Star Trek 1241: A Piece of Reaction

1241. A Piece of Reaction

PUBLICATION: Star Trek Unlimited #10, Marvel Comics, July 1998

CREATORS: Andy Mangels and Michael Martin (writers), Ron Randall and Art Nichols (artists)

STARDATE: 50812.8 (after issue #7)

PLOT: The Enterprise-E is lured by a distress signal to Iotia, where since the original Enterprise's visit, the imitative inhabitants have evolved their culture from 1920's gangsters to TOS-era Starfleet (or a hybrid of both, with a gang war raging between gold shirts, red shirts and blue shirts). The insane Admiral Sonny believes the Federation owes him the piece of the action Kirk promised and he manages to commandeer the ship. His plans to invade Earth are thwarted when Data, thrown out an airlock, makes his way back to the ship and activates the self-destruct. Sonny forces Riker to help him, which is all part of the plan. Riker makes him take a shortcut to the bridge via holodeck, where Data has programmed events that make Sonny give back the ship. He dies from heart failure after having seen a hologram of his inspiration, Captain Kirk, and Iotia stays on the quarantine list.

CONTINUITY: Iotia (or Sigma Iotia II) was first seen in A Piece of the Action. Admiral Sonny was the "tough kid" in that episode (so the Iotians are pretty long-lived). Fizzbin has become the most-played game on the planet. The Away Team put on their Dixon Hill costumes and Data once again passes for South American (The Long Goodbye). Lavelle (Lower Decks) puts in another appearance as tactical officer.

DIVERGENCES: Iotia is still under quarantine, contradicting its entry into the Federation reported in TOS: The Lost Years, The Worlds of the Federation and SCE: Fables of the Prime Directive. The notion that in the TNG era, Starfleet technology is still transtator-based is a dubious one.

PANEL OF THE DAY - The Iotians' Shatner impression
REVIEW: Another fun Unlimited issue, this time having TNG revisit an old TOS episode. Though there are problems (plot holes aplenty and the artists not very convincing rendition of the Enterprise-E bridge, making me think a lot more of the story took place on the holodeck), the winks to continuity and the way the Iotians are portrayed more than make up for them. Mangels and Martin take care of only using things the Iotians might have seen in A Piece of the Action to influence their society, retaining a lot of the gangster attitudes that made them interesting in the first place. Particularly funny is the guy that talks like Kirk/William Shatner. Plus, the TNG characters are resourceful and devise interesting strategies to counter the baddies, which usually makes the difference between an okay Trek comic and a good one.


De said...

One of the ideas tossed around for DS9's 30th anniversary tribute episode was re-visiting Iotia. Ron Moore thought it would be hilarious to have an entire planet as a Star Trek convention.

But they decided to go with tribbles and that was fun too.

Andy Mangels said...

This issue is not written by Abnett and Edgington, but Andy Mangels and Michael Martin!

Siskoid said...

My deepest apologies! I probably used the GCDB as a shortcut to credits because that site has the wrong info.

I've made the fix here.


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