Star Trek 867: Past Perfect

867. Past Perfect

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #44, DC Comics, November 1987

CREATORS: Michael Carlin (writer), Tom Sutton and Ricardo Villagran (artists)

STARDATE: 8953.7 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: Everyone on the Enterprise has fallen into a coma, and it's all Akuta's doing. When Vaal was destroyed 20 years ago, it somehow transferred its powers to him. He uses his magical powers to capture the landing party and to start bringing down the Enterprise so that it can become a new Vaal. To save the ship, Spock volunteers to reactivate Vaal, having never agreed with Kirk's decision to destroy in the first place. He goes in with Akuta and the Enterprise crew wakes up and rescues the landing party. Kirk and crew go after Spock and find Vaal full of death traps. At the very center, Spock screams...

CONTINUITY: We're still on the planet from The Apple. Akuta and the dead husk of Vaal are in it. When Vaal is reactivated, the planet's rocks become volatile explosives again.

DIVERGENCES: There's really no effort to make Akuta recognizable as Akuta.

PANEL OF THE DAY - That's not "the stake"!
REVIEW: The second chapter of Vaal 2 suffers from its magic-as-science elements. Akuta is a mad wizard and Vaal's interior feels more like a bad D&D dungeon than a computer. Still, there's a lot of action, and the disagreement between Spock and Kirk is sorely felt. The minor characters also get their due, with Bearclaw getting into the swing of things, and Konom finally at a point where he is prepared to use violence to stop violence. But this issue is sensibly like the last, with the crew imprisoned and then freed thanks to the ship's actions, except that it's less imaginative this time around. We'll see how it wraps up tomorrow.


hiikeeba said...

It was at this point in the series that I began to wonder if they were going to do a sequel to all the TOS episodes. So far, I think everything has had a sequel, with the exception of Spock's Brain.


Alden said...

In comic books, they could make the device used to control Spock's body even more unbelievable... Awesome!

I doubt the comic book could illustrate the surprising lack of emotion while simultaneously hamming up that pervaded the original episode. Some things, like Spock's Brain's acting talent, just can't be recreated.

Siskoid said...

There HAS to be a Spock's Brain sequel. Of the stuff reviewed, there's a sequel moment in Shatner's The Return where McCoy uses the techniques he learned to do brain surgery, but that's all up to now.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

The one thing that always bugged me here is that there is another reason to support Kirk's wasting Vaal, and it wouldn't be the first time he's played with the Prime Directive to save his ship. If Vaal had allowed the Enterprise to leave after the first assault, they would have simply declared the planet too dangerous and move on. And it was Vaal, not the Enterprise crew, who taught the natives to kill.

None of this is ever brought up in the debate. At the least, they could have stunned the computer long enough to escape, so there's where Kirk bias could come back into the argument.

Also, Checkov "invented" sex, but that's nitpicking. :)

Siskoid said...

But Kirk wrote the manual. ;)

rob! said...

Someone went a little crazy on the crosshatching for the cover.

Siskoid said...

Zip-a-tone fever!


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