PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Early Voyages #17, Marvel Comics, June 1998
CREATORS: Ian Edginton and Dan Abnett (writers), Javier Pulido and Steve Moncuse (artists)
STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last issue)
PLOT: Discovered by the Temazi, Pike, Kaaj and their respecting landing parties fight/run for their lives. The Temazi unleash their alien Thanatos weapons, large killer robots that attack both them and their ships. Up in orbit, the confrontation between the Enterprise and the Klingons takes a nasty turn as Admiral April undermines Number One's authority and tactics. Down below, Kaaj gives his life to destroy pursuing Thanatos machines, dying knowing Pike will be haunted by his death. The landing parties get to a shuttle and fly off the planet, but it may or may not be lost when April orders torpedoes that create a shockwave that hits the Enterprise and knocks out Number One...
CONTINUITY: See previous issue (Robert April, Kaaj).
DIVERGENCES: There is Voyager episode and a feature film that share that title.
PANEL OF THE DAY - The maddening finish
REVIEW: Down on the planet, we have Kaaj's epic death, worthy of a Klingon. Up above, there's human drama as April turns out to be something of a baddie, consistently undermining Number One's tactics. Sita shows herself to be an ambitious ladder climber, following April's lead rather than Number One's. The outer space action is a bit cartoony in places, but it ends in a strong cliffhanger. And despite all its strengths, I don't recommend you read the last two issues of Early Voyagers. See, it ends here, in the middle of that cliffhanger. What will April do with his returned command? Is Number One alright? Is Pike dead? And will he get the girl? What about Grace's troubles below decks? And does Sita get a better job after this? All unknowns. You can really tell here that Marvel's Star Trek line collapsed without warning. There wasn't even time to to turn some pages into a quick epilogue. Extremely frustrating and it stinks of wasted potential. All it needed was one more issue to wrap things off satisfyingly, I'm sure.