Marvel Comics/Paramount Comics (December, 1996)
This special was produced to introduce Marvel taking the Star Trek license from DC as part of a licensing deal with Paramount.“Star TreX” WRITER: Scott Lobdell PENCILERS: Marc Silvestry, Billy Tan, Anthony Winn, & David Finch BACKGROUND ASSISTS: Brian Ching INKERS: Batt, D-Tron, Billy Tan, Aaron Dowd, & Joe Weems INK ASSISTS: Victor Llamas, Team Tron, Jose “Jag” Guller, Viet Troung, & Mike Manczarek COLORIST: Tyson Wengler, Steve Firchow, Jonathan D. Smith, & Richard Isanove LETTERER: Dennis Heisler TOP COW COORDINATOR: Mike Manczarek ASSISTANT EDITOR: Polly Watson EDITOR: Bobby Chase
STARDATE: 4740.5: A psychic anomaly near the planet where Gary Mitchell died after obtaining near-godlike powers brings the Enterprise to investigate. It turns out to be a portal to the Marvel universe and Deathbird wants whatever is causing it. The X-Men follow at Llandra’s request but the ship is destroyed, forcing them to teleport to the Enterprise. (Roll call: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Beast, McCoy, Gambit, and Bishop.) The source turns out to be X-Foe Proteus, who has merged with Gary’s body. With Jean’s help, Kirk makes contact with Gary’s humanity who allows the heroes to kill him again, setting Proteus free. The X-Men commandeer Darkbird’s ship to return to their universe and all is well until the follow up crossover with TNG.
What they got right: There are some good character moments and some fun moments of the two teams meeting up, especially the two Doctor McCoys when attending to the injured Gambit. The two groups actually work well together from the start, which is rare in a Marvel comic. Also, any potential for the X-Men worrying about the Federation having issues with mutants (like Gary) are done away with quickly and don’t bog down the story, which is rare for an X-Men crossover.
What they got wrong: The character bits were too short, especially when Kirk (who of course hits on Jean) discusses his worries about dealing with Gary again. Which also brings up the question of whether or not Proteus somehow revived Gary at the same time. And why was no mention made of Doctor Dehner, who was also “gifted” like Gary was and also dies on the planet trying to stop Gary while she had some humanity left? Proteus keeps talking about how lonely he was and wanted to find someone who saw the universe as he did but only found Gary. He didn’t want a girlfriend? Spock and Bones’ arguing is usually a fun bit on the show and other comics, even in the Enterprise: The First Adventure novel I’m currently reading for Chapter By Chapter but Lobdell overdoes it and it become annoying and I think Lobdell does it just to have Spock show up McCoy. (I sense a bias, that sadly includes Wolverine shaking off the Vulcan Nerve Pinch thanks to his healing factor or something.) The art isn’t all bad but it does have its moments. Finally, what happened to Proteus after Gary’s body was blasted by phasers and mutant powers?
Recommendation: I may return to this comic in a future Scanning My Collection installment because there’s a lot more to cover than I could fit in this article. It’s not a bad story but there are things that could have been done better. It’s worth a look.