Star Trek 1348: We Have Met The Enemy...

1348. We Have Met The Enemy...

PUBLICATION: Star Trek - Assignment: Earth #4, IDW Comics, August 2008

CREATORS: John Byrne (writer), John Byrne (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (1971; a year after the last issue)

PLOT: When Beta Five finds an encrypted message from the agents who hired Roberta 3½ years ago, the team goes to Florida to investigate their deaths. They discover their car crash wasn't an accident and then are attacked by the police when they inquire about it. The cops have been hypnotized by enemy agents working for Aegis' opposite number, "Counter Strike", who routinely destroy worlds that have become too advanced. It seems they've been trying to accelerate Earth's development so they can swoop in. The team gets teleported to an enemy ship full of aliens and manage to escape into airless space only to be rescued by an Aegis ship. In a back-up story simply titled "Isis", Isis helps apprehend a purse snatcher with both her cat and human abilities.

CONTINUITY: Agents 347 and 201 were mentioned but not seen in Assignment: Earth. Counter Strike were apparently rebuffed by some advanced civilizations such as the Vulcans and the Klingons.

DIVERGENCES: The Aegis aliens are shown to be giant tentacled BEMs, which is unlike their portrayal in other comics, but since they can apparently change form, this is not necessarily a mistake.

PANEL OF THE DAY - The many styles of Roberta Lincoln
REVIEW: It's all been building to this, but with 2 fewer pages than usual (given over to a cute, but extremely light back-up) and important space for a date Roberta never goes on, there doesn't seem to be time to resolve the Counter Strike story satisfyingly. Hardly any effort is spent on connecting these events to those of other issues and the agents seen there. The aliens seem to come out of nowhere and go back almost immediately. Maybe there's more to tell, if not in this series, then in some future sequel. Still, what's here is pleasant enough. The relationships between team members has become more relaxed here in "Season 4", and is strikes me that this is a very female cast, even if one of them is a computer and another, a cat. Gary Seven plays straight man to the group, but can also be the butt of the joke, such as when he plans to go undercover as Roberta's husband, but is taken for her father. Byrne obviously had fun with the Aegis' appearance, but that sequence's highlight is the desperate escape as the group allow themselves to be sucked out into space. Nice also to finally get some details on where the original agents disappeared to and who Gary Seven works for.


Anonymous said...

Counter Strike? Hmm.

There was an obscure 1969 BBC series called "Counterstrike" about two groups of alien agents on Earth, one there to help mankind, the other to destroy it. Sort of an SF/Spy series hybrid and not unlike the basic premise of Assignment: Earth.

Deliberate reference or coincidence?

Keith Martin

Siskoid said...

I think I'd go with the latter! Cool tidbit, thanks!


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