Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #3
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Written by: Scott Tipton and David Tipton
Art by: Angel Hernandez with colors by Mark Roberts
Terra Incognita #3 continues the Federation-Cardassian peace talks subplot in an issue featuring one of Suzie Plakson’s alter egos, Dr. Selar. When Vulcan Ambassador Hendryk arrives on the Enterprise in critical condition (after being rescued by Counselor Troi), Selar is his only hope.
Aside from a few verbal mentions and one appearance in season two’s “The Schizoid Man,” very little is known about the Vulcan doctor (although Selar has been busy in the expanded universe). A backstory is set up, beginning at the Temple of Amonak on Vulcan, where a young Selar witnesses a tragic accident resulting in her father’s death.
Flash forward to the present and Ambassador Hendryk’s condition is worsening. Dr. Selar is called in because, naturally, she is an expert in Vulcan physiology. As the driving force of the peace negotiations, it’s critical that he lives because they could fall apart without him. After a brief examination, Selar’s recommendation is to create a network of cortical stimulators, because just one won’t do for a Vulcan. Of course, the only one that can do that is Barclay.
After a brief appearance in Terra Incognita #2, we get to see a little more of Mirror Barclay, but not much. With rolled up sleeves (are those regulation?) and eating a sandwich while reading a technical manual, Mirror Reg is living his best self. He’s already made a strong impression on the rest of the engineering crew and even secured a second date with Ensign Sonya Gomez. In the meantime, he’s built a stasis chamber for poor Prime Reg, where he’ll stay indefinitely. Mirror Reg has no problem killing other people, but has a problem killing “himself.”
We’re back in sickbay and the networked cortical stimulator is too much for Ambassador Hendryk to handle. But before he dies, he mind melds with Dr. Selar to preserve his katra. Desperate now that the chief negotiator is dead, Picard and Ambassador Thonn ask her to pull a McCoy and keep his living spirit within her a bit longer and continue the peace talks – as Hendyk.
The core of this issue is Selar’s inner struggle between respecting the sacred rituals of her people and her duty to Starfleet. On the one hand, she doesn’t want to pervert Hendryk’s legacy by using his katra for political gain. But if she does, it will help avoid war with the Cardassians. Dilemmas like these are classic Star Trek, especially when they feature great speeches by Captain Picard. He shines in this issue – sharing his time with Sarek and debating logic with a Vulcan.
Once again the Tipton brothers have managed to capture the essence of a really strong episode of TNG. They sought to “bring Trek fans brand-new TNG tales that feel like episodes they somehow missed on television, along with a few shocking surprises” and definitely succeeded. Veteran artist Angel Hernandez is back with what may be his first attempt at the TNG cast and he doesn’t disappoint. He manages to get Plakson’s likeness down pretty well.
While the last issue was action-packed, this one was more grounded. The dual attempt to provide depth to Selar’s character along with progressing the story along was successful. Now that we’re halfway through this series, I’ve been very impressed so far and can’t wait to see what the Tipton brothers have up their sleeves for the final three issues.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #3 was released today, Wednesday, September 12th. It retails for $3.99. You can order it at TFAW with a discount.
Other Star Trek comics for September
There are two new Star Trek comics coming in September, all expected on September 12th. These include the Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #3 (pre-order on TFAW) and Star Trek vs. Transformers #1 (pre-order on TFAW). Both have variant covers available.
And last week the trade paperback collection of Star Trek: Discovery: The Light of Kahless was released. You can order it at Amazon, discounted to $10.99.
Keep up with all the latest inked Star Trek in TrekMovie’s Comics Category.