Star Trek 998: Return to Raimon

998. Return to Raimon

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation #1, DC Comics, October 1989

CREATORS: Michael Jan Friedman (writer), Pablo Marcos (artist)

STARDATE: 42305.7 (between Elementary, Dear Data and The Outrageous Okona)

PLOT: The Enterprise-D goes to the planet Raimon for its Primarch's death celebration, held traditionally before the leader's death. He was there once before and made both friends (the Primarch, his daughter) and enemies (the brutish Lord Tardol). The Primarch is nowhere to be found at his own party, but his envoy secretly leads Picard to his summer home where the captain finds him... dead! He captures Tardol running away from the room, but then both are arrested on charges of murder by the guards...

CONTINUITY: Picard visited Raimon when he was in command of the Stargazer.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Worf never did enough kung fu fighting on the series.
REVIEW: Michael Jan Friedman is one of the better known Star Trek novel writers, and rightly so. He's shown time and again his ability to juggle an ensemble cast, using the books to have us meet the former crews of Picard and Sisko, for example. He's also got an interest in mysteries, which to my mind, is better and wider than Weinstein's factions stuff in the TOS series. And while there's a mystery here, it's only really the set-up. There are many subplots taking us away from the Raimon mission, though they read more like introductions to the various characters for people who aren't that familiar with the series (which was quite possible at the time, at the end of Season 2). Even so, Worf is already better used than in the series, with nary a line of dialogue. There's a thing with an engineer (McRobb) proving himself a weakling on the holodeck, but I can't tell where it's going. McRobb doesn't do much for me as an original character as yet. As for the art, Pablo Marcos is a bit over-reliant on photo referencing at times, but he shows in long shots and with non-series characters that he's got the chops. In fact, I think the art fails to shine mostly because of the dark color palette employed by colorist Julianna Ferriter. Now... what's with that silly planet name?

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