Star Trek: Resurgence is an upcoming narrative-driven story game coming out in early 2023, made by Dramatic Labs; an independent collaboration between twenty-plus former employees of Telltale Games. That name alone should indicate the kind of game that fans should expect. But before we get to play this story-heavy Star Trek experience, we get to set the stage with a prequel comic – as every Star Trek project needs either prequels, sequels, tie ins, or side stories. How much this actually has an impact upon the game will have to be seen once it’s released, but for now we at least can get a feel for the setting.
Taking place in 2380, a handful of years after the close of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Dominion War, and a few years after Star Trek: Voyager and the final movies, the first issue begins on Etaris IV, a planet outside the borders of the Federation, deep in Talaran space. It’s here that we find Dr Leah Brahms, who TNG fans will remember as the scientist that Geordi LaForge had a very creepy obsession with in an episode. Having gone in search of a special type of Dilithium as part of a project to revolutionise warp engines, Brahms is captured by Talaran forces.
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Back in Federation space, we’re introduced to the U.S.S. Resolute and its crew, where players will eventually spend their time when the game is released. Following the first officer, Commander Sutherland, we get a brief tour of key parts of the ship, such as the Bridge and Engineering, as well as the important department heads. Those that have seen the promotional material for the game will recognise some of the characters, such as Captain Solano, the Bolian Operations Officer Commander Yanin Urmott, and Vulcan Chief Engineer Chovak.
The Resolute gets its new mission from Starfleet Command: to head into Talaran space and rescue Dr Brahms. It’s a sensitive mission, especially as the Talarans hate outsiders, and had a small war with the Federation a few decades ago; but the technical secrets Brahms has can’t be allowed to fall into enemy hands. Perhaps most unusual, however, is that the Resolute is a science vessel, not a combat one, and sending them on the mission feels somewhat off to the crew.
The first issue is a solid start to the series; it spends its time setting up the mission, as well as the various key crew members aboard the resolute. But it also lets you get to know some of the characters beyond the basic set-up of what their job is. We know that Commander Sutherland is close to getting his own ship, and doesn’t quite get on with the Chief Science Officer. We also learn that Captain Solano has a complex history with Brahms, having worked with her on an engine prototype. Worth noting for the eagle-eyed fans, the current engine of the Resolute doesn’t look like the one seen in the game previews, but the prototype engine does, so make of that what you will.
The story for the series seems simple enough, a very important scientist has been kidnapped, and the Federation have sent a ship to go and get her back. And it’s good that the series is using a pretty tried and true scenario as a basis here, especially as this is a whole new group of people we’re following. However, by the end of the issue it becomes clear that there’s more here than even the audience is led to believe, and that the series looks like it’s going to have a few twists and turns ready to surprise readers with.
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The book’s art, by Josh Hood and Charlie Kirchoff is really good, and the characters that have been seen elsewhere, such as Brahms and the Resolute Crew, are instantly recognisable as the people they’re supposed to be. The characters all look good, and there are tons of tiny details that help them come to life too, such as their hair being thrown around and messed up whilst on an alien planet, that make the book feel like a bit more than just static drawings. The ships also look great, and the design of the Resolute really comes to life here and looks good whenever it’s on the page. The designs for the Talaran ships are instantly visually different from the Federation ships too, and have an almost Star Wars look to them, reminding me at times of the Imperial Frigates.
This feels like a solid start to a story that seems to have some interesting places it can go. With story details for the game still light on the ground it’s not clear how much this will tie in to the upcoming game, or if it’s just a story meant to stand on its own, but either way, it seems like it’s got a decent foundation here.
Star Trek: Resurgence #1 is out now from IDW Publishing.