Star Trek: The Next Generation #80
DC Comics (February, 1996)
WRITER: Michael Jan Friedman
PENCILER: Gordon Purcell
INKER: Terry Pallot
COLORIST: Gene D’Angelo
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
EDITORS: Margaret Clark & Dana Kurtin
Still androids thanks to Q’s little game, the Enterprise crew is emotionally detached from the colonists’ plight or the oddities in the station’s computer records. However Data, who has developed a certain lever of humanity and reason, is able to put the clues together and realize things are not what they seem, solving both mysteries and saving the real colonists from the slaver pirates who left their sick crewmates behind. With the disease properly identified and everything put right, Q decides to restore everyone to their proper state, believing he’s proven his point about the inferiority of androids, while Picard points out Data was able to solve the problems because he evolved as a person and thus Q’s version of androids was inaccurate.
What they got right: This was a good story to end the DC Comics run on. It’s what “The Naked Now” wanted to be, a good exploration of crew we actually have come to like over the many years dealing with a situation that forces them to work counter to their usual personalities and explore what it’s like to lose their emotional attachment to everything, while still giving Data a chance to shine and show how far he’s come as a mechanical person. Plus we get one more game from Q and I would still have loved to see John DeLance acting this story out along with the other actors.
What they got wrong: There’s another page where Data is drawn in a red costume, but in the next scene he’s back to his usual gold costume. It’s worse here than in the previous issue because of how close in time the scenes are and this time Data has a good reason to be there. How did the colorist screw this up twice in the same story?
Recommendation: For fans of the original TNG series this is definitely a two-parter to keep an eye on.
Oh, and we aren’t done with Star Trek just yet. Even if we’re out of DC and Malibu’s runs there’s still the Paramount Comics to continue and I think that’s up next. We’ll see next week but most of there comics were 24th century based. There’s even a book that features the original crew and the TNG crew in a joint double-sized comic so we’ll be back to the Enterprise before you know it.