Page 1's prologue is stated to take place 18 months ago, as
a mysterious panel of men congratulates Sulu on his assignment to
the Enterprise. This tends to suggest that it takes place
shortly after the end of
"The Vengeance of Nero" and that "Return of the Archons"
takes place 18 months after.
Sulu is offered a chance to join a covert organization
within Starfleet. This is the second time Sulu has been made
offer. In The
Assassination Game, he was asked to join the secret
organization called the Graviton Society.
The covert organization discussed here is not named; could
it be Section 31, seen in episodes of ST-Enterprise
and ST-DS9? It seems unlikely though, that this
second organization would offer him membership considering
he'd accepted such in the Graviton Society earlier only for
the purpose of turning the tables on them (at Commander
The stardates in this IDW series are enough to drive a
continuity freak nuts!
The story proper opens on stardate 2258.241. But if it's
supposed to be 18 months after
"The Vengeance of Nero", the
stardate should now be 2259, as the new stardate system used by JJ
Abrams follows the number of the calendar year in which the story
takes place. As it's stated, this story takes place not only in
2258 still, but before even the events of
Man Has Gone Before" Part 1 (stardate 2258.56)!
In the captain's log, Kirk speaks of rumors that an early
Starfleet starship called the Archon vanished on an
exploratory mission to the planet Beta III about a century
ago, but no mention of the ship exists in Federation
archives. This aspect of the Archon mystery is not
mentioned in the original episode; the Archon was an
acknowledged Starfleet vessel of the time.
Kirk remarks in his log that an old Academy professor had
told him wild stories, including that of the vanished
Archon, over a few bottles of Orion whiskey. Orion
whiskey was previously mentioned in the ST novel
Articles of the Federation.
The town and clothing on Beta III seen here is quite
different from that of the original episode. Here it looks
like something out of medieval Europe, but the original
episode depicted clothing and construction more like early
20th Century America.
On page 4, panel 2, Sulu has suddenly removed his gloves,
for no apparent reason.
All of the Enterprise landing party members wear
gloves as part of their "medieval" disguises on Beta III.
Why? The natives, though otherwise dressed similarly, do not
16, Spock is holding some kind of
scanning device with which he
detects they are heading towards the
power source that could be affecting
their communications with
Enterprise. On page 21, he
refers to the device as a tricorder.
But it sure doesn't look like a
typical tricorder. In
"Operation Annihilate" Part 1,
the tricorders used by he and McCoy
looked rather similar to the
original series' versions.
On page 17, the remains of the U.S.S. Archon show
it to have registration number NCC-189. This is the number
listed for it in the Star Trek Encyclopedia.
The ship's logo found among the remains of the Archon,
as seen on page 19, features a modified, sideways version of
the Starfleet chevron and the Latin phrase Ad astra per
aspera. This was the pre-Federation Starfleet motto,
glimpsed in the ST-Enterprise episode "These Are
the Voyages...", and means "To the stars, through
hardships." The Federation Starfleet motto later became
Ex Astris, Scientia: From the Stars, Knowledge.
Did Sulu join the covert organization existing within
Starfleet? We get no answer here, nor in Part 2.
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