"Lets get to work" - Riker
Hmmm, I've been enjoying my comics far too much recently. Time to engage in some painful self-flagellation. Don't worry, I won't get naked if you don't, but I am going to put myself through another Star Trek: The Next Generation comicbook review. Why do this when I know only a couple of people will read this? So the good stuff looks better by comparison I guess. The last one I reviewed, Hive was diabolically awful. This is better, it is merely completely dreadful. I don't understand why Star Trek: The Next Generation seems so difficult for writers to "get". It's a vibrant and detailed universe with well defined and interesting characters and yet the comics based on it seem to be written and drawn at gunpoint. There's a real feeling of "oh that'll do, the fans will eat this shit up whatever we make" about them and this one is no exception, being as sloppily drawn as it is lazily scripted. It is NOT GOOD. I am resisting the temptation to crack a lame joke about the only "space between" being the one between my ears for buying this crap when I have been burned several times before. Oh I just did anyway? Whoops, now I hate myself more. Moving swiftly on, this is basically five stand alone stories from various points in the Next Generation's seven Tv seasons that turn out to be connected in a very vague way by revelations in the final issue. It was released in 2007 by IDW ,written by David Tischman and art by Casey Maloney and Leonard O'Grady.
The first chapter is set during The Next Generation's first season, because we have Tasha Yar still alive and Riker without a beard. The Enterprise has arrived at a planet called Tigon which has recently opened communicatiosn with the Federation. Riker, Tasha and Data beam down to meet with Chanceller Lomac to discuss possible Federation membership. As they beam down there is an energy pulse on the planet. They are met by Edic who tells them they are all plugged into a planetwide internet type thing via implanted bluetooth like devices. When they meet the chancellor it turns out to be a woman called Kadec. No trace of Lomac appears to be stored in either the planets supercomputer or peoples memories.
|To be fair the TV shows fights were lame as well|
Worf: "If we do not act soon we will end up in the Gamma Quadrant and I for one do not wish to go there"
Well, uh, Worf... when Voyager ended up in the Gamma Quadrant it initially was given that it would take seventy-five years to get back. So yeah, you might end up in the Gamma Quadrant in many years from now, but I think it's unlikely. Anyway Picard decides they can use the power of the pulse and full warp to slingshot round and arrive back in time to just before the pulse was fired. Now I know Kirk and Co. pulled this kind of stuff before but Next Generation usually had a more "realistic" portrayal of time travel. But whatever.
Back on Tigon, Data is having his memories modified so he'll report back that he has a spiffy time on the planet. This doesn't explain how this is supposed to jibe with the Enterprise being attacked and Tasha and Riker being imprisoned but there we go. Meanwhile Tasha and Riker escape captivity by using a communicator to overload the Tigon guards bluetooth, then engaging in the lamest fight seen ever.
|Recovering from a brain fiddle|
The next chapter is set during season 5 as Picard makes mention of Spock staying on Romulus. He is taking time off to go on a Federation sponsored archeological dig. The team uncover a two hundred year out shuttle pod and a bag of harmonic diamonds. Immediately a fight breaks out over who can have them as they are insanely valuable. Which I find amazing for two reasons, first of all its a Federation Dig, so they should be on it's way to a museum, though writers seem to equate Picards archeological adventures as looting expeditions. Secondly well, whatever do they need the money for? Picard in the film First Contact says it better than I:
PICARD: The economics of the future are somewhat different. ...You see, money doesn't exist in the twenty-fourth century.
LILY: No money! That means you don't get paid.
PICARD: The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. ...We work to better ourselves ...and the rest of humanity.
|The crashed shuttlepod|
Oh I forgot, on the Enteprise is small sub-plot in which Beverly Crusher invites Deanna Troi to share a holodeck program based on Saturday Night Fever. This is almost good until we get this remark from Bev:
Beverly: "Sometimes jazz and tap can feel - restrictive..plus I've lost five pounds"
Anyway, back with the archeologists, Picard using a deduction worthy of Jessica Fletcher surmises that the archeologist with him killed the rest and has the diamonds. The archeologist pulls a weapon on Picard and makes to leave him locked in the ruins but is ambused by Riker and Co. There is no explanation for how they knew Picard needed them. At the end Picard ponders that the diamonds gave out harmonics that stimulated greed centres but didn't affect him because he's a badass Captain. He also ends up with the diamonds which he at least uses to finance more digs rather than for his own enrichment.
|Ahahahaha, that's one of the worst drawings I have ever seen in a comic.|
Picard: "We all appreciate the help you gave Commander Troi. Indeed, your actions may have saved her life. But when my first officer gives you an order, you respond. Immediately and without hesitation. Regardless of personal relationships."
What. The. Fuck? I know Picard is stickler for protocol but he would NEVER prioritise that over the life of a valued crew member. This is insanely out of character for him. Bad writer, BAD.
|Things that make you go boom.|
Picard: "That ship was designed to destroy the Enterprise... we got lucky Data. But we still don't know who our enemy is."
The next story is most likely set during season five as Ensign Ro Lauren is part of the crew. She, Geordi and Worf are returning from some Starfleet briefings. A massive solar flare from a nearby planet causes them to crash on an icey planet. They manage to find shelter in a monastary, but Geordi gets seperated from them by falling into a hole so they Worf and Ro go to find him, but are attacked by the monks who seem to have a zombie like infection.
Meanwhile the Enterprise has registered the shuttle is missing but don't know where to look for them. They are also transporting the ex-leader of the planet Wyath called Ghud, who is to stand trial for crimes against the people and he needs to be delivered on time or his trial could be nulified. He has found religion while in exile and offers to help find the missing crew members. Picard allows it with heavy supervision and Ghud alters the long range sensors to detect Geordi's visor and Ro and Worf's metal accoutrements.
|Attack of the killer monks.|
The next story is set early in season two as the Evil One has replaced Beverly as Chief Medical Officer and Wesley is moping about his mum being away. They are called to a farming colony called Armada where something has gone wrong with the crops. Wesley hand out with three teenagers who are unhappy with their lot, one has been accepted to Starfleet Academy but has to stay and work the land.
Cumin: "Me and Rori work the fields for ten hours a day, then school for another four. No times for friends or fun."
Really, people in the future are miserable unfulfilled? But what about First Contact!Picard's comment that "We work to better ourselves ...and the rest of humanity." Why it's almost as if the neo-marxist utopia of a culture without money and supposed freedom to live how you wish is in fact completely unworkable in practice.
Then we return to the post-season seven present and Picard wakes with a sudden realisation. The various incidents they have investigated over the years shown here have been duplicated on other planets, for example chroniton particles were used to ruin crops on a Cardassian colony and a Maquis ship self destructed after finding some harmonic diamonds.
Data: "...Someone is using information from Starfleet logs to create offensive weapons".
Picard: " Our purpose is exploration. That anyone would pervert that information for political or military purposes could destory everything the Federation built."
The final issue have Riker, Worf, Data, Geordi and Troi infiltrating a secret Federation base they have (somehow) concluded is organising these attacks. Meanwhile Picard is talking to Admiral Nechayev about it and she warns him off. When they stop talking we see her talking to a shadowy figure saying "he knows".
Man: "You are allowed to explore because we keep the galaxy safe".
Then the away team arrive and point their phasers at him, but he has back up as well. Stuck in a Mexican standoff, Geordi tries to detonate the bombs they set up to blow up the base, but they were neutralised. So Picard and the rest beam away having accomplished precisely nothing. They still decide to throw a party like they had acheived some kind of victory and the comic ends with Picard toasting the crew. What? Is that it?! Picard and Co. just give up and carry on their merry way. Can I point to the terrible film Insurrection to show that the Enterprise will rebel against the Federation if the cause is just. But the baddies are not defeated here and the comic just ends abruptly.
|Why are you celebrating?!!!|