Star Trek 848: The Last Word

848. The Last Word

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #28, DC Comics, July 1986

CREATORS: Diane Duane (writer), Gray Morrow (artist)

STARDATE: 8899.7 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: It's a day in the life of a tired Dr. McCoy. After an away mission goes south (six-armed bear attack!), the victim is lost and his best friend mysteriously falls into a coma. At a loss for an explanation, McCoy tries a mindmeld and discovers the young man's coma is due to trauma caused by seeing his friend die so horribly. McCoy talks him out of the coma and is warned about ever attempting such a thing by a vision of Spock.

CONTINUITY: Dr. M'Benga gets a mention. Medical staffers Lia Burke and Tom Krejci have appeared in Diane Duane's novels, as have various mentioned crew members including Naraht the Horta, Brassard, Athende and Lee (at least in My Enemy, My Ally). McCoy's mindmeld is possible thanks to an echo of Spock's katra, an echo that warns him not to do it again (and so he never does in canon).

DIVERGENCES: Duane gives McCoy's middle name a Edward, even though his middle initial is H. The uppity, smart-alecky Excelsior computer is like nothing we've ever seen since the sexy computer voice from Tomorrow Is Yesterday.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Bones Beefcake
REVIEW: Diane Duane produces a very different story from the comic antics of her last two-parter, a story told singly through McCoy's point of view, right down to not seeing the away mission. For the first two thirds, it reads as a hospital show more than space opera, guest artist Gray Morrow turning in his usual subtle art, perfect for this kind of human story. Duane might get in hot water with McCoy's mindmeld, but she does close the door before she leaves, and it gives us the visual of Bones walking around with a flaming caduceus. Though this is essentially a drama, there is humor, most of it working very well. McCoy's snarky computer is a bit over the top, but he gets all the best lines throughout the piece, and has some good, well characterized moments with his staff.

3 comments:

De said...

I was really surprised that the letter column in issue 32 (regarding this issue) wasn't full of uncertainty about or condemnation of the McCoy mind meld.

Greenberger's explanation for the use of Edward instead of the middle initial 'H' (we're not sure what 'H' means) was pretty odd.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, a copy of this issue made it into my hands 20-odd years ago; the only "Star Trek" comic I'd ever seen, and I was pretty impressed with how they'd picked an angle never seen in the show or movies, and still made it fit.

I've been waiting for you to get around to this issue; thanks for the memories.

Siskoid said...

De: Other non-canon sources give it as Horatio.

Anon: Been a pleasure.

 

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