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

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.

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