Star Trek 1288: The Gorn Crisis

1288. The Gorn Crisis

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Gorn Crisis, Wildstorm Comics, January 2001

CREATORS: Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (writers), Igor Kordey (artist)

STARDATE: 51701.3 (between First Contact and Insurrection; Dominion War timeline - between Inquisition and In the Pale Moonlight)

PLOT: The Enterprise-E is sent to forge an alliance with the Gorn during the Dominion War. The Gorn have been laying low since their defeat at Kirk's hands, but now the military cast wants to go from weakness to strength. Under Lord Slessshh's leadership, they kill the political caste and send ships to attack nearby Federation and Klingon outposts, including a base being renovated by a combined Starfleet and Klingon force led by Riker and disgraced Klingon Commander Qyrll. On the Gorn homeworld, Picard and his away team are captured by Slessshh after learning about a secret cache of eggs that are all that remain of the political caste. Data eventually beams down to fight Slessshh man-to-android, as the Gorn will bow down to greater strength. Meanwhile, Riker and Qyrll fight the Gorn on the ground and then in orbit, and though Qyrll sacrifices his life, Riker's trick of turning on the air conditioning works to slow the Gorn warriors. Data defeats Slessshh who then has his forces surrender. The cache of eggs is revealed, giving the Gorn their proper leadership line, and Picard convinces the military to join the alliance and fight the true enemy - the Dominion.

CONTINUITY: The Gorn first appeared in Arena. Picard met them in the novel Requiem when he was commanding the Stargazer. They attack Cestus III again (Arena). Slessshh reappears in Gateways 3: Doors into Chaos.

DIVERGENCES: This graphic novel completely ignores Requiem. Qyrll claims to have had a vision from the Battle Gods, but the Klingons believe they killed all their gods (Homefront).

PANEL OF THE DAY - Klingon lawn games
REVIEW: A big, thick adventure that features both an untold story of the Dominion War (cool!) and fan favorite underused race the Gorn (even cooler!). The extra page counts really makes a difference too. This is our first look at the Gorn planet and culture, their 24th century uniforms, ships, etc. They also give some depth to the Klingons Riker's been saddled with, and it's always great to see him interact with that culture (of which he is part since A Matter of Honor). Certainly, they don't skimp on the fight scenes (which are perhaps needlessly ultra violent in places). It's not all rosy, of course, as some of the action is a little hard to follow, especially Qyrll's sacrifice - not really sure why he must the way it is staged. Croatian artist Igor Kordey's painted art is very well suited to the Gorn and alien planets, but not so much to humanoid figures. Close-up likenesses are usually good, but in longer shots, anatomy takes a hit. Too many times, characters are presented with huge heads and tiny bodies, for example. Still, the painted look is flashy enough to hide most of the weaknesses. Kordey acts as "Federation anthropologist" at the end of the book, giving some very interesting information on Gorn biology, culture and politics as he saw it. Very fun stuff that might as well be canonical. He mentions another sentient species on the Gorn homeworld and promises to eventually tell the story, but it never happened. We could imagine his interest in the Gorn would have led to a greater role for them in the extended Star Trek universe. Shame Wildstorm let go the license before then.

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