Review TNG Comics “The Space Between” #5 & #6

It was the best of comics, it was the worst of comics…
The conclusion to IDW’s Star Trek The Next Generation "The Space Between" saga is both disappointing and enjoyable.  IDW’s TNG comics have always been a mixture of good and problematic.   Neither Issue 5 "Space Seeds" or issue 6 deviates from these expectations.  
IDW comics have a good sense of the characters.  Each issues has presented characters that are familiar to their television versions.  However, the situations they deal with and the narratives of the issues are problematic. 

The narrative of Issue 1 was the worst regarding narrative, with illogic as the main concern.  Why allow a visit from the Enterprise when staging a coup?  Issue 5 offers a nice character narrative showing the Enterprise crew adapting to the transfer of Doctor Beverly Crusher.  Yet, the main narrative is the nonintriguing space mystery of contaminated crops.  There could have been some commentary here regarding the use of genetic engineering prevalent in today’s "Frankenfoods" of the real world.  Where issue 1 made up for its lack of narrative focus by having social commentary relating to living in the Ipod, Myspace era, issue 5 offers neither a quality narrative nor social commentary.  The "B" story is much better than the "A" narrative.  
Issue 6 is merely a mess.  It is confusing, with absolutely no reward for those who waited six issues for the big reveal of how all the comics would relate.  Is it Section 31?  Is it a Starfleet conspiracy of galactic scale?  It is one thing not to provide the answers, it is another to have boring questions.  The narrative is exceptionally weak, with issue 6 being the worst of the comics.  IDW is capable of great comics, as is seen in the Klingon comics and in other issues of Star Trek The Next Generation.  
Here’s the irony.  The writing of IDW’s Star Trek comics are strong on character, weak on narrative.  The art is spectacular when it relates to the ship or space vistas, and weak on character.  Issue 5 is especially problematic with the William T. Riker character once again the most egregiously presented art.  There are the IDW "wow" moments, especially the two page space art.  Issue 6 does take better care with character artwork.  It is too bad the narrative mars the art.  The best thing, art wise, about these issues is the covers.  Once again, variant covers offer differing artistic views of the themes of the comics.  Each one is clever and stylized.  You certainly can’t tell a book, though, by its covers.  
IDW deserves support because they have many exciting comics planned, including the continuing of Kirk’s television era adventures.  Their Klingon comics have been consistently good with art and character.  The narratives are clever, offering fans differing perspectives on favorite episodes of Star Trek.  Consider TNG’s The Space Between as a rough draft, with much to like and appreciate, yet some problems with art and narrative.  Despite this, IDW presents comics with a definite care for Star Trek.  


All 6 issues of Star Trek The Next Generation "The Space Between" are available now. 


Additional covers:

TNG "The Space Between" 5


TNG "The Space Between" 6


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Star Trek Comics is beyond lame and perhaps has only a following with the very young who aren’t allowed to watch the regular series or those Super Geeks that will buy anything affiliated with the name Star Trek.
Star Trek animation could be done but it would require tremendous cost of resources – time – talent and money and that will never happen. Sort of like…
The original Jonny Quest…..yes….thats close to how it was spelled. That production was top notch….those even some of their stories were lame too.

Poor Wheaton… he’ll never be able to forget his horrible costumes thru most of TNG. The grey number had the biggest zipper in the galaxy. I hope that got him a few dates, anyway. The above illustration is so rough, it’s hard to believe that made it to a finished comic.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s had problems with the stories in the TNG comics–I keep thinking that pages have been left out.

I’ve never got into TNG comics. However, I used to buy the old GOLD KEY TOS ones and DC Comics has a good Movie Era comic series back in the 1990s. Some of those stories, if adapted and augmented (maybe ever for another crew) would make a good television series.

The TNG comics have felt kind of too…compressed. I have really enjoyed the Klingon comics though–better writing, better art.

Trek comics in general aren’t inherently lame. Well drawn, they’re a way to still see the characters with their original faces after actors age and die.

I followed the early-90s DC lines for a while. The TOS series, kicked off by Peter David, was often well written. The TNG series was generally sophomoric. Granted, TNG was midway through its seasons at the time, but even today it’s harder to write well for TNG’s utopian characters.

i used to collect the TOS movie series comics in the 1990s (Peter David etc) i remember they were pretty good. The Starfleet Academy annual from 1991 was great:

Also they did annuals in the 1980s showing the 1st Mission and the Final mission:

anyone got Debt of Honor TB? I got it recently – it spans Kirk fighting some critters from his days on the Farragut, through TOS, post TMP and right up to just after Trek V…references to films and eps galore in it:

How are those new Star trek comic selling? I hope we see a lot more of them!

The above one was one of the Best Trek Comics I ever read. That is the one I wish they would make into a movie. It answers all the questions, stays in canon and is a pretty good story.

From the Farm to foiling Finnegan’s Kobyashi Maru test. We even see Ruth and Carol Marcus. Then the scenes with Capt Decker and Mitchell.

We see a young Kirk…stuffy and stiff. A bright bookish sort of lad with a huge burden on his shoulders to be in Starfleet. That element of his character is what makes him…duty, intellegence and will. All he lacked was experience and…confidence that came with experience.

Something tells me this subject and thread won’t reach 100+ posts. Doh!

Mike :o

9 – yes that SF Academy comic came out at the time of Trek VI in winter 91 and was promoted as a sort of a ‘what might have been’ had Harve Bennet done his Starfleet academy movie for Star Trek VI…

what a great time 1991 was – u had the new movie coming out – a full on TOS crew film directed by Meyer…TNG was at the height of its power and gonna have Spock on…it was the 25th anniversary and you had stuff out like starlogs 25th anniversary tribute magazine:
new trading cards etc…plus the comics by Peter David etc were great for fans…

in comparrison the 30th anniversary just wasnt the same…..yes the terrific First Contact was out but there was still the nasty after taste of Kirks lame death – plus Voyager was just awful and i could never get into DS9…

That comic, the one of Kirk Academy days, should be made into a film. I think most fans could accept a really young Kirk played by a believeable actor. There was no Spock in it…it did mention and show a young Uhura (I think they broke into the Daystrom Institute…however, I don’t have the comic with me and am only going off of memory)

Kirk has a heart to heart with his older Brother who is considering going off to become a colonist after marrying. Decker establishes it’s his son, Will’s birthday.

We see that Mitchell is a genius, but un disciplined…going just enough to get by. Again, Kirk is a bit stuff taking himself too seriously until he is steered toward Carol Marcus…(there is even a nude scene of sorts…morning after scene for sure complete with a joke about Kirk’s…er… ’nuff said)

It was good…with some good writing tweaks and some more substance that only a well written film can provide. It would totally solidify the Kirk back story.

heres the entire DC run: (i stopped collecting at issue 24 of the later run)

plenty of sequels to TOS eps :