Star Trek 1269: Second Contact

1269. Second Contact

PUBLICATION: Star Trek - X-Men II #1, Marvel Comics, May 1998

CREATORS: Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton (writers), Cary Nord and Scott Koblish (artists)

STARDATE: 50893.5 (immediately after First Contact)

PLOT: As the Enterprise-E attempts to return to its own time after fighting the Borg in First Contact, it is instead sent sideways and into the past to the Marvel Universe. Looking for parts to repair the ship, the crew follows a Shi'ar energy signature to the X-Mansion where the X-Men are holding a reunion. Kang appears to both teams and reveals that time is broken and that two anomalies, one in each world, must be excised. Two combined Starfleet/X-Men teams split off while a third completes repairs on the Enterprise. Wesley and the Traveler appear to the latter and further reveal that Kang is exploiting them all. The anomalies are a way for space-time to fix itself and removing them will allow Kang to control both realities. They fly off to the team fighting Borg at Wolf 359 and warn them not to interfere with John Proudstar, the anomaly (he was the X-Man Thunderbird who sacrificed his life early after joining). Proudstar sacrifices his life again to save Sisko, who would one day become the Emissary of the Prophets, time dwelling entities who apparently keep Kang at bay. Wesley and co. don't warn the team fighting Sentinels in "Days of Future Past" in time however, and their anomaly, a mutant Tasha Yar, is prevented from providing the psychic bridge for the older Kate Pryde to send a message back to the X-Men. Troi provides that bridge and X-Men history is restored. Meanwhile, the Enterprise defeats Kang's timeship. The Starfleet crew initiates a return home and the X-Men beam down, but another anomaly seems to await them...

CONTINUITY: It is very much "one minute after" First Contact, with Data's metal face still uncovered and the Enterprise-E full of Borg bits. The X-Men remember Kirk's crew from Star TreX. One of the crisis points in time is the Battle of Wolf 359 (The Best of Both Worlds). The team lands on the Saratoga where we see Sisko (Emissary). The new-and-improved Sam Lavelle (Lower Decks, Star Trek Unlimited series) is back at the conn of the Enterprise-E. Wesley and the Traveler were last seen in Journey's End. Tasha Yar originally died in Skin of Evil. The story is continued in the novel Planet X.

DIVERGENCES: Obviously, the Marvel Universe doesn't really exist in the Star Trek multiverse (even if it's a parallel world, Picard shouldn't know about the Shi'ar).

PANEL OF THE DAY - Your Sentinels will be assimilated.
REVIEW: When I saw Abnett and Edginton credited on this comic, I started to hope it wouldn't fall into the same pitfalls the first Star Trek/X-Men crossover did. I really shouldn't have worried. Though there are still a lot splash pages, Cary Nord's art minimizes the anatomical gap between the two franchise, and only Colossus seems to tower over the other characters (as it should be). I don't know if these are the X-Men of the day (I'd long quit the title), but I don't think so. The writers have provided a "reunion" to get all the best ones together, and even made it important for some of them (Kitty seeing herself die in the future, for example). Worf and Data seem particularly well suited to rubbing elbows with superheroes, as does the space-time traveling Wesley. Kang makes for a cool time-traveling villain who, despite his clothes, could fit into the Star Trek universe (but the name is taken). The writers make great use of both franchises' continuities (where Star TreX failed), taking us to iconic moments for each. The inclusion of Sisko and his importance to the timeline was much appreciated by this DS9 fan, and Days of Future Past is THE classic X-Men time travel story. Somehow, Picard fighting Sentinels doesn't seem jarring, perhaps because it's so science fiction based. Whoever thought of the thematic link between Thunderbird and Tasha Yar, both killed before their time, should be applauded. The Borg and the Sentinels are also a great match. But you know what's missing, don't you? Professor X and Patrick Stewart in a dual role! As for the cliffhanger ending, it links into a crossover novel by Michael Jan Friedman I had completely forgotten about. One day, I'll have to read it...


De said...

As nutty fun, I kinda liked this but I hope hope hope that this sort of thing will never happen again.

Minor continuity pick: Sisko was stationed aboard the Saratoga, not the Miranda (thought the Saratoga is a Miranda-class starship).

MOCK! said...

I have this issue somewhere in the house and I remember being SO frustrated that it continued in a "novel". Too many words...hurts my head....maybe someone will do a comic adaptation so I can finally know how this ends...

Matthew Turnage said...

Whereas Star Trek / X-Men was merely better than I expected, this one was actually pretty good, certainly much better than it had any right to be.

That said, I agree with De. Let us never pass this way again.

Anonymous said...

The novel wasn't awful, but I remember that too much of it dealt with a planet developing mutants for the first time. Who cares? The scenes of Wolverine in Ten Forward and Picard teaming up with Archangel were fun, so it wasn't a total wash, but I thought the book could have used more of what made the TNG/ X-Men comic fun.

-Mike Loughlin

Timothy Tuohy said...

I just saw this today, was on vacation, so I thought I'd chime in.

This was a lot of fun. If you stayed with the book all the way to the end, you were treated to a little behind the scenes tale of what went on to make this story happen. It was all true!

I was given this assignment with very little lead time. This book is one of those instances where, as an editor, I took more of a lead in the creation of the story. I did this specifically to cut down any time that might have been lost with rewrites. I knew what I could "get away with" (I mean that positively) so this gave me the ability to lead my writers in a manner that allowed their creativity to expand upon my pre-approved story concept.

I chose which members of the X-Men would appear because, honestly, they were my favorites and I felt that they would be better suited to drive the story. Also, the majority of the humor was provided by me.

Cary Nord's art received one of the best compliments from Patrick Stewart, "He can draw me anytime." This accolade would be repeated with another artist for another character that should be reviewed soon.

To address De's note: I rechecked the issue and the Saratoga was not mentioned by name. It was referred to as a Miranda-class vessel by Data. That's not to say there wasn't a mistake here or there. At the time of this story and when it takes place in the Marvel Universe, the Baxter Building was not called that. It was Four Freedoms Plaza!

The idea to "continue" the story came from Paramount and Pocket Books. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with Michael Jan Friedman but made sure that the comic provided readers with a self-contained story.

Hope that was helpful!

Timothy Tuohy said...

Oh, and Jonathan Frakes autographed a copy for my birthday!

Austin Gorton said...

As for the cliffhanger ending, it links into a crossover novel by Michael Jan Friedman I had completely forgotten about. One day, I'll have to read it...

I did read, 'round about when it was first published. I remember...very little about it. I have vague recollections of Archangel flying down the corridors of the Enterprise and thinking "this is just odd" but continuing on...

This issue was a lot of fun. Kinda silly, and best not to think about too hard, but X-Men, TNG, Kang, time travel? On a very superficial level, I was happy.


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