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TrekInk: Ghosts of Trek Comic Crossovers Past May 24, 2012

by Mark Martinez , Filed under: Comics,TNG,TOS , trackback

crossover With IDW Publishing’s Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who crossover mini-series just over the horizon, TrekMovie takes a look at past Star Trek comic crossovers and asks, Is it Trek? If you’re prone to high blood pressure over the sanctity of the Trek universe, please consult a physician before reading this article. There be crossovers ahead.

Wikipedia defines a fictional crossover rather dryly as the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. Ask a Trekkie about a crossover with some other discrete fictional universe and you’re just as likely to initiate enthusiastic discussion as you are to be shoved into the nearest agony booth. Comic book publishers have no qualms (some would say no shame) about rounding up two fictional universes and taking them for a spin. Let’s take a look at Star Trek crossovers from the past.

Star Trek/X-Men #1
Star TreX, December 1996
Written by Scott Lobdell. Art by Marc Silvestri, Billy Tan, Anthony Winn, David Finch, Brian Ching, Matt Banning, D-Tron, Aaron Sowd, Joe Weems, Victor Llamas, Team Tron, Jose Guillen, Viet Troung, and Mike Manczarek. Colors by Tyson Wengler, Steve Firchow, and Jonathan D. Smith. Letters by Dennis Heisler. Edited by Bobbie Chase and Polly Watson.

Investigating a spatial rift, the Enterprise returns to Delta Vega, where Kirk buried his good friend, Lt. Gary Mitchell (Where No Man Has Gone Before). Before you know it, seven X-Men are beamed aboard from an exploding spaceship, an alien vessel arrives with Deathbird and Gladiator who claim Delta Vega for the Shi’ar Empire; while Proteus bonds his psionic energy with the remains of long dead Gary Mitchell and starts reshaping reality. Kirk, predictably, hits on Phoenix (aka Jean Grey) when Cyclops isn’t looking.

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Cover art by Marc Silvestri and Matt Banning
(You can click on all cover images to enlarge)

Created by a cast of thousands (ok, a dozen artists at the very least) as part of the kickoff for Marvel’s Paramount Comics imprint, celebrating Marvel’s 35th anniversary and Paramount’s 30 Years of Star Trek, Star Trek/X-Men #1 was received with mixed reviews. I found Scott Lobdell’s story a bit confusing because I’m not very familiar with the long history of the X-Men and their many villainous foes. I believe that some familiarity with the X-Men is required, in order to be amused by the pairing of Starfleet and mutant personnel, otherwise some of the dialogue doesn’t make much sense. With so many artists participating in the penciling and inking, Kirk and his crew take on different appearances from one page to the next. This comic is a tough read. If I had Wolverine’s adamantium claws, I probably would have torn the comic to shreds in frustration. The best part of the comic is a fanciful seven-page Star Trek/X-Men pin-up gallery by artists not participating in the story itself. I could list all their names, but my keyboard is tired. If you want to read this comic, you’ll have to hunt down a back issue because it’s never been reprinted and was left out of the digital Star Trek comic collection published back in 2008.

Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men #1
Second Contact, May 1998
Written by Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton, penciled by Cary Nord, inked by Scott Koblish, colors by John Kalisz, letters by Chris Eliopoulos, edited by Timothy Tuohy and Julio Soto.

After successfully defending Earth and the timeline from a Borg attack (Star Trek: First Contact), the Enterprise and its weary crew try to return home, only to find themselves back in orbit around 1990′s Earth, in need of repairs. Sensors detect Shi’ar technology, which would help with repairs, so away teams investigate and meet the X-Men. Kang the Conqueror interrupts their discussion about a serious rift in the time/space continuum and convinces a skeptical audience that all realities will collapse if immediate action isn’t taken. Only timely intervention by Wesley Crusher and the Traveler prevent Starfleet/X-Men teams from repairing reality into oblivion.

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Back and front cover art by Cary Nord and Scott Koblish

tng-xmen-painted-b_tntng-xmen-painted-f_tn

Painted wraparound cover art by Vince Evans

Second Contact, the second time around for Marvel, Star Trek, and the X-Men, is marginally more successful than its predecessor because Next Generation crewmembers seem to have more in common with the X-Men than original series crewmembers. Writers Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton have a good handle on the interaction between characters and the story flows smoothly. Yes, Wesley sort of saves the day, but this time around, it makes sense that he can. The time tale also benefits from more consistent artwork. There were so many artists on the first crossover that it compromised the story. The comic was published with two covers, including a wraparound cover painted by Vince Evans and also has a couple of pin-up pages. Like the original series crossover, this comic hasn’t been reprinted. You’ll have to look for it in the back issue bin.

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Planet X, by Michael Jan Friedman, cover artist unknown

The last panel of Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men #1 is a cliffhanger epilogue of sorts. The comic has concluded, but readers are directed to the novel Planet X, written by DC Comics Star Trek: The Next Generation scribe Michael Jan Friedman, published May 1998 by Pocket Books. I read Friedman’s novel immediately after I first read the comic and I don’t remember anything about it except the amusing twist at the end. If you would like to read it, you’re in luck. The novel was reprinted in trade paperback April 2012 and is also available in a Kindle Edition.

Star Trek: Infestation
February 2011
Written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton, art by Gary Erskine and Casey Maloney, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, letters by Chris Mowry, edited by Tom Waltz and Bobby Curnow, cover art by Gabriel Rodriguez, John K. Snyder III, Jason Wright, Casey Maloney, Gary Erskine, Luis Antonio Delgado, David Messina and Gordon Purcell.

In another dimension, a zombie hive-mind takes over a beautiful blonde vampire who opens portals to four other dimensions, allowing the infestation to spread. On a diplomatic mission to the planet Calibus, Kirk, Spock and McCoy find the entire population infected and zombified. Surrounded and attacked on all sides, the remaining Starfleet personnel hole up in a laboratory to search for a cure. The lab is staffed by intelligent robots who explain that their creator, with some nefarious assistance from a mysterious blonde, spread some kind of cybernetic-human infection. McCoy comes up with a cure, but can’t deliver it until after the fanged beauty returns to give Kirk a good beat down.

infestationhc_tn

Hardcover collection cover art by Gabriel Rodriguez

Billed as a crossover event between several of IDW Publishing’s licensed titles (Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Pocket Gods, Zombies Vs. Robots and CVO: Covert Vampiric Operations), the Infestation story line is more of a framing device, setting up the circumstances for each universe to handle the infestation meme in their own way. Star Trek: Infestation is told in two issues by veteran Trek writers Scott and David Tipton. The story stands on its own, as a modestly entertaining episode. You don’t have to read the other Infestation comics to enjoy the Star Trek tale. The art by Gary Erskine, with layouts by Casey Maloney, is solid and suitably creepy. The cover paintings by Gabriel Rodriguez and John K. Snyder III are outstanding. One of them pays tribute to the original painted covers used for Gold Key Star Trek comics. Infestation has been reprinted twice, initially as two trade paperback volumes, then as a single hardcover. I recommend the hardcover if you want to read the collected Star Trek story, since you will have everything Trek-related, including the many variant covers and zombie pin-ups in one convenient package.

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes
October 2011 thru March 2012
Written by Chris Roberson, pencils by Jeffrey Moy, inks by Philip Moy, colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr., letters by Robbie Robbins, Chris Mowry and Shawn Lee, edited by Chris Ryall, cover art by Phil Jimenez, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Keith Giffen, Scott Koblish, Gabriel Rodriguez, Steve Lightle, Mike Grell, Mario Alberti, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Mike Allred, Laura Allred, Jeffrey Moy and J.K. Woodward.

A team of Legionnaires from the 30th-century and crew members of the Enterprise try to return home but find themselves on 23rd-century Earth, the heart of the rapacious and power-hungry Imperial Planets. In order to find the way back to their respective timelines, they must first learn to trust each other and identify their ancient adversary, then they must discover the source of time anomalies in the distant past while stalling for time in the very hazardous present.

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Forthcoming hardcover collection cover art by Phil Jimenez

I read all of the crossover comics again for this article, including this recent story arc, and I haven’t changed my opinion. Chris Roberson’s work on Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes was outstanding. He melded two fictional universes together with passion and humor. The same is true for the artists, the Moy brothers, and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. The cover art by a multitude of Trek and Legion veteran artists was spectacular. This six-issue mini-series will be collected in hardcover this summer, but you can probably still find them on the shelves of your local comic shop.

Is it Trek?

Crossovers aren’t every Trekkie’s cup of Earl Grey tea. Publishers are willing to pursue the rights to create them because they are generally profitable. Do they do anything for readers? That depends entirely on personal interests and taste. I was underwhelmed by the Trek/X-Men comics. I thought Star Trek: Infestation was better than most of the Star Trek comics published last year (but it was a very lean year). I was amused and entertained by the most recent crossover with the Legion of Super-Heroes. Is it Trek? With 45+ years of television episodes, movies, toys, novels, comics, fanzines, fan fiction, conventions, YouTube video and much more under our belts? Absolutely. How can it not be? There. I said it and I’m unrepentant. I’m also looking forward to a visit with the Doctor. How about you?

Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. You can visit his website, the Star Trek Comics Checklist for more than you ever needed to know about Star Trek comics.

Comments

1. Amish Electrician - May 24, 2012

Thats perfect renderings

2. I'm Dead Jim! - May 24, 2012

Well, those are special.

3. Khan 2.0 - May 24, 2012

notice that both the TNG/X Men crossovers were pre X Men movie (so i take it no humourous scene of Picard and Prof X)

of course the crossover that should be done/would make the most sense is Star Trek v Aliens
http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryRoom.asp?GSub=37499

4. pilotfred - May 24, 2012

x-men there is a great picture at the back beast playing chess with spock

5. VZX - May 24, 2012

I’d love to see a Justice League / DS9 crossover. Martian Manhunter versus Odo by shapeshifting would be neat.

Actually, I’d just love to see more DS9 in comics.

6. Craiger - May 24, 2012

Would a Trek/Justice League crossover be cool?

7. Khan 2.0 - May 24, 2012

@6

yes providing it was the Wrath of Khan movie era crew pitted against the Christopher Reeve Superman

8. Khan 2.0 - May 24, 2012

i think its high time for a Star Trek/Star Wars crossover.

e.g. original Enterprise or better still the Ent A (as thats the Enterprise that was in use at the time of the original star wars movies) gets thrown millions of light years by some accident – comes up against a Star Destroyer, gets involved in the war, Kirk v Solo, etc

9. WillH85 - May 24, 2012

My god they’ll crossover anything these days.

10. Aaron - May 24, 2012

Oh Christ really !?

11. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - May 24, 2012

Ok. I will say it. I would love to see a Star Trek and Babylon 5 Crossover.

12. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - May 24, 2012

Would be interesting to see Capt John Sheriden and Capt Kirk either team up or fight. Or. Both.

13. Battle-scarred Sciatica - May 24, 2012

Capt John Sheridan and Capt Kirk team up, fight and then share a post coital cigarette together.

Thats how it would play out I am sure.

LOL

14. sean - May 24, 2012

And once again I feel compelled to remind everyone of this:

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Doctor_and_the_Enterprise

15. Trekboi - May 24, 2012

Trying to distract from Trek dropping the ball on gay characters?
X men has gay characters being married & trek has- a russan on the ship- how progressive (for 1966)

16. Ziggy Rot - May 24, 2012

Don’t forget “The Doctor and the Enterprise!”

And there was a novel back in the 1990s called ISHMAEL that crossed over with a Mark Lenard TV show that I can’t recall the name of and that I’m too lazy to look up. It was about a guy trying to marry off a bunch of would-be brides. Anyway, Mark Lenard’s character from that show turned out to be one of Spock’s ancestors.

17. Anthony Pascale - May 24, 2012

Thanks Mark. your comic books knowledge is endless.

18. Mark Martinez - May 24, 2012

@16 – A friend reminded me that the Mark Lenard TV show was “Here Come the Brides”. For this article, I stayed with comics-related publications, but I plan to take a closer look at “The Doctor and the Enterprise” later on.

19. Mark Martinez - May 24, 2012

@Anthony – Have fun at PHXCC. Sorry I couldn’t make it this year.

20. Bucky - May 24, 2012

I have that TOS / X-Men comic. It’s just mindbending. I’ve never seen the TOS crew in such good shape!

And it’s all Star Trek, I totally agree. They’re fictional characters who happen to lead extremely busy and wacky lives. (Unless it’s contradicted by film and/or TV which interpretations are, ahem, Paramount).

21. Bucky - May 24, 2012

Also you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Wolverine sulking around the corridors of the NCC-1701 and Gary Mitchel with superpowers that make his powers in “Where No Man Has Gone Before” seem like a wimp.

22. Obsidian - May 24, 2012

It’s time for Star Trek to meet The Brady Bunch.

23. Eric Cheung - May 24, 2012

I don’t know if this would make a good crossover, but I’ve thought that perhaps the stuff that happens in Terminator is a possible alternate take on the dark times that immediately precede first contact with the Vulcans.

24. Bucky - May 24, 2012

Aliens would be a good crossover but if you want something really close, just watch “First Contact” again. Terminator is a cool idea but basically it ends with “send in Data to take care of it” and it’s over fairly quickly.

25. Adrick - May 24, 2012

Most of the previous Trek crossovers have been random and unnecessary. Why pair up Trek crews with largely Earth bound superheroes? And that Ishmael nonsense was just forced and ridiculous.

But Doctor Who makes a great deal of sense. Here you have another wildly popular sci-fi show from the same era as Star Trek. They’ were developed independently of one another, so they’re both unique. But they’re also both about exploring the wonders of the universe. It’s a wonder it hasn’t been done before. If any crossover should be “real Trek”, it’s this one.

My only issue is that they’re doing it with the Next Generation, which is not nearly as dynamic, iconic, and era-appropriate as the Original Series would be. But we are getting a TOS flashback, so I’m happy.

26. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - May 24, 2012

The Greatest American Hero Alien’s meet. The U.S.S Enterprise 1701. No Bloody A,B,C,D, Or E

27. CarlG - May 24, 2012

The only thing that really bugged me about these comic crossovers is that you’d end up with these ridiculously buff superheroes side-by-side with more regularly built Trek characters. It’s just a strange visual.

@16: I have that novel! It’s weird but fun.

28. CarlG - May 24, 2012

@3: Holy hell that looks all kinds of badass. Where is the rest of it — I must read this!

Come to think of it, a phaser set to disintegrate would be the ideal weapon against a Xenomorph –no pesky acid-leaking, starship-hull-breaching wounds here!

29. LukasKetner - May 24, 2012

I love my copy of TOS Trek/X-men (the top one). I have a theory that the whole thing gestated from the site gag where someone says “Dr. McCoy!” and both Bones and Beast reply at the same time.

30. nate - May 24, 2012

My favorite was the DC/Malibu crossover of Next Gen and DS9. It had a nice combination of characters and had the best art by Gordon Purcell and Terry Pallot. Hope IDW will publish that one again!

31. Prometheus - May 25, 2012

Star Trek – X-Factor Crossover please.

32. Khan 2.0 - May 25, 2012

what about a comic series of Predator vs TJ Hooker? (PvTJ) – done similar to Predator 2 except with Hooker, James Darrens character, Romano and Locklear instead of Mike Harrigan, Danny Boy, Bill Paxton and the Vasquez like Hispanic lady

would end with Hooker hanging on to the hood of a Predator Ship as it launches into space…

33. Khan 2.0 - May 25, 2012

@28 i dont think there is any more just a sample of some dudes awesome work.

i have written a story based around it though:

During the 5 year mission the Ent comes across yet another M class planet…faint life signs but strangely uninhabited…beam down landing party (Kirk, Spock, red shirt etc)..find alien eggs in a long lost crashed federation ship (not the Derelict from Alien) – egg opens – face hugger attacks redshirt – attaches to face…they bring him back up to the ship…Bones operates in sickbay…finds acid for blood etc – stabilises and leaves patient on own for a bit…alien breaks out…starts picking off the crew…creates more Aliens (like the way it was doing with Dallas and Brett in the Alien Directors Cut). Spock&Bones do research – realise the eggs in the ship are actually whats left of the crew. Spock consults the computer library and finds highly classified similar case in the 22nd century with Cargo ship on planetoid LV426. Then Aliens run amok on Enterprise (like those panels show..and like the way the Borg did in First Contact)..lots of battles, deaths and horror etc…Spock and Bones start work on a way to defeat the aliens without destroying the enterprise…spock come up with something but before can explain is captured Newt/Data style…aliens have now totally over run the ship and Kirk has no choice but to set the ship on self destruct and evacuate the remainder of the crew in shuttle crafts and escape pods (like FC)..however he stays behind to try and retrieve spock who has been taken to the hive in engineering …Im picturing Kirk, bloodied with his shirt shredded, armed with a phaser rifle and two hand phasers on his belt – finds spock as hes being infected by facehugger (his vulcan physiology saves him) and breaks him out…spock reveals knowledge of how they can defeat the aliens (i.e. bombarding the ship with some kind of special radiation that destroys all living things ) …they encounter alien queen…do battle and get away to the bridge..Kirk stops the self destruct just in time and Spock completes radiation procedure ..they go to the transporter room to beam on to a shuttle craft before radiation is initiated throughout ship in 5 minutes…but due to strain on ship only enough power to beam off one last person!! – Kirk stuns spock before he can nerve pinch him and throws him on the transporter pad – beams him on to a shuttle….then heads to the empty shuttle bay blasting aliens on the way, gets in environmental suit but encounters the queen again – does battle, environmental suit is damaged but times up – radiation imminent…opens the shuttle doors – he and the queen are blown out into space …radiation is activated and kills all the aliens on board…then the crew take back the ship…locate kirk in deep space…beam him back on the ship before air runs out from damaged suit and then head to nearest starbase for repairs. The End.

so basically a lot like Alien 1 at the start with the crew exploring an uncharted planet and a crew member being infected and being brought back to the ship..then Aliens/First Contact mayhem..with an end that’s similar to both

included some typical TOS motifs in there to make it seem like a typical episode – e.g. red shirt death (every other episode), Spock and Bones being given the task of trying to solve the problem (as Kirk often put them both to work – Operation Annihilate, Immunity Syndrome, Deadly Years etc), Kirks ripped shirt (every other fight), Kirk going mano e mano with the main villain as the fate of his ship/crew hangs in the balance (Court Martial, Arena, Space Seed, Star Trek III, etc), spocks vulcan physiology saving his life (Operation Annihilate, The Apple), kirk nearly sacrificing himself at the end for his friends/ship (Obsession, Doomsday Machine, Star Trek V), spock saving kirk at the end (Tholian Web)

also putting in the typical Alien/s motifs and plot devices – obviously the way the aliens get aboard is similar to Alien…and the plot would be similar to Alien/Aliens (& First Contact) – resulting in the end finale with the lead character facing off against the Alien/alien queen and using the airlock to blast it out..

34. Phil - May 25, 2012

Only timely intervention by Wesley Crusher and the Traveler ……now there’s a kiss of death tagline if I’ve ever heard one!!

35. Jerry Seward - May 25, 2012

Fan author Jean Airey wrote “The Doctor and the Enterprise.”

36. Jack - May 25, 2012

Nicely written piece.

37. Rabelais - May 25, 2012

How about something really relevant to TOS, like TOS meets The Invaders or TOS fight the Seaview?

Just kidding, folks. Hate crossovers (My 2 cents, so please don’t get cross, people).

38. Khan 2.0 - May 26, 2012

@37 i would LOVE to see a TOS/Invaders crossover!! (didn’t The Invaders also have some Gold Key comics?)

let me think of an pre title opening premise:

1968. David Vincent is tracking down latest Invader sighting…hears rumours from some nut of something having crashed in Vasquez Rocks type place so heads out there, eventually finds crashed ship – not a saucer but a more square type craft…….goes inside and discovers what he believes are some invaders, wearing multicoloured tops (not the standard green suits). The ones wearing red are dead…. the one in blue with pointed ears is unconscious….

THE INVADERS…..A QUINN MARTIN PRODUCTION….etc

turns out a shuttlecraft commandeered by Spock on way back to Ent from some mission has been thrown back in time via some kind of rift and crash landed Galileo 7 style on 60s earth – what follows would be Spock teaming up with Vincent in an attempt to get back to his own time – utilising Invaders technology…(i.e. have to repair shuttle to get back into space to get through rift using saucer components – therefore Spock&Vincent do battle with Invaders, who in turn are after Spock for knowledge of the future…)

39. Khan 2.0 - May 28, 2012

@37 – TOS/any of the 4 Irwin Allen series would also be great (i believe there was a very faint Lost in Space crossover of sorts when Bill Mumy wrote a 3 or 4 parter in the early 90s)

40. Khan 2.0 - May 28, 2012

6 months after being marooned by James T Kirk, Khan Noonien Singh and his followers come under attack from a superior life form that hunts its prey in the lush jungles of Ceti Alpha V, leading to a battle that will devastate an an entire world…

Khan vs Predator!

41. Qax - May 28, 2012

Crossovers are awesome, and they’re totally Trek.

Secondly, @25, I see your point. I mean, I have the TNG/X-Men comic, and it’s awesome and fun, but it’s true that it doesn’t make that much sense to always team up with earth-based heroes. The Legion of Super-Heroes, though, makes a lot of sense, though. They’re also part of a federation in the far future, their members come from various races. Though their mission is more to protect planets than to explore them, the similarities are obvious.

Let’s see, what else would be a cool crossover… not so sure about Star Wars, the whole “Force” thing wouldn’t mesh too well with Star Trek — Starfleet people, they’re too scientific for that, and they’d try to analyze it with their technology. Which creates story problems — it’s like, the writers would then have to either explain the Force as a natural phenomenon (removing its spiritual mystique that many SW fans I know are attached to, not me tho), or come up with some vague explanation that really dodges the question.

Green Lantern would go well with TOS (or any Trek really). Superman would be fine, too.

Ooh, but what would be REALLY fun — a three-way TNG/Stargate SG1/Dr. Who crossover.

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