Star Trek 979: Rivals The Conclusion

979. Rivals The Conclusion

PUBLICATION: Star Trek v.2 #68, DC Comics, February 1995

CREATORS: Howard Weinstein (writer), Thomas Derenick and Arne Starr (artists)

STARDATE: 8676.9 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: While Spock follows T'ariis to the 'gi planet to rescue her on her stepmother's behalf, her father Stonn dies from his incurable illness. That leaves Kirk to convince the Nara authorities to keep the treaty intact lest the Romulans move into the sector. They decide to take their chances with the Romulans. T'ariis finds that the 'gi are on the whole a violent people, not at all like her friend Dalen who has abandoned her anyway. Spock gets her out of an altercation with the police/gangs after they try to pin a ritual murder on her. She is reunited with her stepmother and is inspired by Spock to take control of her life.

CONTINUITY: See previous issue. Admiral Cartwright (ST V-VI) also makes an appearance.

DIVERGENCES: See previous issue. The art is by Derenick despite the cover's claim that it is (Rachel) Ketchum.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Spock's Lolita moment
REVIEW: There are a number of things to enjoy about this issue, but the art is not one of them. I think I've already made my feelings clear about Derenick's Star Trek pencils over the last couple days, so let's just say this isn't his strongest issue and leave it at that. Weinstein's writing, meanwhile, is all over the place. There are some intriguing elements (the ritual murder, the twist that the 'gi really are bred as criminals like the Nara said, Kirk losing the argument with the Nara), but they are sadly not followed up on. The murder is just a thing that happens to get T'ariis into trouble and is only accidentally interesting. The 'gi turn out to be jerks, and T'ariis never really addresses that. The Nara choose the Romulans and well, that's that (though the point is correctly made that the Federation DOES leave it at that). And then there's the bizarre scene shown above, which is immediately followed by "The next morning" and T'ariis getting up off the bed. Though the dialogue doesn't really confirm it, it is staged to make us believe Movie-era Spock slept with Stonn's teenage daughter. Whaaa?! Or did the artist take a bit of creative license? The character moments are what works. Spock is well written, and his last conversation with Stonn exposes how exactly they remained rivals through their lives as Stonn could never outshine the great Spock, especially after his resurrection. There's a well observed notion that T'Pring shamed Stonn from the first moment when she chose Kirk to fight Spock, in other words saying that he wouldn't have been able to beat his rival. Annoyingly, this is all told long after the fact. The epilogue also includes a strong Spock-McCoy moment, showing their level of maturity and closeness. So on that front, plot aside, it's a good issue.


Glenn said...

I've read all of your Star Trek comic reviews, and found them to be quite well-reasoned and constructive.

That said, considering the fact that you've taken PETER DAVID and MIKE W. BARR to task on their work on the Star Trek comics--and they're the best writers the Trek comics ever had, as far as I'm concerned--I'm almost dreading the day when you get around to reviewing the ones that I wrote (STAR TREK: UNTOLD VOYAGES, published by Marvel in 1998)!

-- Glenn Greenberg

Siskoid said...

Given how many Star Trek comics there are, I think you're safe for a while Glenn!

(And since it's harder to be mean to someone you've talked to, you've probably bought yourself a certain measure of immunity here.)


Glenn said...

Then we'll have to talk more often! :-)


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