avoid.
The After Darkness 3 issue story begins here! The hit ongoing Star Trek series picks up right where this year’s blockbuster sequel Star Trek Into Darkness leaves off! Don’t miss the all-new adventures of the crew as they go boldly into the unknown, in a story overseen by Star Trek writer/producer Roberto Orci!

The events of Star Trek After Darkness will occur across Issues #21-23 of IDW’s ongoing Star Trek series
I couldn’t wait to get on this! I just got After Darkness #22 this morning and I’ve had to read it a couple of times. It’s such a good follow-up to Into Darkness and #21, that I had to write about it now… First-if you haven’t read issue #21, take a minute and do that, or-you can can quickly read my review, for it, here.

The story is written by Mike Johnson, with Roberto Orci consulting; very nice art by Erfan Fajar and colors by Stellar Labs, lettering is by Neil Uyetake and Scott Dunbier edited.
We left off in the last installment, with the Klingons preparing for war, Capt. April, (being held in a penal facility), has answered ‘some’ of Kirk’s lingering questions and the USS Enterprise’s crew was getting ready to embark on its 5-yr. mission. All seemed good, ’til we found out Spock is going through Pon Farr and he needs to go to New Vulcan, immediately. Once there, we meet T’Pring, Spock’s betrothed and there is more-than a little tension between Uhura and this ‘Surprise!’ Vulcan woman. At the end, we saw another (partially-hidden) woman, only-a representative of Section 31, this time; she’s on Romulus and she’s asking for an alliance between the Federation and the Romulan Empire: the annihilation of the Klingon Empire is the proposed goal…

In this issue, we begin with the Praetor and a senator, discussing the proposal that the mysterious Section 31 operative has laid-out. (We see no sign of her, in this issue…) Of course, the Romulans are only-out for their own gain and they plan to use ‘red matter’ to take-down the Federation, but-after the Klingons have been destroyed, with our help.

On New Vulcan, Uhura is demanding answers from Spock about T’Pring, his condition and what it all means for their future together. Man, Uhura is hotter than a phaser set on overload; especially when the Plak Tow incapacitates Spock and, T’Pring announces that she and Spock must consummate their bonding. She tells T’Pring, (in the Vulcan language), to stay away from her man! Sarek steps in and asks Kirk to leave Spock, to let his people take care of him, as only they know how to do. Kirk, Bones and Nyota are not happy about this, but they go back to the Enterprise.
You gotta love Dr. McCoy… The acerbic insults and rejoinders are in perfect sync with our favorite ship’s CMO. And, Kirk does have to tone him down, when he’s haranguing the ‘green blooded barbarians’ that are taking care of Spock’s medical needs.

Kirk finds Uhura, staring out at the stars, somewhere on the ship and, they have a brief conversation; she is shaken and confused by the events that have transpired, but-she knows that Spock loves her and she will do whatever it takes to get him back aboard the Enterprise. They’re interrupted by an incoming hail from T’Pring, however, and they find out that Spock’s condition has gone critical, he’s violent and dangerous; he has attacked several Vulcans, including Sarek, himself. Now-he has fled, joining a group of ‘crazy’, pre-Surak Vulcans called the Sasaud, that live in the wilderness on New Vulcan.

Kirk, Uhura, Sulu and another crewman beam down to a volcano, where they hope to find Spock and retrieve him.
Spock, meanwhile-is delirious; his eyes are glowing red, he’s confusing the past and present, and he’s completely mad with the blood fever that’s consumed him.
The away team is caught in a surprise attack by the nomadic Vulcans, but our heroic crew fight them back and Spock presents himself; only-he’a not in any hurry to leave quietly… He’s ‘home’, and-he looks to be making his stand there
This issue ends with the Klingons, departing for a rendezvous with the rest of the Imperial Fleet, under the command of Kor… They’re about to make their first assault on the Federation… We get a hint, though; these ships, (which bear a resemblance to Nero’s ‘Nerada’, to me), are new and the warp drives and weapons systems have not been fully tested. Cmdr. Kor doesn’t seem too-concerned about it, however, and he arrogantly gives the order to get the war going…

Boy, oh-boy… I loved everything about this issue! The art, the story, the cliffhanger… I missed some of the classic elements, though. I missed T’Pau and Stonn, in this telling, but-I’m assuming that they perished on Vulcan. I missed the ‘classic’ fight-to-the-death, between Kirk and Spock, although-that may still come in #23. I wanted to see Uhura and T’Pring go at it; and-there, again, it might still come to that. I did like the red-eyed Spock and how he’s battling the ravages of the Plak Tow. It gives us a better feel of what goes on in the Vulcan physiology during Pon Farr; especially if it’s not treated.

And-where is Prime Spock? Where’s he gone? And-what will we see of him in the coming issues..? Plus-I am still trying to guess who our enigmatic Section 31 spy is, too; who is she, where has she gone?
I guess, I’ll just have to wait it out, like all the rest of you, ’til next-month. But-DO read this; it is a very-good story and gives some great views of New Vulcan. There’s some terrific humor thrown-in, as well. I’ve given this issue five stars. Hope you enjoy it, as much as I have.

Later, friend(s)

Written by Eric Gator1
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