Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #29
Malibu Comics Entertainment (October, 1995)
WRITER: Mark Paniccia
COLOR DESIGN: Moose Bauman
INTERIOR COLOR: Malibu
EDITOR: Phil Crain
“Sole Asylum” part one”
PENCILER: Rod Whigham
INKER: Terry Pallot
“Enemies & Allies” part one
CO-PLOTTER: Tim Russ
PENCILER: Rob Davis
INKER: Aubrey Badford
Worried that the Cardassians may learn how to recreate the freak accident that led to Riker’s transporter clone Thomas, Sisko has been sent to negotiate his release. Meanwhile, a special scientist is brought by the Cardassians in the hopes of unlocking that very secret. However, she is concerned that giving her people a way around the anti-cloning rules to create the ultimate soldier (think the clone army of the Star Wars universe) is not such a good idea. too bad one of the other scientists overhear her making that statement.
What they got right: It would make sense for the Cardassians to attempt something like this as they have their hands on Thomas. (For the uninitiated Thomas Riker is a transporter copy of William from the TNG episode “Second Chances” who would later join anti-Cardassian extremist group the Maquis and attempt to steal the Defiant in the DS9 episode “Defiant”.) Between this and the second story I’m guessing someone wanted to get the characters from the other shows in but either DC had the rights or at the time nobody had the Star Trek: Voyager rights, as seen in the second story. Conceptually this story does work.
What they got wrong: I think the writer wanted to also focus on the, for lack of a better term, side effects of Thomas Riker’s life after the copying of Will Riker and the tragedy of it. However, it’s all told in narration, a good example of “tell, don’t show”, which is not a good thing. Hopefully the second half will fix that, but a story about Thomas’s time on the planet and maybe seeing “Second Chances” from his perspective could be interesting. I think the accompanying text analysis of Thomas’s existence by Chris Kipinak has more potential in this area. Also, Thomas is said to only be nine years old, or rather his body is. If Thomas is a copy of Will, wouldn’t he still have the same physical age? Otherwise it means the transporter does destroy and recreate the body. So is Will’s body only a few hours old from his last beaming?
The second tale takes place in the mirror universe, which by the 24th century saw the Empire crumble but instead of a better future, because Deep Space Nine chronicled it as it was often cynical of Roddenberry’s vision (though not outright antagonistic as I’ve heard about Star Trek: Picard), fell to a joint alliance of Klingons and Cardassians, with the Bajorians joining this more violent alliance. Seems the mirror universe can’t catch a break. Anyway, Bashir and Tuvok (there’s that Voyager connection) are on a mission to deliver a chip when they are captured by a Klingon attack party and taken prisoner. The chip turns out to be in Tuvok’s arm, and the Klingon is more than willing to pull it out in a very bloody way. So how much of this is according to Bashir and Tuvok’s actual plan?
Like I said, I think this just exists so they could use another character they didn’t have the license to, since I think mirror Tuvok showed up in one of the two DS9 episodes that involved the mirror universe. Plus it wouldn’t make sense for a Voyager type situation to happen in this universe. (I wonder what they’d do if the Borg finally reached their area since presumably Q didn’t introduce them early here?) However the story is too short to really get a bead on the story and I would have still rather not had a backup story that again is a two-parter like the main story. Save that room for the main story. That’s more a preference issue mind you but a full-length mirror universe tale could work.
Recommendation: Thus far both stories have issues but ultimately also are fairly good starts. Even the prose feature on Thomas is a two-parter. Depending on how it ends next issue this could be one to consider.