Star Trek 970: The Dream Walkers

970. The Dream Walkers

PUBLICATION: Star Trek Annual v.2 #5, DC Comics, 1994

CREATORS: Michael Jan Friedman (writer), Carlos Garzon (artist)

STARDATE: 5268.1 (original 5-year mission, after TAS)

PLOT: The crew of the Enterprise are being subjected to dreams that are all memories of Janice Rand. Checking up on her whereabouts, Kirk finds out she's been sent on a clandestine mission to study a Chuniikite battlefield to better get a grasp of their technology before they end their civil war and become a threat to others. Spock finds coordinates in his dream and the ship follows them to a deserted planet where Janice has been plugged into the native dreamers and forced to give them entertainment through her memories. She found a way to broadcast them and lure the Enterprise there. She and the crew narrowly escape both the awakened dreamers and the angry Chuniikites.

CONTINUITY: Episodes revisited are those Janice Rand appeared in, including The Corbomite Maneuver, Miri, Charlie X, Balance of Terror, The Conscience of the King and The Enemy Within.

DIVERGENCES: Rand is mentioned to be a lieutenant at this point, though she's only a chief petty officer in The Motion Picture which occurs later (though her rank is all over the place in subsequent onscreen appearances).

PANEL OF THE DAY - AND they gave her the bottom bunk.
REVIEW: A sweet homage to Janice Rand's short stay on Star Trek, but fairly insubstantial. We've seen most of the material on television, and if the reader is meant to figure out for him or herself that Janice is missing from those scenes, the actual clues are either very obvious (her silhouette) or hidden from us (the coordinates). Though I'd say Garzon's doing a little better than in his other issues here, perhaps thanks to photo reference, there are still some very rough spots. Why you would assign an artist that has trouble making people look the same from panel to panel a talking head story like this... He also manages to kill the suspense of the escape by cutting from the planet to the transporter pad without any kind of effect, while the aliens have been in a position to grab Kirk and Janice for a number of panels. And his retro-designs, especially those of the Chuniikites, are pretty terrible. The ships are as inelegant as they can possibly be, and these advanced aliens are shown to be humans wearing medieval rags. Annuals should be exciting events, and whatever this is, it certainly isn't that.

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