Star Trek Unlimited #5
Marvel/Paramount Comics (September, 1997)
WRITERS: Dan Abnett & Ian Edginton
COLORIST: Kevin Tinsley
LETTERER: Phil Felix
EDITOR: Tim Tuohy
The Next Generation: “Secret Lives”
PENCILER: Ron Randall
INKER: Al Williamson (additional inks by Art Nichols)
The Original Series: “As Flies To Wanton Boys”
PENCILER: Tom Morgan
INKER: Kev Sutherland
TNG: The Enterprise is sent to realign an array bordering Cardassian space and find out what happened to the crew. Instead, the away team finds themselves suffering from their worse fears. Frankly this feels like half a story. Seeing the fears of Riker, Dr. Crusher, Worf, and Troi, or at least the fears chosen, worked well but this could have used something more. The explanation comes out of nowhere, the characters never overcome their fears, some of which needed to be conquered, and the ending just comes up a bit short. Maybe this should have been a two-part story or take up the full issue, as this series was usually double the size to fit in both series.
TOS: Investigating a structure on a presumably uninhabited world that can’t be beamed into (that’s the theme of the issue–the transporters are useless), the shuttle crashes when it hits an electromagnetic dampening field. The landing party finds there are natives, but when Spock finds a way into the structure, which is also the cause of the dampening field, he learns they’re actually genetic creations who killed their creators, the dampening field meant to ensure they never evolve technology and become a threat. Spock shuts it down to rescue the crew as they have another emergency to handle.
Yes, it’s the “you’re the only ship in the area” and “crashed shuttle” tropes, but the former almost seems useless when it comes to tension. The story really doesn’t have room to use it, but unlike the first story everything else fits well into the period, including the explanation of what the beings are. How the creators got genetic material from the humans, Gorn, and Klingons–and why choose those three–could have used some explanation and really wasn’t necessary. We’ve seen robotic and genetic creations turn on their creators before. Overall though it’s a complete story and a pretty good one…but why does Scotty have a mustache?
Overall this isn’t a bad issue. The first story needed more room but is still decent and the second story is quite good. This is one worth looking into. Also, I think this is the last piece of Star Trek media I’ll be reviewing this week. One a day wasn’t in the game plan…mostly because I didn’t have one going into this week.