Star Trek 1310: Space Seeds

1310. Space Seeds

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Space Between #5, IDW Comics, May 2007

CREATORS: David Tischman (writer), Casey Maloney and Stacie Ponder (artists)

STARDATE: 42317.1 (between Elementary, Dear Data and The Outrageous Okona; epilogue after All Good Things...)

PLOT: The Enterprise-D visits the farm asteroids of Armada where crops have been mysteriously failing. Data thinks chroniton particles in the soil are responsible for making the crops grow and rot faster than normal. Wesley had earlier been talking to the farmers' kids, bored and wanting to leave. They spoke of a Romulan torpedo they'd found. Wesley puts two and two together and forces them to admit they got the chroniton particles there and even toyed with the formula so it would destroy the crops and end their farming days. They do and he doesn't take credit for any of it. Five years later, Picard as an epiphany in the middle of the night, linking the events of this story to a more recent use of chroniton particles that forced a Cardassian colony on the Neutral Zone to pack up and leave. Data comes up with other examples of how the Enterprise's logs might have been used as weapons and Picard vows to get at the bottom of this conspiracy...

CONTINUITY: O'Brien is at Riker's poker game (as per Cause and Effect). Among Armada's crops is quatrotriticale (The Trouble with Tribbles). The farmer kids blow up a model of the Phoenix for fun (First Contact). The events from issue #1 are referenced when Data discovers elections on the planet Langer 14 were rigged in a similar fashion to the history rewriting on Tigan. The harmonic diamonds from issue #2 are referenced when Data discovers they later wound up in the hands of the Maquis, a few days later the Maquis vessel destroyed itself as a result.

DIVERGENCES: Wesley characterization is suspect (his poker face, hiding his saving the day from his superiors, his fighting skills).

PANEL OF THE DAY - I don't know what's more awkward here.
REVIEW: Farming domes in an asteroid field called Armada... Imaginative or simply bizarre? No less bizarre than Wesley's characterization in this issue. It's good that Tischman wants to redeem the character a little bit (which the Trek Life comic strip at the back of the issue does humorously), but this isn't the wishy-washy Wesley of season 2 (or of the series, period). He's punching out big, buff farmer boys, and beating Riker at poker (in a holographic simulation). He's almost scary the way Maloney and Ponder put shadows on him. Again, there are unexplained elements, like where the torpedo came from, but at least the promise that these will be explained as part of the conspiracy to be resolved in the next issue. Tischman actually finds an interesting way to link the issues of The Space Between, but its success is entirely dependent on issue #6. So again, a pleasant enough comic that just doesn't work through its elements entirely, and a surprising bad call from the writer on one of the main characters.

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