1198. Return to the Forbidden Planet, Part 2... A Prelude to War
PUBLICATION: Starfleet Academy #10, Marvel Comics, September 1997
CREATORS: Chris Cooper (writer), Chris Renaud and Andy Lanning (artists)
STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last issue)
PLOT: On Talos IV, the cadets and Captain Pike fight the Jem'Hadar to prevent them from launching a war against the Alpha Quadrant's telepathic species. Though they fare well, a mission must be undertaken by Pava to disable the Jem'Hadar's shielded position. She succeeds, but her spine is broken in the ensuing fight. T'Priell uses the transporter to turn the Dominion forces into melted flesh, one of many uncharacteristic things done by the "Vulcan" this issue. Captain Pike cannot return to Earth with Omega Squad because he has been dead for 50 years. The Talosians created an illusion of him using the collective qualities of the cadets as a basis. Upon getting back to the Academy, they find they are facing trial for breaking the general order not to go to Talos IV. Spock announces his intention to serve as their counsel...
CONTINUITY: See previous issue (Pike, Talos IV, Jem'Hadar, Spock). Vina (The Cage) appears in a flashback.
DIVERGENCES: If Pike was totally an illusion, the contradiction mentioned in issue #9 isn't one.
PANEL OF THE DAY - Dr. Sam Beckett wasn't expecting Jem'Hadar.
REVIEW: On occasion, you ask yourself if this is really Star Trek because Cooper has no trouble treading on superhero ground. But can we blame him for using the medium's tropes? After all, this isn't television even if it is based on a television show. Case in point, the bit where Edam reads the Jem'Hadar's minds and relays their fighting moves to Pava so she can dodge them a split second faster (giving her a sort of Spider-sense). I'll let you decide if that's too much for the Star Trek universe. Such sequences do justify the Dominion's fears about telepaths, however! Even if you think that scene is dodgy, there are plenty of other good ones... Nog blasting Jem'Hadar troops with the Runabout. T'Priell going Romulan with the transporter. The Talosians listing the cadets' attributes as a recipe for making a Captain Pike. I imagine Pava can recover from her injury, and I hope she does. All in all, a fun finish.