Review: Star Trek Waypoint #5
Publisher: IDW Publishing
We’re back with the penultimate installment of IDW’s 6-issue Star Trek: Waypoint anthology series with two new short stories. The first story focuses on Julian Bashir. This issue, along with “Mother’s Walk” from Waypoint #3, brings DS9 back to comic book form for the first time (in the Prime Universe) since 2009’s “Fool’s Gold” mini-series. Next, the Prime Directive is at stake in a TOS-era adventure featuring some never before seen characters.
Story 1: “Frontier Medicine” – A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Story
Written by Cavan Scott
Art by Josh Hood with coloring by Jason Lewis
There once was a time in our history where doctors thought that the gruesome act of bloodletting could somehow cure illness and disease. Obviously, we now know that this was a ridiculous notion. Even something as routine to us as kidney dialysis is like the dark ages to someone living in the 23rd century. Doctors that used what is now described as “frontier medicine” weren’t trying to hurt their patients – quite the contrary – but sometimes they can do more harm than good without a deep understanding of their physiology. This is the case in our first story, written by IDW newcomer Cavan Scott. It centers around our favorite genetically-enhanced doctor in a story proving that things aren’t always what they seem.
Set in what could be season 1 of the show, Bashir and a “fresh from the Enterprise” O’Brien share a drink while Odo has his eyes on a crime taking place in the Promenade. He immediately steps in to intervene, taking on the assailant while O’Brien carries the victim into the hands of an anxious Bashir. This is a species that Julian has never encountered before, but he remembered a similar case and started treatment, much to the ire of the so-called “assailant.” It turns out that he wasn’t harming the victim, but protecting her from Bashir’s “frontier medicine.”
Scott gets so much right in his first story that it makes me wonder why this is his first story for IDW. He gets Star Trek and understands the characters so well and captures what makes us love them in the first place. Josh Hood’s art is stellar and really complements the story well. He always nails the actors’ likenesses and it’s exciting to see how a great story and fantastic art come together.
Story 2: “Come Away Child” – A Star Trek: The Original Series Story
Written by Simon Roy
Art by Simon Roy
The second story is centered around a young Enterprise Ensign who gets reassigned to a scientific outpost on Otari 2, complete with an eccentric scientist obsessed with her research subjects.
Things don’t start off so well when Ensign Laura Herrada arrives on Otari 2. First, the officer she’s replacing can’t leave soon enough. Then, Dr. Lewis treats her like Captain Picard used to treat children on the Enterprise. Two weeks in and Herrada still can’t get through to the doctor until she makes a startling discovery that tests the Prime Directive, forcing them to work together.
The first thing that stood out to me was writer/artist Simon Roy’s unconventional (for Star Trek) artwork. I will admit that I was taken aback at first – there’s almost nothing about it aesthetically that feels Star Trek. Don’t get me wrong – it’s wonderful artwork, but it just seemed like it wasn’t the right fit. Only two original characters appear (briefly), and it doesn’t take place on the Enterprise. Neither Ensign Herrada nor Dr. Lewis even appear to be wearing Starfleet uniforms. On the surface, this had none of the makings of a Star Trek story – until I started reading it. With each turn of the page, I discovered an engrossing, beautifully tragic character-driven story that captures the essence of Star Trek in every sense of the word.
5-Page Preview: Star Trek: Waypoint #5
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