1440. The Truth About Tribbles Part 2
PUBLICATION: Star Trek #12, IDW Comics, August 2012
CREATORS: Mike Johnson (writer), Claudia Balboni (artist)
STARDATE: Unknown (follows previous issue).
PLOT: The Enterprise crew find a way to disable the tribbles' fruitfulness, and must instruct Starfleet Academy on what to do to handle their own infestation.
CONTINUITY: See previous issue (Delta Vega, older Spock, tribbles, Klingons, glommers). There are also appearances by Admiral Pike (Star Trek), Keenser (Star Trek), and Janice Rand (TOS). The name McCoy gives to the as-yet unnamed tribbles here is a wink to their original episode, The Trouble with Tribbles. Admiral Archer's prized beagle (the most recent Porthos, one imagines) is involved (Star Trek).
DIVERGENCES: See previous issue (Scotty's nephew).
PANEL OF THE DAY - Questions no one ever asks of Vulcans.
REVIEW: There are some nice elements in this issue, but others that don't quite work. For example, I don't think the whole Klingon bomb jeopardy was well handled. It gives Uhura something to do, but we just spend several panels reading repeated Klingon, and the lettering doesn't even draw a difference between Uhura's perfect dialect and the landing party's apparently botched efforts. And since the Klingons aren't further involved, it seems like it could have been any obstacle, really. It falls flat. The tribbles infest the Enterprise and the Academy, and Balboni does a good job with the material, but the execution of the solution put to work on the ship is lacking. We're told what must be done, and then it's done, but you wouldn't know it from just looking at the art. Happily, the comic fixes I've heard fans complain a heck of a lot about, and that's the fate of Archer's beagle at the hands of Scotty. According to the movie, Scotty dematerialized the poor pooch and never reconstituted him, a hapless pet used as a punch line. This issue reveals that Scotty's tribble experiments were tied to his attempted retrieval of the dog (though just how isn't clear, nor does it make complete sense that X-Generation Porthos' molecules could be grabbed out of thin space like that, at least not according to what we know of Star Trek transporters), and at the end, he manages it. He gets the dog back. Yeah, it doesn't make much sense, but it does eliminate one of the film's injustices. And there's another mention of Starfleet intelligence, this time taking custody of the tribbles on Earth, so we're probably heading for a Section 31 (or whatever) storyline in the near future. I've never been particularly happy about a shadow group inside Starfleet/the Federation, but it seems like fertile ground for the comics anyway. Let's see what they do with it. Final analysis: This story won't dethrone either of the two live action tribble episodes anytime soon (there's very little comedy, for one thing), but I think it was probably wise not to attempt a straight rehash of the original story.