Star Trek: Discovery #3 – ‘The Light of Kahless’ – Comic Review

Catch up with issue #2 in our review here!

Star Trek: Discovery’s comic series The Light of Kahless continues to dive into the backstory of the Klingons, specifically the short-lived warrior T’Kuvma, in an attempt to explain how he was able to unite the Klingon empires and why he chose Voq as his successor.

Issues #3 takes T ’Kuvma to visit his sister, who he believed was being held by the House of Sanar. Once there, he realizes his sister J’ula isn’t a captive, but a willing participant. She thinks their house and family line is done for and is trying to secure a future for herself. By marrying into the House of Sanar, she can keep the family line alive by making her children both House of Sanar and House of Girjah.

T ’Kuvma is disappointed and thinks J’ula has given up on their shared dream, but it’s a smart play for her. A woman’s child-bearing ability is often the only card she has to play in nobility (even in Klingon nobility, apparently) and aligning with the House of Sanar seems like the best way for her to survive. T’Kumva agrees to let her continue with her plan, and keep the family name, if he can take the family ship and their dead ancestors. As we know from the Discovery TV series, he used the bones of the dead to decorate the exterior of the ship.

Things don’t turn out too well for J’ula, though. One year later she’s given birth to her first child: a healthy baby boy, an heir to both houses. But the baby is an albino, so she has it killed and tells her husband it was stillborn. He no longer trusts that she can provide him an heir, and takes away her family name as punishment. The House of Girjah is no more. J’ula’s story is short, and only a side plot in the longer story of T’Kuvma’s search for the light of Kahless, but it’s a brutal and tragic story worthy of Game of Thrones, and the highlight of the issue for me.

The present-day timeline with Voq and L’rell feels the clunkiest: it’s only purpose is to introduce the backstory and drive home the points already made. After learning what J’ula did to her newborn baby, Voq exclaims “she killed a baby for being albino, like me!” and L’rell reminds him that T’Kuvma wasn’t prejudiced like she was. It’s largely unnecessary and takes the reader out of the story.

The art in the book remains gorgeous. The Klingons are detailed and lifelike, sharing enough similarities with their TV versions to look recognizable, but not so identical it seems more like a trace.

Issues #3 ends with T’Kumva about to encounter a Federation ship. With The Light of the Kahless about to wrap up, issue #4 will likely take us closer to where Discovery began and T’Kumva’s journey truly ends.

Star Trek: Discovery #3 is published by IDW Publishing. Writers: Kristen Bayer & Mike Johnson. Artists: Tony Shasteen. Pages: 35

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