Star Trek 888: ...Where No One Has Gone Before!

888. ...Where No One Has Gone Before!

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation #1, DC Comics, February 1988

CREATORS: Michael Carlin (writer), Pablo Marcos (artist)

STARDATE: 41187.5 (between Encounter at Farpoint and The Naked Now)

PLOT: The Enterprise-D attempts to initiate first contact with the Theluvians, but the away team encounters resistance from Kirbyesque vehicles and space barbarians. When the away team defeats them, they realize these guys were only playing and furthermore, act like children. Beamed aboard a Theluvian craft, they learn that this species ages in reverse and the adults look like children.

CONTINUITY: The comic begins with Picard's opening speech. Backwards-aging was used in The Counter-Clock Incident, and later in Innocence.

DIVERGENCES: Punctuation aside, the title was already used for a TNG story. Counselor Troi apparently has precognitive visions and is described as a telepath. Data says he's excited about the mission and has "adrenal fluid". Worf is real chatty and uses overly familiar language. There are a lot of off-model uniforms aboard, including Atlantean armor for the transporter chief, and these superhero numbers:
PANEL OF THE DAY - The Enterprise-D bridge set makes me feel woozy.
REVIEW: Before DC had to renew its license, it managed to release a TNG mini-series set in Season 1, and its first issue is one of the worst Star Trek comics I have yet to review. Wow. Well, obviously, Carlin wrote the issue without ever seeing an episode, probably before TNG had a chance to air, because the characters are in large part mischaracterized. Picard is truly unlikable, Riker is unprofessional, Data has odd emotions, etc. There's a weird comedy subplot about a fighting couple relieving Data and Geordi during the away mission that is meant to represent the shift to families on the Enterprise (as if the many Wesley scenes weren't enough). And any sense of danger is undercut by the final revelation that the adversaries were only playing. Plus: THE premise I hate above all other premises - races that age in reverse. Marcos' art is equally bizarre. He's not bad at facial likenesses, but has difficulty with perspective. Awkward posing, musclebound characters with tiny heads, and vertigo-inducing angles. Looks like it's to be continued, but no, the reverse aging is just a punch line ending. Ugh.


snell said...

This has long been my vote for the worst Star Trek comic of all time. It single-handedly kept me from from picking up the TNG ongoing when it debuted.

The Bickleys...the Bickleys...aaaagghhhhhh.

Siskoid said...

It took me longer than usual to read it, because I would make my roommates come and see how bad it was every couple of pages. And we'd laugh and laugh.

De said...

For a chaser, try the nutty goodness of the FASA TNG material.

Matthew Turnage said...

I haven't looked at this issue in quite a while, but I seem to recall Pablo Marcos made every Starfleet uniform look vaguely like a super-hero costume.

As for Picard being unlikeable, that sounds just like first season TNG to me. ;)

Jeff R. said...

So straight here without going through either half of the Modala Imperative? (it wasn't just a (bad) TNG mini, it was a pair of linked (bad) TOS and TNG minis in an arms-length crossover, the first (bad) crossover of the two generations in any media IIRC) When will we pick that up, then?

Siskoid said...

I'm not doing the comics chronologically from the characters' perspectives, but from a publishing standpoint.

Modala was done off DC's second license agreement. This TNG mini off the first. (After this, DC's second TOS series.)

Jeff R. said...

Okay, gotcha. I remembered the awfulness of this mini, but somehow misplaced it temporally (and thought that Modala was a few years earlier than it was).

Alhtough, honestly, I don't think that anyone ever managed to do a next generation comic that wasn't tooth-grindingly awful. License restrictions may have contributed to the problem...

ShadowWing Tronix said...

My first TNG is the next one, the Christmas special that tried too hard. Now I know where the Bickleys came from (a failed attempt to recreate the magic of Konom, Nancy, and Bearclaw, from the looks of it).

Bully said...

As I remember, Alan Dean Foster adapted "The Counter-Clock Incident" in Star Trek Log Ten but followed it up with Kartoon Kirk & Co. meeting a Q-like alien species who play with the Enterprise a while and then reveal that the anti-aging aliens in "Counter-Clock" were just an illusion, taunting Kirk and Spock with "You actually believed a race could age backwards?"

None of these stories actually ever addresses where the newly-born anti-agelings come from, do they?

LiamKav said...

A cemetery, I would assume. Maybe they did themselves out of the ground?

Andrew Gilbertson said...

I think someone needs to cosplay as the Bickleys. Immediately. Those outfits are amazing, in all the best and worst ways. (Which sums up this comic series pretty well, actually).


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