Star Trek 1334: Disgrace

1334. Disgrace

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation - Intelligence Gathering #5, IDW Comics, May 2008

CREATORS: Scott Tipton and David Tipton (writers), David Messina (artist)

STARDATE: 45939.6 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: The Enterprise gets to the planet they've been drawn to apparently just in time for the attempted assassination of its leader. They need a doctor, so Picard sends Crusher and Data, but he's ready for anything. Romulans soon kidnap Data, but he was embedded with a transponder for just this eventuality. Picard, Riker and Worf follow to an underground facility where Tomalak and a team of Romulan scientists are toying with an Iconian gateway. They've accidentally created a rift to the home of some horrible spider-demons intent on destroying our universe, and are only held by a forcefield. The Romulans need Data to work out how to close the rift, something proven when the scientists make a failed attempt that releases some deadly demons into the facility. Data does work out a way, but it requires someone to be on the other side. He volunteers, but an older Romulan sacrifices himself instead. It works, but Picard doesn't see why Tomalak couldn't just ask for help instead of crazy subterfuge, kidnappings, murders and possessions. As Riker says, Romulans fear disgrace more than death.

CONTINUITY: Ro and O'Brien once again appear. Tomalak last appeared in issue #1. The Haakona is the Romulan ship that found the first Iconian gateway in Contagion. Worf uses one of the Romulan fighter craft seen in Nemesis to fight the creatures.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Awkwardly caught in an embrace by a spider-demon.
REVIEW: So it does wrap back to the Romulans from issue #1, and though it makes their plans totally insane, they're still worthy foes for Picard's Enterprise. So, good revelation there, with the Rommies continuing their interest in Iconian gateways. They wouldn't have let it go after Contagion, that makes sense. The whole demon dimension isn't fully explained and seems out of place in a Star Trek story that otherwise emulates the feel of TNG, but it's at least fun to draw. Not that Messina's art always lends itself to clear action. Though I claim Worf uses one of the nifty fighters from Nemesis (the ones Picard flies through the ship), it's played in close-ups, so I can't really be sure. What should have been a classic Worf punch line instead reads as a bit of an enigma. I shouldn't be trying to understand the joke, I should be chuckling at it. What I do like is the coda to the piece. We actually learn something about the Romulan mindset, one that puts a spin on their usual deceptive games. The last page almost saves the whole mini, but not quite. Intelligence Gathering didn't work for me. Disappointing given how much I liked the Tiptons' early Klingon mini.

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