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
It’s come to my attention, that my friends at The HoloDeck are not particularly thrilled with the direction that these post-Into Darkness treks have been taking. I have no beef with that, as-they know how I felt about the Countdown issues; I think EVERYONE knows how thoroughly disgusted I was with that laughable venture. But-I like this thread and I can’t wait for the next exciting issue. Some of their complaints have been about the Pon Farr aspect of the story; however, I feel that they (IDW & Co.) are just trying to keep us apprised of New Vulcan’s progression, as-well-as, tying-in Spock and Uhura’s continuing romance. Also, maybe, in this new universe, Kirk, Spock and Uhura are the ‘new’ triad, and-that is chafing on old fans. I plan to give it a little more time, before I jump ship…
As we left off, in issue #22, Spock was embroiled with the blood-fever wracking his body and mad-as-a-hatter in the harsh wilderness environs of New Vulcan; along with a couple dozen of his fellow-Vulcans, in similar straits. Kirk and a landing party had beamed down, in the hopes of bringing the first-officer back to the Enterprise, but-were being thwarted in those rescue attempts by the raging tribe of Vulcans.

Meanwhile-Commander Kor left us wondering the fate of the Klingon attack force, which-he was leading towards the Federation.
Issue #23 begins with Kirk, Uhura and Sulu on New Vulcan, facing-down the Sasaud, and Scotty trying to lock-on to their signals, but-the volcanoes magnetic emissions are wreaking havoc with the transporters. Kirk isn’t ready to give Spock up, just-yet, and he continues to fight the angry horde off, along with the landing crew. Uhura pleads with Spock to return to the ship, but-in his fevered-delirium he attacks her, as well. Even with phasers set on max-stun, it’s having no effect; so-reluctantly, he allows Scotty to beam them back to the Enterprise.

T’Pring counsels Kirk to leave Spock and his compatriots to their devices, as New Vulcan can’t restore them, like their lost homeworld was able to. Kirk doesn’t agree with her logical reasonings and he calls a meeting in the ships brig with Leonard McCoy and Scotty. His plan is to secure the sick Vulcans there, until something can be done to restore them back to full health. Scotty is pretty skeptical, as-is Bones, who is glib to Kirk’s ratiocinations, but-Scotty beams them up, anyway. On the bridge, it’s Chekov who comes up with a plan; that-being, the return of Old Vulcan, itself! I know, right! It blew me away, too, but-with Treknobabble magic flowing from the Wiz Kid’s lips, it is a conceivable hypothesis; one that’s backed by Carol Marcus and Mr. Scott. They will use the transporters to mimic Old Vulcan’s characteristics, thereby beaming the afflicted Vulcans back home. Hey-it’s STAR TREK and, in this universe, nothing surprises me, anymore…
With a plan in-motion and everyone set on their tasks to make it so, we find Uhura in the brig, retelling how the two of them fell in love, to a red-eyed and dazed Spock. He’s oblivious, of course, but-we get the background on their becoming a couple. (Seems, Nyota plays a helluva game of chess, whooping pointy ears’ butt!) Later, everyone convenes in the transporter room and they commence beaming Spock and, the rest of the brigs inhabitants, to ‘Old Vulcan’, as planned. It’s a long exercise, and we see Spock going through various stages of his life; (there is one panel, of the young movie-Spock, that is uncanny to Jacob Kogan). Finally, transport complete, a fully-recovered Spock steps off of the pad, making-light of his missing uniform. They head to the bridge to relay the good news to T’Pring, who is grateful to Kirk and crew, for their unprecedented solution to Vulcan’s plight. But-it’s Spock, who relays his own good news, (at least, to Uhura), telling T’Pring that he will remain aboard the Enterprise, and-we assume, with Uhura…

Elsewhere… We see the return of the enigmatic Section 31 agent, conferring with a fellow spy, in an undisclosed war-room. The new Klingon fleet is en route to Orion, while the Romulans are heading towards Khitomer. The shadowy operative tells her ‘friend’ to be patient, to let the two warring empires fight their battles, first, before-revealing the rest of their plan. We’re left here, with the image of a cargo bay full of very Khanlike-looking cryogenics torpedoes…

I can’t figure out why Michael and Sina are at-odds with this, but-I’ll be glad to play the dissenter here. I like these twists and turns, I like the cliffhangers each issue brings, I love the art and direction of the story and I love McCoy’s dry wit. I just wish there was more of it, but-I think it will come, soon enough. I liked this version of Spock’s Pon Farr, also. I mean, it gave us a look at how things are going on New Vulcan, it hints at Prime Spocks future actions, plus-it fits in with our timeline, in regards to ‘Amok Time. So-I got it… But, who is this agent from Section 31? Matt Rushing believes it’s Lt. McKenna; and-I agree, with him. Where is Prime Spock? Is he going to be a thorn in 31′s schemes; having gone to Romulus, to head-off whatever machinations they’ve consorted on? All will be revealed, as our secret agent says, at the end of this five-star issue. Until next time, enjoy! Read these great stories and let me know what YOU think.

Later, friend(s)

Written by Eric Gator1
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