Star Trek: Early Voyages #15
Marvel/Paramount Comics (April, 1998)
“Now And Then”
WRITERS: Ian Edginton & Dan Abnett
PENCILER: Patrick Zircher
INKER: Steve Moncuse
COLORIST: Marie Javins
LETTERER: Janice Chiang
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
The Enterprise is rescued by the Excelsior, but when the former Number One learns of Mia’s situation she lets them go. Our heroes make it to Algol but the planet is being used by Chiang and the Klingons, possibly as a staging point to attack the Federation. While Kirk’s team beams down with Mia, Pike and Chiang have a last stand. The “Well Of Tomorrows” is actually an entity who monitors time (how many of these things are there in the Star Trek Universe anyway?), and it brings Mia back to her proper point in time, reunited with Joe. The orb she used is no longer acting as a time portal but it is still a window and Pike sees his own future…horribly burned and trapped in a wheelchair.
What they got right: The ending is satisfactory. Alternate Scotty got to finally play with a starship’s engines. Having the Excelsior stay out of it made sense in-story and made things a bit more challenging for the heroes. We also got to see Kirk and Pike patch up their differences.
What they got wrong: This is the second comic this week where satisfying ending doesn’t mean how they got there was satisfying. As I feared, everyone in the alternate timeline dies. While only Sulu, Saavik, and Scotty (as well as his Andorian crewmate) we see die while Pike is about to activate the self-destruct and we get an inference that Kirk and the rest of his crew are going to die as well. Do we really have to do the “everyone dies in the alternate timeline/universe” thing all the time unless they’re the evil counterparts? (And even some of them die.) It’s a bit cliched at this point. We also get no explanation as to why that one orb became a time gate or why it no longer works. Did the entity behind the Well shut it down somehow?
Recommendation: A decent story if an overused ending. Worth reading just the same.