When attendees of a Starfleet medical conference are infected by a terrifying contagion, Beverly Crusher, Julian Bashir and Katherine Pulaski, ably assisted by the Doctor, race against time to find a cure, discovering answers in the memory and experience of Leonard McCoy and Phlox. Prepare for spoilers in our review of the new “Star Trek: Flesh and Stone” comic, STAT.
This week IDW Publishing releases a one-shot Star Trek medical adventure created in partnership with the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a $10 million competition to bring healthcare to the palm of your hand. Readers of all ages are invited to join the Tricorder Federation, where futurists, innovators and fans can come together and celebrate the efforts of the teams around the world who are competing to make the medical Tricorder a reality, so we can all live long and prosper.
Star Trek Special: Flesh and Stone
written by Scott and David Tipton, art by Sharp Brothers, colors by Andrew Elder, letters by Neil Uyetake, edits by Sarah Gaydos, cover by Sharp Brothers, cover colors by John Rauch, consultants Rob Hollander and David Zweig
Cover: Art by Sharp Brothers and colors by John Rauch
A low-warp escape pod approaches Space Station Diamandis 1. Typically used to ferry sick or wounded from remote locations, the pod is coming to the right place, host of a large Starfleet medical conference. Traveling to the conference via shuttle, Dr. Beverly Crusher, Dr. Julian Bashir, and Dr. Katherine Pulaski, monitor a distress signal from Diamandis 1. The Doctor, formerly Voyager‘s Chief Medical Officer, informs them of an unknown contagion carried by four humans in an escape pod, that has incapacitated all station personnel. The disease paralyzes, then begins transforming the victim into a stone-like substance. Four more escape pods are heading towards populated worlds and the Doctor also discovers that records related to the disease have been deleted from the station’s medical database. The oldest record deleted was recorded by the Constitution-class Enterprise.
The First Doctor!
Since Admiral McCoy is still alive and living on a nearby agricultural facility, the doctors divert their shuttle hoping to learn more about the disease. McCoy has retired to what amounts to a frontier town, but is as sharp and irascible as ever. He recalls the incident deleted from the medical database. The Enterprise answered a colony distress call from Doctor Phlox, asking for help treating victims of the same disease. Phlox and McCoy learned that the stone-like substance resembles the Tholian crystalline carapace and were able to create the anti-viral necessary for treatment.
All hands on deck!
Armed with this information, the Doctor is able to synthesize the antivirus, begin treating victims, and warn Starfleet. Exceeding his programming as usual, the Doctor also does some detective work to learn why the contagion was directed at Diamandis 1 and averts a crisis. Even Dr. Pulaski is impressed.
Bringing together all six Star Trek doctors into one story could have easily turned into a quagmire, but the brothers Tipton, Scott and David, keep it simple, telling a lean story with the feel of a Trek television episode. This is something they’ve done successfully before, so it isn’t all that surprising that they’ve succeeded again. The standout characters in this tale are McCoy, Phlox, and the Doctor, with their 24th century human colleagues, Crusher, Pulaski and Bashir, bridging the gap. I think anyone familiar with all six doctors would find the story plausible. I liked the Tholian connection in this tale. The only notion that gives me pause is McCoy’s very advanced age at the time this story takes place. He’s a very durable old dude. I’m not sure why, but I got a kick out of Pulaski’s skepticism about working with a medical hologram and their rapprochement at story’s end.
The interior and cover art is handled nicely by another pair of brothers, Joe and Rob Sharp. Each of their doctors is easily recognizable, as are McCoy’s old shipmates. Like the Tiptons, the Sharps are old hands at Trek storytelling and are a good choice for any occasion, including this special issue. Arex makes a brief appearance, but M’Ress is absent, which is a little disappointing. Flesh and Stone stands out for the fine coloring job done by Andrew Elder. With backgrounds ranging from a space station to ships, to a frontier town and a colony world, Elder has given each location a distinctive look and feel with his artwork. Letterer Neil Uyetake did a good job with extensive dialog, which is always difficult to handle.
Consultants Rob Hollander and David Zweig work for the XPRIZE Foundation as Vice President, Brand & Content and Creative Director, Marketing & Communications, respectively. Both are named as characters in the story. I’m not entirely sure what they consulted on, but they weren’t redshirts, so their characters live on and I’m sure they’re pleased with the final results too. Kudos to everyone involved with Flesh and Stone. If you’re a fan of the Star Trek doctors, this is the comic for you.
Star Trek Special: Flesh and Stone will be at your local comic shop Wednesday, July 16.
Preview of Star Trek Special: Flesh and Stone
Star Trek comics coming soon
Next up from IDW Publishing are City on the Edge of Forever #2 and Star Trek #36. You can pre-order Star Trek comics at a discount from Things From Another World, just click on the banner.
No, not that Doctor
If you thought this article was going to be about that other Doctor and Season Five episode Flesh and Stone, the conclusion of a two-episode arc featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, River Song and Weeping Angels… You were wrong! Did you blink?
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.
all ready ordered it,thanks for the remind,keep up the good work
Better than STID, sure..
The Tiptons should be ST 2016 writers, not Orci and his little helpers, Hansel and Gretel…but Orci did not want, jealousy, you know, he knows they are better…
Warning for trolling. Please stay on topic
Anyone else noticed the continuity reference to the Benzites’ habit of not reporting a problem to their superior officer before they haven’t thoroughly analyzed it? ;-)
Also, now I wonder how the elderly (?) Phlox looks like in the 2260s…
Ably assisted by the doctor…..not The Doctor!!
Whoooo weeeee woooooo….
@3. Christ, Oscar…can you please keep your toxins on threads relating to the upcoming movie on posts related to the movie? Your petty, whining and sniping really isn’t welcome anywhere, but if you insist, keep it on topic. This thread has nothing to do with Trek 3, BR, or Orci, so the comments ARE NOT WELCOME here.
I like all the Star Trek doctors. I think they are great characters. It is hard for me to pick which one I prefer. Dr Phlox is probably one of the more interesting and quirky and the only alien among them. When I think about it, he could be my favourite.
I disagree, In the context of Voyager and Star Trek, the doctor is The Doctor. Just not THE DOCTOR.
May Bones never die. I’m always happy when post-Voyager stuff comes out and ol’ Doctor McCoy is still alive and kicking it old-school.
This is a little off topic, but I just realized last night that BBC America is broadcasting the 4:3 HD Restored TNG Episodes. Is this the first instance of this?
I’ve still never seen an HD broadcast of the full HD TOS episodes in the wild, so I’m impressed that BBCA is getting them so soon after the project started. Anyone who had been watching TNG on BBCA may note that the standard def presentation of TNG was also slightly cropped. This is a big improvement.
#11 – Thanks for the heads up.
By the way, the artist for “Flesh and Stone” got the “TOS” bridge wrong; he made Spock’s and Uhura’s stations bigger than they were in the series. Those stations had two screens per on the upper section. Not four, as seen in the comic.
@11. BBC America has been running TNG episodes for a while now, much to the chagrin of my son, who would be pleased if they just ran all Dr. Who, all the time. I think the restored editions are fairly new, but I don’t watch it consistently enough to be able to say with any certainty…
Speaking of observations, cable channel Epix ran ST:TMP a couple of nights ago, and I’d swear it was the directors cut…considering that TMP is the only one of the Trek films with an epic feel to it, it would be nice to see a remastered version of it, released theatrically in 2016, to bookend the 50th anniversary of the show….
@ 11 — I wouldn’t call it “soon”, BBCA is only showing Season 1 in HD (and only on Tuesday nights). Season 1 has been available since July 2012, SyFy UK has been showing TNG in HD since late-2012, adding each season as soon as they can get them. BBCA doesn’t really seem to care much, they could be showing Seasons 1-5 in HD right now if they would license them.
Yep, BBCA has been running the remastered TNG for a few weeks now on Tuesday nights. This has been my first good look at what CBS has done, and it’s very impressive, I think. Especially the new planet renderings.
@14 Matt Wright,
Thanks for the update. Yes indeed, “soon” is relative, but I meant in relation to TOS which is still not shown anywhere in true HD, as far as I know, or have ever seen. For a major US cable channel two years after the release to broadcast something CBS is trying to make money off of on Blu ray, seems astonishingly soon by comparison.
I always thought that’s why TOS was only released in SD, to tease fans into buying it on Blu Ray to see it in all it’s glory. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free as it were … I wonder what kind of premium CBS charges for the HD version?
“it’s very impressive, I think. Especially the new planet renderings”
I agree generally. I never realized that the panels on the bridge were wood grain before. Many subtle details pop to life after years of fuzzy softness.
However, I think some things don’t hold up. The lighting in season one so far is atrocious. Heavy makeup effects don’t hold up particularly well, and a lot more set defects can be seen. TNG definitely benefitted from NTSC broadcast standards. I was also a little dissapointed in the ship models after hearing how great they looked — they definitely look good, with so much more detail, but they don’t look any more real than they did 20 years ago.
I was watching the one where Yar dies Tuesday night, killed by the living oil slick, and was dissapointed in how that effect was rendered. It looked worse than what I remember in the original, but I could be mistaken. I just thought it would have been better.
Bottom line is: what an improvement! Seeing them this way makes them watchable again. I just couldn’t look at soft fuzzy images more than a few minutes before I’d flip the channel to something else.
There appears to be a Wells class timeship on that display :P