Star Trek 1055: The Maze

1055. The Maze

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation #46, DC Comics, May 1993

CREATORS: Michael Jan Friedman and Kevin Ryan (writer), Carlos Garzon and Pablo Marcos (artists)

STARDATE: 46318.6 (between The Quality of Life and Chain of Command)

PLOT: The Enterprise-D and Picard in particular have been invited to the planet Farisi allegedly because its ruler Zed wishes to join the Federation. In actuality, he admires Picard and crew so much, he wants to throw them in a maze of his own devising. It's been a while since he's had proper opponents, and the only way to shut down the maze is to kill him. Cut off from the ship, Picard is made to wait helpless behind a force field in Zed's control center while he watches Data, Geordi and Riker navigate the deadly maze. One by one, the crewmen falter, but Picard realizes he's the one being tested and manages to get through the force field, and follows up by finding a non-violent way to get Zed to shut the maze down. Though angry that he didn't get Picard to at least try to kill and prove he's no better than him, he admits defeat and allows the officers to leave.

CONTINUITY: None.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Not a good GameMaster
REVIEW: Another pretty good one-off. Friedman and Ryan seem to have a good partnership going. Though the designs would probably not have been made on the show (the giant winged reptile in the maze particularly), the plot certainly could have stood next to similar fare (say, Allegiance). The traps are especially made for the characters involved, create a real catch-22, and Picard is very smart at understanding the clues that allow him to defeat Zed, not just physically, but ethically. And if that's not how a good Picard story should go, I don't know my Trek.

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