TrekInk Comics Review: Tribbles, TARDIS and Borg, oh my!

Cyborgs, furry beasts, and past encounters of the crossover kind are the order of the day in the third issue of Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who – Assimilation2 and the beginning of a new story arc in the ongoing series, Star Trek #11, from IDW Publishing. Spoilers and a roundup of recent Star Trek comics after the break.

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #3 (of 8)
written by Scott and David Tipton with Tony Lee, art by J.K. Woodward and the Sharp Brothers, lettering by Shawn Lee, edited by Denton J. Tipton

Story

With the Enterprise under attack by Borg and Cybermen ships, Picard orders a retreat. Starfleet crewmembers have never seen Cybermen, but the Doctor’s description would easily apply to the Borg. A search of historical records yields a log entry from the Enterprise, commanded by James T. Kirk. Kirk describes an unusual incident at an archeological site. Investigating a failure to check in, Kirk and his crew find the research team acting unnaturally. With the assistance of a friendly doctor, the Starfleet crew rescues the scientists from the influence of Cybermen. And the doctor? He and his Jelly Babies disappear. The researchers thought he came with Kirk! Meanwhile, the Doctor, who is remembering things that simply shouldn’t be, is very worried. Picard takes the Doctor to meet an old friend.



Another day, another beating for Kirk.

Review

Brothers Scott and David Tipton take us on a curious visit into the past, framed by events unfolding in the present. In the past, Kirk and his crew encounter Cybermen and the fourth Doctor. In the present, the eleventh Doctor unaccountably has memories of that past event. I like the Tipton’s tweaking, twisting, timey-wimey approach to this story. The effects are compounded by having those other brothers from Down Under, Joe and Rob Sharp, illustrate and color the original series portion of the tale. Rendered like the animated series, their efforts provide a startling contrast with J.K Woodward’s artwork. The overall effect is a stranglehold on my attention. I want to know what’s going on, but that’s for the next issue. Woodward’s original series cover is amusing. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing Kirk crushed by Cybermen? Elena Casagrande provides a nice movie-poster-style cover featuring the Doctor and his companions over a phalanx of Cybermen. The retailer incentive cover is Casagrande’s sketch. I’m not sure why it was printed on a pale blue background. Perhaps to match the Doctor Who logo? This crossover series has me hooked and I’m looking forward to reading the next issue in a few weeks.

 

Cover A: Art by J.K. Woodward, Cover B: Art by Elena Casagrande, colors by Ilaria Traversi



Cover RI: Art by Elena Casagrande

Star Trek #11
written by Mike Johnson, art by Claudia Balboni, colors by Ilaria Traversi, lettering by Neil Uyetake, inspired by the original teleplay of The Trouble With Tribbles by David Gerrold, creative consultant Roberto Orci, edited by Scott Dunbier

Story

The Truth About Tribbles, Part 1: With Chekov’s assistance, Scotty illicitly continues his transwarp beaming research, first brainstormed with Spock Prime, by sending a small furry pet to his nephew in San Francisco. How much trouble could a little ball of fur that does nothing but purr cause? Meanwhile, the Enterprise encounters a Klingon warship outside of the Empire’s borders. When the bird-or-prey gets away, Kirk is ready for a chase, but Spock convinces the captain to investigate where they’ve been, a small class M planet, Ioto Germanorum IV. Kirk and his crew find a strange, but beautiful new world, a multitude of Mr. Scott’s fuzzy little friends, several Klingon bombs, and some very hungry, very large predators. And what about that little furball visiting Scotty’s nephew at Starfleet Academy?



Bon appétit!

Review

Two thoughts spring to mind reading this first installment of a new story by Mike Johnson. The first is that every tribble television episode I’ve watched and every tribble comic I’ve read has been entertaining, so I have high expectations. Are there any tribble novels? The second thought is that Mr. Scott is cruising for an extended visit with Starfleet’s court-martial system. Scott Prime played fast and loose with schedules, but new Scott seems fast and loose about potential biological contamination. We have two very different Scottys. The art and colors, by Claudia Balboni and Ilaria Traversi, respectively, are outstanding. I’m particularly fond of their big hungry predators. My only complaint is that Kirk and his crew look impossibly svelte in their Italian-designed spacesuits. The three covers for this issue are pretty much the same as previous covers, featuring Tim Bradstreet’s poster-like artwork and a photo cover of Sulu. I’m enjoying the stories and interior art of this series, more than the cover art. Your mileage may vary. But, in the end, it’s got tribbles, so overall, it’s worth a look.



Cover: Art by Tim Bradstreet, colors by Grant Goleash

 

Cover RI A: Art by Tim Bradstreet, Cover RI B: Photo cover

Recent releases

In the past few weeks, two new collections have been published. The second volume of the monthly Star Trek series just came out. This trade paperback volume collects four issues (#5-8) and features a retelling of original series television episode Operation: Annihilate! and a new story set after the events of the last film; a tale of Vulcan vengeance. The new timeline stories were preceded by a hardcover collection of Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, the six-issue time-travel mini-series written by Chris Roberson that spans the entire history of the Federation and the Legion. A deluxe hardcover edition with dust jacket art by Keith Giffen was also published and distributed via comic shops. If you haven’t been following along with these stories, now is your chance to catch up.

 

Cover: Art by Phil Jimenez, colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Deluxe Edition dust jacket: Art by Keith Giffen, inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.



Cover: Art by Tim Bradstreet, colors by Grant Goleash

Current issues available now

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #3 and Star Trek #11 are available at your local comic shop now. IDW Star Trek comics can also be purchased online at TFAW. Hardcover and trade paperback collections can be pre-ordered from Amazon.

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#1 of 8

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#2 of 8

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#3 of 8

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#4 of 8

$3.99
(3rd Ptg)

$3.99
(2nd Ptg)

$3.59
(Jul)

$3.19
(Aug)

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#5 of 8

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#6 of 8

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#7 of 8

Star Trek: TNG
Doctor Who
Assimilation2
#8 of 8

$3.19
(Sep)

$3.99
(Oct)

$3.99
(Nov)

$3.99
(Dec)

Collections available now

Collections coming soon

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.

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