Star Trek 1099: Artificiality

1099. Artificiality

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation #79, DC Comics, January 1996

CREATORS: Michael Jan Friedman (writer), Gordon Purcell and Terry Pallot (artists)

STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last issue)

PLOT: At a crew member's funeral, Picard says something to the effect that the entire crew can't be indestructible androids and Q takes it as his cue to turn everyone on the ship into Soong-type androids. Data is soon having misgivings as his friends lose their empathy, attachments, imagination and even their ability to make decisions. The crew tries to help a colony hit by a fatal virus, but a cold Dr. Crusher soon comes to the conclusion that they can't be helped...

CONTINUITY: Q last appeared in All Good Things... Picard mentions the time he transformed the crew into Klingons (issue #33). As an android, he struggles with interpreting the warp 5 limit (Force of Nature). Worf is seen throwing away a number of objects, including the trophy he won in Parallels. The comic features the first chronological appearance of the stellar cartography room from Generations. Picard tries to have Soong's emotion chip installed (Descent, Generations).

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Android dogs!
REVIEW: A lot of writers have attempted the "Data explores his humanity" story, but I think this is the first time the other characters have had the opportunity to explore their inner androids. Though these magical Q tales aren't really to my tastes, they can make good comics. In this case, Friedman does allow each character a moment to individualize their android self. Geordi starts working on himself to find the missing part (existentialism really is part of being an android, it's not just Data). Riker evaluates himself superior. Troi can detect emotions still, but cannot interpret them. Worf has lost the concept of honor. And so on. The B-story about the virus is set dressing at this point however.

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