Was someone afraid to put Michael Dorn in whiteface on this cover?

Star Trek: The Next Generation #79

DC Comics (January, 1996)

“Artificiality”

WRITER: Michael Jan Friedman

PENCILER: Gordon Purcell

INKER: Terry Pallot

COLORIST: Gene D’Angelo

LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos

EDITORS: Margaret Clark & Dana Kurtin

A random comment during a eulogy for a fallen crew member gives Q the idea to turn the rest of the crew into androids like Data. However, Data has benefited all these years from being around humans and learning about them while the crew regresses from their lack of emotions into something more like “young” Data in people skills or attachments and find it hard to adjust. It doesn’t help when they respond to a distress signal of a mining colony under threat of a virus. The now android crew are immune but there seem to be a lack of the precious stones and the computers have been tampered with. What’s worse, the virus has no known cure and will kill the colonists.

What they got right: This is a story that could have been an episode based on concept alone. We see how various members of the cast react to being turned into androids. Troi still has her empathic powers but cannot interpret the impressions she’s receiving. Crusher’s lost all bedside manner. Geordi is trying to find “something missing” addresses his situation like an engineer. Picard and Riker both see numerous responses to a situation but Picard is having trouble choosing one course over another. Worf lacks his Klingon connections. Heck, the story would be worth seeing on TV just to have the various performers trying to out-android Brent Spiner while the artist shows Q so hamming it up John DeLancie would have a blast with it.

What they got wrong: There are a couple of times the captions don’t flow as well as it could have, and one whole page has Data’s uniform colored red where it should be gold, and I’m not even sure when he came into that scene.

Recommendation: If the story ends as well as it starts this may end up being a must-own arc. As it stands it’s still worth looking into for the concept alone.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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