Star Trek: The Next Generation Annual #2
DC Comics (1991)
WRITER: Michael Jan Friendman
PENCILER: Matt Haley
INKER: Carlos Guzmon
COLORIST: Julianna Frerriter
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Robert Greenberger
The Enterprise receives a distress call from the Caspian, a ship whose captain is a childhood friend of Riker’s. Through flashback we learn that she was a risk taker but didn’t always think about the consequences. This time the consequences finally caught up with her as the ship is surrounded by drone space fighters left behind by a forgotten race who have decided to hold the ship captive and any attempt to escape or call for help meets with an attack. The Enterprise manages to get some of the injured off of the ship before they’re noticed and learn their programming is possibly territorial. With that information and a dangerous anomaly the crew came across on their way to the distress call allows Riker to defeat the robots and reunite with his old friend.
What they got right: We get more of a peek into Will Riker’s past (even though it’s not canon necessarily) and meet one of his old friends and their history together, including joining Starfleet together. Captain Halk is an interesting character and I bet she’d have some interesting adventures to share if she indeed learn when to and not to take a risk. The threat of the issue is a good one and the crew have to use their smarts to defeat it.
What they got wrong: Was the love interest angle necessary? Halk had a crush on Riker (because he’s William T. Riker, dang it!) and I don’t think it adds anything to the story. They could have just been childhood friends and that would have served fine. Though introduced decently enough into the story and used well as the solution, the anomaly is rather convenient.
Recommendation: A solid story that fans of TNG should check out.