Synopsis: Class. Homework. Sleep. Repeat! Such is the life for Starfleet Academy star pupil Jean-Luc Picard. But if he’s to achieve his dream of an early graduation and his own crew, he’ll need to face his worst fear head-on: making friends. But this doesn’t come easy for Jean-Luc, not when he’s got a bully like the Betazoid Resh calling out all his mistakes and a really cute girl named Marty making him nervous… and certainly not with guest professor Spock analyzing every step he takes!
Having established the rivalry between Cadet Jean Luc Picard and Resh in the last issue. This second chapter of the book sees Picard having to pay the consequences of his run-in with Resh as Mr. Spock gives the young cadet an ultimatum to try and get him to socialize and learn the value of teamwork. However, Picard has grown up in an environment where he has been the very best at everything he has put his mind to. So the homework that Spock gives the young cadet presents him with a whole bunch of other challenges.
Ornella Greco continues with the Saturday morning cartoon art style, which seems to work for this Picard 90210 story arc. It also makes for a rather fun take on Mr. Spock. The best panels in this issue are the flashbacks to Picard’s childhood on the vineyard where he was brought up. And if you think Picard had hair in the last issue. He gets much more hair in this issue as we get a glimpse at the Picard that young Picard sees himself growing into, which is a bit like a buff 80s rocker from a hair band in a Starfleet uniform.
Sam Maggs continues her mission to give us a Picard who is about as dislikable as you can get. There’s a moment towards the end of the issue where Resh is bullying a smaller cadet and Cadet Picard chooses to stand back and watch and comment on the weakness of the other cadet instead of coming to his aid like the version of Picard that we know and love would. Now absolutely in TNG the younger Picard we saw in the episode Tapestry could be kind of a jerk. But I don’t think he was ever as big of a jackass as Maggs seems to be painting him as in this book. Sure that may be some redemption for him to get to toward the close of the story arc. But this is feeling like a character deconstruction too far.