Star Trek 850: The Trouble with Bearclaw

850. The Trouble with Bearclaw

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #29, DC Comics, August 1986

CREATORS: Tony Isabella (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)

STARDATE: 8901.1 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: While Kirk is stuck reviewing reports, a landing party composed of Bearclaw, Konom, an Andorian commander set to soon retire, a Tellarite and a rookie, meet heavy opposition from super-tough apes on an unexplored world. When Konom is badly wounded, Bearclaw proves to be a very resourceful officer, but also insubordinate and prejudiced. By the end of the mission, he's saved the lives of everyone, but is almost court-martialed for his actions.

CONTINUITY: There are apparently discrepancies in Kirk's reports on the missions seen in A Taste of Armageddon, Charlie X and The Return of the Archons.

DIVERGENCES: There's a reference to Andorians living for centuries.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Those damn dirty apes!
REVIEW: I'm not surprised Tony Isabella would write a gritty and violent story about bigotry, but I am surprised Bearclaw was chosen to be the vessel for that bigotry. Yes, he's got something against the Klingons because they killed his father, but why all the hate on Tellarites and Andorians? All it does is make this recurring character unlikable in the extreme, no matter his competence. And while I did enjoy seeing Kirk is a bureaucratic nightmare, this episode does make me wonder where the rest of the bridge crew was that only new characters were on this mission, including an Andorian commander. What, Saavik couldn't bring out Bearclaw's inner racist? Commander Thimon did have a good line though: "We're all aliens out here."

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