Star Trek: The Next Generation #77
DC Comics (November, 1995)
WRITER: Michael Jan Friedman
PENCILER: Gordon Purcell
INKER: Terry Pallot
COLORIST: Rick Taylor
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
EDITOR: Margaret Clark
The Enterprise investigates a tetryon cloud near an abandoned station, a possible sign that the Solanagen are active in normal space again. They’re joined by the Hornet, whose captain is the older sister of one of the victims of the Solanagen’s experiments. (Yes, I know that’s not their name but they didn’t have one on the show and I didn’t know the novels gave them one until I started writing this so I’m going with it. The novels aren’t show canon any more than the comics most of the time anyway.) One of Geordi’s former engineers is now the chief engineer of the Hornet and he’s not sure Captain Hagler is doing too well after her brother’s death. Sure enough when they find the Solanagen ship she rushes in to destroy them but Picard isn’t convinced these are the same guys that threatened them last time. Another ship shows up and steals the first ship’s probe, which it takes back to the station and opens the gateway to their dimension…sucking the Hornet in with it!
What they got right: With the show over and hopes that Deep Space Nine or Voyager have no plans to continue with them the comic is a bit freer to pursue this thread the show didn’t pick up. The reader can kind of guess what’s about to happen with exposure to similar stories over the years, including in Star Trek, but her actions, while wrong as Picard points out given that something is up, make sense under the circumstances. Meanwhile the story knows that it’s possible not everyone in the Solanagen-based lifeforms is necessarily evil but since that’s the only thing we’ve encountered it’s understandable if that’s the first reaction. Remember, their experiments in “Schisms” led to a rather disturbing death for Hagler’s brother in the episode and the others were experimented on as well.
What they got wrong: Like I said, if you’ve seen this kind of story before, and Star Trek has done it, you know she’s going to go immediately phasers-blazing the moment she sees the aliens even if we aren’t sure the whole race is evil. The revenge story is kind of cliché at this point. You’d think Picard would have suspected it sooner.
Recommendation: A good start to the story and I’m hoping it concludes in the next issue because I actually have that. It may end up being worth checking out.