Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 issues 1 & 2 – Man oh man, have I been enjoying the Star Trek output at IDW. It just get’s better now that they are teaming up the Next Gen crew with the current incarnation of Doctor Who. Usually Trek crossovers don’t fare too well, but this is a definite exception so far. The writers have captured the Doctor’s voice well and the Trek cast as well. The Borg have teamed up with the Cybermen and are on the move assimilating planets. Rather than pretend that the Trek era of Earth’s future is just part of the Who universe, there is some strangeness being hinted at as to why these two teams are in the same place at the same time. The first issue shows the build up of the Cyber/Borg alliance invasion and has The Doctor, Rory and Amy on an adventure in ancient Egypt. We get a quick little bit of fun and then the Doctor promises some relaxation. The first issue introduces the Doctor and his companions by showing them in action and letting their personalities and character traits shine through. Then it hits you with a humdinger of a final page.
Then the second issue shows Picard and crew on a diplomatic mission of some importance with a dash of peril and adventure. Like the Doctor-centric first issue, the TNG crew is introduced through their interactions. The writers definitely are showing instead of telling and it really does work. We get to know the personality types and just how comfortable they are with each other. The crew has always had a familial quality and that is shown here rather well. We see the lead up to that final page of the first issue, and if you came to this from the Doctor Who side of things and not the Star Trek side of things then you will be surprised by how it all came together. Even if you are not surprised, it is a whole lot of fun. From the dialogue we see that this is not being treated as if the Trek and Who universes are the same and always have been. The Doctor is realizing that he knows about things he is quite certain he’d never even heard of before. The explanation is going to be quite interesting. I am definitely hooked for the duration of this mini series. As a fan of both television shows, this book is a blast. Especially in moments like when the Doctor is doing his usual babble at one point and Worf tells him to “please stop talking”.
I felt like the art, at times, left a bit to be desired. Some panels lack detail. It seemed like there were moments captured perfectly and wonderfully, but the time spent on them were to the detriment of other pages. It also seemed like capturing likenesses was the most important concern, and that quite often leads to somewhat stiff art. However, the story and characterization are so well done that the bad pages can’t bog them down at all.
Star Trek (ongoing) #10 – This month’s issue concludes the re-telling of the original series episode “Return of the Archons”. To be honest, I don’t recall being a big fan of the episode. If I am recalling correctly the basic premise is the same. I like the added touch of the U.S.S. Archon having been an NX class ship, just like the one from the series Star Trek: Enterprise. It’s nice to have another acknowledgement of that series after the reference to Admiral Archer in the feature film. While the basic story isn’t any better than it’s original version, the exploration of the Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman versions of the Enterprise crew is what makes this so enjoyable. This series sometimes greatly diverges from the episodes it is based on, but it never strays from who these people are. The interplay between the characters and the capturing of who they are makes it so you can hear each actor perfectly in your head. In fact, there is a moment with Scotty where he’s talking to himself, that you just wish Simon Pegg was reading it to you if not playing it in a full adaptation. It has been an enjoyable series overall. Some stories are better than others, but the characterizations are getting so good that they are saving lackluster stories. Also, at the end of the issue the groundwork is laid for a subplot that would seem to have wide-reaching repercussions. It would indicate more involvement of Admiral Pike, which would be great I think. He was one of my favorite things about the movie. The art is good, it doesn’t sacrifice quality in favor of likenesses, but you can easily see who they are supposed to look like.
How about you guys? Have you been enjoying any of the IDW Trek books? How about Doctor Who? Let me know what you think.
Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California’s Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California’s BEAUTIFUL–San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he’s too poor to be a Producer or Publisher.
Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock’n’Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long.
So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don’t agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F—in’ rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.