Star Trek 1409: The Burden of Knowledge

1409. The Burden of Knowledge

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Burden of Knowledge #4, IDW Comics, September 2010

CREATORS: Scott and David Tipton (writers), Federica Manfredi (artist)

STARDATE: 7101.9 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: The Enterprise's crew rescues Thompson from the Orion ship, and he is an exact copy of the Thompson who was healed by the Mygdalians, but McCoy claims neither is a clone. The ship returns to Mygdalia III and discovers cloaked areas of the planet. Kirk and his landing party, including both Thompsons, find a a facility where the Mygdalians are holding transporter duplicates of individuals from several species, presumably used to advance their medical knowledge. When discovered by authorities, Kirk frees 200 versions of Thompson as well as Klingons and Gorn. The latter two start fighting each other and the Mygdalians and Kirk beams up all the Thompsons to the Enterprise, breaking ties with the planet. The Thompsons will be allowed to integrate into society and have individual lives.

CONTINUITY: The Orions are clothed as they were in the Animated Series.

DIVERGENCES: Lt. Thompson is suddenly en ensign. The Mygdalians cloned humans, Klingons and Gorn (Arena), among others. There is no mention of this incident when something similar happens to Riker in Second Chances.

PANEL OF THE DAY - They sent me too many copies of the Gorn action figure.
REVIEW: Issue 4 doesn't quite answer all the mysteries of issue 1. What was the Mygdalians' hold over the Viritili that made them come to a sudden agreement? And now we also have to wonder what the Mygdalians were using the transporter duplicates FOR? It's all very thin. The implications of duplicating a man are well discussed, both ethical and metaphysical, and the solution would be revolutionary if not for Second Chances already having done the same thing. Even if we look at the grand experiment this would create (200 of the same person diverging from a single point), there's no way of knowing if IDW will return to the Thompsons, and especially since John Byrne has his own clone army he keeps bringing back again and again. Not to say this isn't a fun little adventure that discusses interesting (if half-formed) ideas.



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