Star Trek: Early Voyages #16
Marvel/Paramount Comics (May, 1998)
WRITERS: Ian Edginton & Dan Abnett
PENCILER: Javier Pulido
INKER: Steve Moncuse
COLORIST: Marie Javins
LETTERER: Janice Chiang
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
Millennia ago the Temazi were visited by aliens who left advanced technology behind. Worshiped as gods (Thanatos must have been either the race’s name, the Temazi’s name for their gods, or the name of the “god” who most interacted with them) they protect their cache, which rumor claims may include weapons still advanced by today’s standards. A rogue house of Klingons want that cache, which is why the Federation have sent Pike, Spock, and Boyce undercover among the pre-industrial society. One temple girl takes a liking to “Kristopher” (guess who that is) but she’s actually one of the Klingons, also in disguise, and she believes he’s actually a nobleman come from far away seeking enlightenment. Unfortunately this group is leg by Kaaj, and when he sees Pike he goes crazy and tries to kill him, revealing them to the xenophobic society. Meanwhile, the Enterprise confronts Kaaj’s crew.
What they got right: The Enterprise members use surgical methods to disguise themselves while the Klingons use make-up and appliances. That shows a big difference between the two and I kind of prefer the Klingon’s method to be honest. It’s at least easier to reverse. Coincidental as the meeting is between Pike and the Klingon agent, Virka, it is a good way to move the story along, and I wonder what would have happened if Kaaj hadn’t been there.
What they got wrong: Remember how I thought Samson would be an interesting addition to the crew? I was wrong. Talking back to the chief engineer and trying to move in on Mia…he’s actually a jerk. The real problem however was Captain April. His only canon appearance at this point was the animated episode “The Counter-Clock Incident“, where he seemed to be less of a judgmental old warhorse than he is here. He thinks Number One is weak for staying with her captain and the ship she loves, looks down on Joe and Mia’s relationship as somehow bad for morale (he’s supposed to be married to his former Chief Medical Officer, Sarah), and seems sexist against Carlotti taking over for the Chief Medical Officer (again, married his Chief Medical Officer). I don’t think they went and watched the episode to get his personality right and just wanted to make him look bad compared to Pike.
Recommendation: A good start to the story. Too bad we won’t see how it finishes. I’ll explain next time, when I review the final issue.