Star Trek Unlimited #3
Marvel/Paramount Comics (March, 1997)
WRITER: Dan Abnett & Ian Edginton
COLORIST: Kevin Somers
LETTERER: Phil Felix
The Original Series: “Message In A Bottle”
PENCILER: Mark Buckingham
INKER: Kev Sutherland
EDITOR: Tim Tuohy
The Next Generation: “Sins Of The Fathers”
PENCILER: Ron Randall
INKER: Al Williamson
EDITORS: Bobbie Chase & Mark Paniccia
In our TOS story Kirk, Sulu, Uhura, Nurse Chapel, and a crewman named Corman are part of a shuttle mission to explore an anomaly and make contact with beings on the other side. When Kirk is knocked out Uhura is next in the chain of command, which upsets Corman because she’s not high enough in the command structure in his opinion. (At least it’s not because she’s a woman or some crap.) They eventually learn the anomaly IS the lifeform attempting to contact them and long story short manage to escape.
The story itself is fine. Although I would have liked to have seen Corman admit he was being a dumbass the whole time (it cuts out just as he comes to talk to Uhura so for all we know he was going to continue getting on her case) my only real problem is the facial expressions don’t always match the dialog and what their face should be like. Even within legalities Kirk doesn’t look that much like Shatner while the others with show counterparts are at least close. I like the concept and for the most part the story is fine.
In the TNG story the crew go to a planet that has been in civil war for years, one the extreme industrialists of the Urlan and the religious Dren’ai. Dren’ai loyalists sneak weapons into the Federation relief supplies, which the Urlan ambassador is convinced make the Federation either compliant or stupid. It doesn’t help when the Dren’ai steals a shuttlecraft and goes after an Urlan refugee camp until it’s learned the Urlan, sterilized thanks to chemical warfare by the Dren’ai, have been stealing Dren’ai eggs right out of their prisoners’ wombs to revitalize their side. With no one side all Urlan or Dren’ai there is a cease fire until this can all be sorted out.
That’s really the problem with this story. I thought they were the same race separated by extreme religious and extreme anti-religious viewpoints crashing against each other (possibly by the leadership but we only meet Dren’ai terrorists, not their leaders, and only one ambassador from the Urlan), but sometimes they’re treated like two different races to make a point about ethnic cleansing, which as I recall was a big issue at the time. It’s two competing motivations and I think they should have chose one (probably the ethnic cleansing since that’s clearly what they wanted to focus on) and worked with that. Otherwise the art is good and story has potential if not for the conflicting motivations.
Overall this was a decent book but not a great book. Still worth a look at but the second story in particular doesn’t reach its potential while the first has minor art issues.