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"Red Level Down" was the twentieth issue of IDW Publishing's ongoing series of Star Trek comics. The stand-alone issue was an original story focused on the characters of Hikaru Sulu and Pavel Chekov. The story was written by Mike Johnson with art by Claudia Balboni, Luca Lamberti and Erica Durante.


The all-new origin stories of the Enterprise crew conclude with this special issue that focuses on TWO Trek Stalwarts: Sulu and Chekov! Witness their first meeting at Starfleet Academy, and learn how their paths intertwined all the way to the bridge of the Enterprise!


Sulu is considering joining the Red Squad. The squad leader, Amy McKenna, has a plan for that. Meanwhile, James T. Kirk helps a cadet named Pavel Andreievich Chekov back on his feet. Sulu is on a shuttlecraft with a partner named David Reed. In the dorms, Kirk and Chekov talk about the Kobayashi Maru scenario when Gaila arrives. On Federation Day, McKenna gets the Admiral's Award for Excellence. David Reed messes up the shuttlecraft that he and Sulu just as Chekov helps Kirk cheat at the Kobayashi Maru. Chekov saves McKenna from being impaled. Meanwhile, Sulu and Reed get the shuttle under control. Afterwards, Sulu refuses to join the Red Squad in front of McKenna. Months later, Sulu and Chekov meet on the Enterprise.



Richard BarnettPavel ChekovGailaJames T. KirkAmy McKennaKyle McKennaDavid ReedHikaru Sulu
Referenced only
Stacey McClour

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterpriseshuttle


CaliforniaEarthGolden Gate BridgeIowaMuir WoodsSan FranciscoStarbase 1Starfleet Academy Dorms

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Red Squadshuttle fly-by teamStarfleetStarfleet AcademyUnited Federation of Planets

Science and technology

anti-gravity enginecaptain's chairEM focusing coilenginelight yearmobile teleport interfaceprogramsariumshieldsspacedocksubroutineteleporttypewritervelocity

Ranks and titles

admiralcadetcaptainfreshmanjanitorpilotPresident of the United Federation of Planetssenator

Other references

Admiral's Award for Excellencebaby rattlebathroomBelzodian fleabridgebullsnakechessFederation DayhelmlungwormplanetRussian languageschoolshuttle baysnakeweekyear


Sulu and Chekov meet before joining the bridge crew of the Enterprise.



Related stories


Cover gallery


Stories set in the Kelvin timeline
comics When Worlds Collide: Spock Confronts the Ultimate ChallengeNero (1234) • Starfleet Academy (12345) • Star Trek Movie Adaptation (123456) • IDW Star Trek: Volume 1 (Where No Man Has Gone Before: 1, 2The Galileo Seven: 1, 2) • Volume 2 (Operation: Annihilate: 1, 2Vulcan's Vengeance: 1, 2) • Volume 3 (The Return of the Archons: 1, 2The Truth About Tribbles: 1, 2) • Volume 4 (1314Mirrored: 1, 2) • Volume 5 (17181920) • Countdown to Darkness (1234) • Volume 6 (After Darkness: 1, 2, 324) • Volume 7: The Khitomer Conflict (1234) • Khan (12345) • Volume 8 (Parallel Lives: 1, 2I, Enterprise!: 1, 2Lost Apollo: 1, 2) • Volume 9: The Q Gambit (123456) • Volume 10 (Behemoth: 1, 2Eurydice: 1, 2, 3Volume 11 (The Tholian Webs: 1, 2Deity: 12Flesh & Stone) • The Spectrum War (123456) • Live Evil (123) • Reunion (12) • Legacy of Spock (1234) • Connection (12) • Manifest Destiny (1234) • Stranger Worlds (123456) • Boldly Go: Volume 1 (123456) • Volume 2 (789101112) • Volume 3: IDIC (123456)
novels Star TrekStarfleet Academy (The Delta AnomalyThe EdgeThe Gemini AgentThe Assassination Game) • Into DarknessThe Unsettling StarsMore Beautiful Than Death
video games Delta Vega: Meltdown on the Ice PlanetAcademy TrainerCadet Training FacilityD-A-CRace to DestinyThe Mobile GameStar TrekRivalsDark Remnant
board games Expeditions live-action shorts Transporter CommercialBrilliant Enterprise CommercialCollision insurance commercialBold Explorers
websites Starfleet ShipyardDossiersExperience The Enterprise apps Star Trek App
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