Star Trek 881: A Small Matter of Faith

881. A Small Matter of Faith

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #56, DC Comics, November 1988

CREATORS: Martin Pasko (writer), Gray Morrow (artist)

STARDATE: 3547.2 (sometime between Shore Leave and The Tholian Web)

PLOT: The Enterprise picks up the Defiant's wounded on Lavinia V and McCoy determines they have only 24 hours to be brought to starbase before they die from radiation poisoning. Unfortunately, the ship is commandeered by En-Lai, a Starfleet chaplain from a mysterious alien race, who wants to take his own terminal patients to Calydon, a planet known for its healing properties. He too has been known to have the healing touch, but McCoy believes none of it, seeing as his own father was a preacher and disagreed with his career in the sciences. As it turns out, En-Lai merges with the planet's infrequently appearing Madonna, completing his species' life cycle and healing everyone at the shrine, including the Defiant's wounded. McCoy has a change of heart and heads for the chapel.

CONTINUITY: Lavinia V was first seen in Operation: Annihilate! Tonia Barrows (Shore Leave) is among the wounded. The Defiant was eventually lost in The Tholian Web. Admiral Fitzpatrick (The Trouble with Tribbles) sends orders Enterprise's way. On of the sick aliens comes from Daran V, the planet Yonada was going to crash into (For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky).

DIVERGENCES: The story of McCoy's father's death differs slightly from ST V's.

PANEL OF THE DAY - It's just another kind of rapture.
REVIEW: The story features two of Pasko's hallmarks - science fantasy elements and massive amounts of infodump. It's also a slightly controversial story, with an alien invoking God and miracles, something Trek has not done often (or well). Note in particular McCoy's use of "goddamn" (twice), which agrees with his movie-era characterization, but seems out of place in the TOS era, never mind in a Code-approved comic book. Regardless of the story's philosophical merits - or as a thematic prequel to ST V - it all falls apart once the characters start spewing technobabble explanations they couldn't possibly figure out on the fly like that. Gray Morrow's art is still good at expressing emotion, but his action sequences are less clear. And so truly ends DC's first Star Trek series (though I still have to review its Annuals), unfortunately with an inventory script one-off.

1 comments:

LiamKav said...

I do like how the cover is a TOS version of issue #1's cover.

 

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