Star Trek 1318: Year Four, Issue 1

1318. Year Four, Issue 1

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Year Four #1, IDW Comics, July 2007

CREATORS: David Tischman (writer), Steve Conley (artist)

STARDATE: 6314.9 (during The Animated Series)

PLOT: The Enterprise discovers "The Strand", a star system built to look like a DNA molecule eons ago by a mythical race of healers. The only life signs lead Kirk to the renowned Dr. Othello Beck who is hard at work finding cures using the ancient technology and the strange animal-men it allowed him to create. Looking at his file, Spock finds that Beck is on the run for stealing Vulcan DNA. Kirk and McCoy are locked up when they find Beck's Vulcan wife suffering from Logan's Disease. She wants to die, but he is obsessed with curing her, by whatever means necessary. Kirk and McCoy escape, but too late to prevent a firefight between the animal-men and Beck - they didn't appreciate being lied to about their work. With everyone dead, the Federation takes control of the Strand, hoping to use Beck's work for the betterment of humanoid kind.

CONTINUITY: M'Ress and Arex appear (The Animated Series). Othello Beck was awarded the Phlox Prize for Medicine, hinting at a previously unknown legacy for the NX-01's doctor (Enterprise). There is also an early mention of Bajor (Ensign Ro, et al.).

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Not afraid of the clichés.
REVIEW: The famous five-year mission only lasted three on television. Perhaps a little more if you count the Animated series. So Years 4 and 5 are rife for exploration. This first Year Four mini-series features Steve Conley's art that, thanks to strict use of "widescreen" panels, makes the story cinematic. Or like an animation cell, when we take into account his bold cartoony lines, which is perfect for stories that co-star TAS alumns like M'Ress and Arex. The TOS/TAS vibe is tangible, with the Enterprise coming up on incredible stellar phenomena (the old "giant something in space" trick), a mad scientist and an alien beauty (his unicorn "daughter") for Kirk to romance. Unfortunately, this is a lot like writer David Tischman's previous effort on TNG's The Space Between in that, while pleasant and making cute use of continuity, the story feels half-finished. The Strand is such a crazy idea, it needed to be more than a simple setting. The animal-men needed more motivation for their turning against Beck. Kirk needed to do a little more with "Una". Tischman has some interesting ideas, but not the space to develop them.

2 comments:

Matthew Turnage said...

I mostly enjoyed this mini-series, but I felt the decision to make every story a single issue story (apparently to follow TOS and TAS's episodic nature) was a mistake. Most of the stories had good ideas that could have definitely benefitted from being given more room to develop.

Love the art in this one.

Siskoid said...

The art is the main draw through most of the mini-series.

 

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