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TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who – Assimilation^2 #4 August 31, 2012

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

While hiding inside a nebula from Cybermen and the Borg, Picard introduces the Doctor to the one person aboard the Enterprise who might be able to make some sense of their mysterious and dire circumstances, in the latest issue of Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who – Assimilation2 from IDW Publishing. Spoilers after the break.

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who – Assimilation2 #4 (of 8)
written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton with Tony Lee, pencils by Gordon Purcell, colors by J.K. Woodward, lettering by Shawn Lee, edited by Denton J. Tipton

Story

Captain Picard introduces the Doctor and his companions to Guinan. Like the Doctor, Guinan can sense things outside the normal flow of time and both of them know that something is terribly wrong. The Doctor believes the Cybermen have altered the past to bring their universe to a future with the Borg. He is resolved to stop them and Guinan urges the Captain to trust their visitor. Elsewhere, the Borg/Cybermen fleet is no longer headed for Earth. Data discovers that Cogen V was being assimilated when the fleet reversed course for the planet. Picard orders the Enterprise to Cogen V, where an away team led by Riker makes a disturbing discovery. Borg and Cybermen casualties are everywhere. There are no life signs either. The Cybermen have turned on the Borg and have probably taken the Cogenians too. The Enterprise is hailed, but is the enemy of my enemy, my friend?



A new travel experience for Rory!

Review

The writers have woven the story presented in this issue with two threads. The primary thread is the Cybermen/Borg threat and its apparent unraveling. The second, more subtle thread, is an exploration of the characters as they learn to work with each other, with guidance from Guinan and Troi. This approach may irritate readers looking for more action, but I enjoy getting to know the characters. I don’t know how much of an influence Tony Lee has had on the story, but the Tipton’s have done a nice job introducing the Doctor into the Star Trek universe. Nothing feels forced and the story is playing out with interest. However, Amy and Rory have been mostly in the background with several members of the Enterprise crew. I hope they’ll have more to do in the remaining issues.

The credits indicate that Gordon Purcell did pencils for this issue, yet the entire comic is still painted by Woodward. I think I can see Purcell’s hand in the faces of the Enterprise crew, though I’m less certain of his influence on Who. It doesn’t really matter. Like the previous issues in this mini-series, the artwork is outstanding and really kicks into high gear when the away team discovers the carnage on Cogen V. The artist pairing works well. Woodward’s A cover features one of the Cybermen grasping a Borg cube over the skeletal corpse of a Borg, while our heroes look on with astonishment. It’s a terrific cover. The B and RI covers by Francesco Francavilla feature a dramatic movie poster style portait of the Doctor with his sonic screwdriver backed up by LaForge. The Doctor looks particularly determined. I like this cover too. Elsewhere on the intertubes, Francavilla is known for his Who posters.

 

Cover A: Art by J.K. Woodward, Cover B: Art by Francesco Francavilla



Cover RI: Art by Francesco Francavilla

The bottom line

The mystery deepens and the cyberbody count climbs. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who – Assimilation2 #4 is available at your local comic shop this week. Pick up a copy immediately! IDW Star Trek comics can also be purchased online at TFAW. The forthcoming trade paperback collections can be pre-ordered from Amazon.

Recent news

George Takei makes an appearance in Archie Comics Kevin Keller #6 this fall. He will also be featured on a variant cover. The comic is written and drawn by Dan Parent. See BuzzFeed for the original news story. Release date is late November or early December.



Cover: Art by Dan Parent

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.

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
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Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
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Doctor Who
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Doctor Who
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Comments

1. rm10019 - August 31, 2012

Love the Archie Cover, must get that!

2. StevenPDX - August 31, 2012

I just don’t see this oddball pairing. Kind of like The Brady Bunch meets The Six Million Dollar Man (okay, maybe not the best example but this still seems like such an odd combo to me…)

3. rm10019 - August 31, 2012

2 – I would watch that TV movie :)

4. Bill Peters - August 31, 2012

Guinan must know the Doctor from somewhere :)

5. Emperor Mike of the Empire - August 31, 2012

I think Bob Orci shoukd make this into a Big Blockbuster Movie.

6. Emperor Mike of the Empire - August 31, 2012

#4. I bet that Guinan met the Dr. back on 19th Century Earth.

7. Saturn V - August 31, 2012

The character of Guinan was a waste of paper, time and money. Bottom line, hard-core truth.

8. Daoud - August 31, 2012

Marcia, Marcia, nuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh, Marcia!
.
We can rebuild Tiger, we can make him better…. Oh wait, where’s Tiger?
.
Oh yeah, The Brady Bunch Meets the Six Million Dollar Man would have rocked. Davy Jones was the wrong way to go.

@7: Guinan wasn’t a waste at all, she was a perfect counter to Q, giving Picard an equalizer. Her insertion into the second season took lines away from Troi and Pulaski, too, which isn’t all that bad, considering.

9. The Last Vulcan - August 31, 2012

@8, except that Guinan’s character never was resolved, and her “special relationship” with Picard was just left hanging… just one more reason to h8 on Braga and Berman. :(

10. Gorn Captain - August 31, 2012

@2

You’ve never seen The Brady Kids cartoon series have you? ;)

11. THX-1138 - August 31, 2012

Maybe it’s because I’m starting to get tired of the Star Trek sequels secrecy code (I mean c’mon, not even a title for the movie yet?) and as an Irishmen I am easily annoyed, but I have to say something about crossovers:

I hate them.

Sorry about the negativity. Maybe I’ll go over to AICN and pick a fight with a 12 year old.

12. sean - August 31, 2012

#9

Actually, we got a lot of insight into that relationship over the years. Especially in Times Arrow. You don’t have to fill in every blank in a character’s backstory.

13. Captain Dunsel - August 31, 2012

2. StevenPDX –
I” just don’t see this oddball pairing. Kind of like The Brady Bunch meets The Six Million Dollar Man ”

Try reading the Trek novel “Ishmael” (sp?)
“Star Trek” meets “Here Come The Brides”

And it WORKS!

14. Check the Circuit - August 31, 2012

When is someone going to take on the movie reboot of the Six Million Dollar Man? Seems like a no-brainer. OK. With inflation the nickname probably doesn’t work. I suppose it could be explained away as just the cost of the plans/schematics. (Kevin Smith suggested in his recent comic book relaunch that it came from the cost of keeping Steve Austin alive in the early weeks of his recovery. Worked for me.)

15. Daoud - August 31, 2012

@14 Or, at 6 million a day… that’s 2.2 billion a year. However, if it’s more like the federal deficit, it’s 6 million a minute, or 3.2 trillion a year….
As a side note, my artificial legs nowadays run at about $15K… but in the seventies were right at $6K… some friends called me “The Six Thousand Dollar Man”. Could be Steve Austin’s sidekick or something, eh?

@13 Yeah, Ishmael really worked well. Of course, the actor who played Aaron Stemprl in Here Come The Brides looked so darn much like Sarek, you know? And that figured in the book…. author Hambly was good with that novel for all the inside jokes!

@9 Not only with Times Arrow which has been mentioned (they’ll always have San Francisco… think about it… Guinan has known who Picard is since 1900 or so)… there’s also the Nexus connection which goes forwards and backwards in time. I’ve argued elsewhere back in 1994 (a thing called USENET)… that this explains some of Kirk’s “luck” through the years… his later entrapment in the Nexus gives him an intuition backwards in time. So, there’s another weird Picard and Guinan connection.

16. The Last Vulcan - August 31, 2012

@ 12 and 15 ok, so what was the antipathy between her and Q? What was the source of her powers, especially the ability to sense alternate timelines… and if so why didn’t she foresee the ultimate alternate timeline of all… the JJverse? :)

17. Legate Damar - August 31, 2012

The Doctor Who/Star Trek comic is pretty good, but I think Amy, Rory, and most of the Enterprise crew are being underused. 11, Picard, the Cybermen and the Borg are all good though, and I can’t wait until the next issue.

18. nate - August 31, 2012

The storytelling was much better this issue. There weren’t the odd little heads peeking around word balloons and such. And the end had a lot of impact. I like seeing the effect of the Borg’s battles on the Trek crew. The miniseries is actually improving as it moves along. Well done!

19. StevenPDX - August 31, 2012

@8 Daoud Keep writing. I think you’re onto something there!

@10 Gorn Captain Never seen the Brady Kids cartoons. I must be missing something!

#13 Captain Dunsel – I will definitely check out Ishmael. Always up for a good Trek novel.

20. Harry Ballz - August 31, 2012

The Guinan character was a total waste of time. Horribly miscast.

There, I said it!

21. Dom - September 1, 2012

15. Daoud: ‘there’s also the Nexus connection which goes forwards and backwards in time. I’ve argued elsewhere back in 1994 (a thing called USENET)… that this explains some of Kirk’s “luck” through the years… his later entrapment in the Nexus gives him an intuition backwards in time. So, there’s another weird Picard and Guinan connection.’

Fascinating idea! Given how we see young Jim Kirk pulling himself out of a ravine early in ST09 (where Kirk Prime supposedly perished in one in Generations,) I posited that Kirk Prime was somehow reincarnated as the new universe’s Jim. The idea that a Nexus link could give him extra intuition is an intriguing one. Also, the Hobus explosion ought to have a pretty wild effect on the Nexus’s movements so who who knows . . . ;)

22. Pauln6 - September 1, 2012

We’ve had Catherine Tate as a Dr Who assistant, I could certainly live with a Whoopi Goldberg and Alex Kingston double act.

23. Chancellor Gowron - September 1, 2012

20-I’m sorry, but you’re completely wrong. Guinan was awesome, and I can’t imagine anybody but Whoopi Goldberg in that role.

24. richpit - September 1, 2012

It think it’s funny how, on the Internet, just because you disagree with someone, they are instantly WRONG. Maybe it’s just their opinion vs. yours? Just sayin’.

25. Harry Ballz - September 1, 2012

I may not always be right, but I’m never wrong! :>)

26. Phil - September 1, 2012

It would not bother me if Guinan dissapeared. She always seemed like a plot device to me. The way her character was written she could pop up anywhere, even in the JJverse….

27. chrisfawkes.com - September 2, 2012

Looking forward to the next gen/casper the friendly ghost crossover.

28. Michael - September 4, 2012

Some people liked Guinan. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. Just because you have an opinion doesn’t make it a fact.

29. Harry Ballz - September 4, 2012

Here’s the stupid thing about the Guinan character. When Q first spots her aboard the Enterprise, she raises her hands in a threatening gesture toward Q, basically hinting that she possesses powers to ward him off. What a stupid piece of writing! That would mean every time the Enterprise got it’s ass in trouble, Picard could simply ask Guinan to use her “powers” to get them out of it. Where is the dramatic tension in a story when you have a magic genie on board who could allow you to escape from danger every time?

30. Joe England - September 4, 2012

Okay… am I the only one who finds the art repulsive? I mean, I know it comes down to preference, but… seriously. I went to college for this stuff, and it sort of bothers me when someone can’t even draw a circle in perspective and his work gets called “outstanding.” Look! Look at that panel with the transporter pad! Look what they’re standing on! I’ve never seen such warped ovals in a professionally drawn comic. Unless there’s some kind of flux in reality causing the ship to literally distort. This series is littered with panels I could point to and mock, and it’s starting to drive me a little nuts. Almost every review I’ve read of this series contains gushing compliments to the art, and I can’t help thinking it’s horrible! Woodward’s perspective is sloppy, his blocking is haphazard, and the textures of the backgrounds are a murky mess. His use of photo reference is overly obvious and there’s often an awkward sense of transition from one panel to the next. The characters are poorly constructed mannequins up close and half-melted clay figures from a few steps back, all soft and indistinct. There’s no dynamism or excitement… it’s like a bunch of poses captured in watercolor rather than shots of a crisis in progress. To my eyes this stuff looks like something out of a high school presentation. Am I alone here? Am I mad?? How does this kind of product rate this kind of praise?

31. Pat Payne - September 6, 2012

One thing about that preview image brings up something that does kinda bug me… it’s already been established in the Whoniverse that “Star Trek” exists as a fictional series (Rose referred to Trek in “The Empty Child”?”The Doctor Dances”, for instance). It seems odd that neither Rory nor Amy would be so completely unfamiliar with Trek, and not call it out.

The whole point of Rory on the Transporter pad finally brought that up. Anyone who has drawn breath and existed outside of the Amazon rainforest since 1967 knows of the transporter, even if they weren’t avid Trek fans.

32. Lexomatic - September 14, 2012

@30: It’s not just you.

Mind you, my own artistic training ended with high school, and I’ve only seen the reviews here(*), and I don’t follow enough comics to be /au courant/ with styles and talents, but …

… At a guess, “experimental” techniques (watercolor, etc.) might be a reaction to the multi-decadal stylistic dominance of the Big Two in the U.S. IMHO, it could be a valid artistic choice, for particular types of stories — e.g., noir in smoggy London or drizzly Seattle, or holodeck versions thereof — but Star Trek has always been a sharp-edged (aside from soft focus on the leading ladies of TOS), brightly-colored show. That’s aside from the compositional problems that Mr. England noted.

On its Transformers books IDW has made some questionable artistic choices; I know that much.

(*) The IDW website has a press release announcing this book (http://www.idwpublishing.com/news/article/2224/) but apparently not a catalog entry, so the only samples I’ve seen have been here on Trekmovie (e.g., http://trekmovie.com/2012/05/29/trekink-review-of-star-trek-the-next-generationdoctor-who-assimilation2-1/)

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