Sunday, March 1, 2009

COMIC REVIEW - Star Trek: The Next Generation (DC Comics, 1987 Miniseries)

Written by Mike Carlin
Art by Pablo Marcos and Carlos Garzon

Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in 1987 and became a surprise hit. DC Comics, at the time producing a successful enough Star Trek comic book, would eventually produce a miniseries based on the new show lasting six issues. Naturally, the miniseries is non-canon to the larger Trek canon, so put down your phaser canons because this thing is BONKERS.

The Enterprise crew get into the Christmas spirit or something and they meet Santa Claus. There's a three-issue arc featuring Q as an absolute madman, which may or may not be far off from the actual character; who the fuck knows. Honestly, I feel like whoever wrote that second season of Picard read this thing and made old Q seem like this Q... almost. Fundamentally, the comic takes a lot of liberties with the source material and I'm not quite how much material they had to work with when they put this series together. But reading this stuff now and knowing how the series (as well as the franchise as a whole) would turn out afterwards, this feels like some whacked-out fanfiction written by someone who has no idea what they're doing. And I'm not faulting Mike Carlin on this one; it's entirely possible he had little to work with and thus needed to fill the blanks.

I'll give him this much; I was thoroughly entertained throughout. This, along with the artwork making all the characters appear buffer and more seemingly well-built with Herculean physiques - they had spandex spacesuits at the time, so I'm sure the art direction was a Rodenberry wet dream. But listen, you can debate the continuity snags (Stardates has you assuming this takes place in the second season, but it's clearly based on the first since Riker has no beard and Tasha is still alive) and some of the minor nitpicks, but the one thing you can't accuse this of is boring. For six issues, you're getting some of the more wacky takes on Star Trek that you're gonna get, almost right up there with the old Gold Key stuff from back in the days. Don't come into this with high expectations and you're going to enjoy this one immensely. Highly recommended for the lulz.

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