Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! Star Trek: The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine Crossover

Well, it’s another May, so that means I get to talk about sci-fi stuff for a month... or maybe longer. First up is something I found some time ago. The Star Trek license has belonged to a lot of comic companies. The TOS and TNG licenses belonged to DC during most of the 80’s and 90’s. I’ve read only a couple of those. For some reason, Star Trek: DS9 got shipped to Malibu Comics. With both shows on at the time, a crossover of some sort was inevitable. It took me a while to find all four issues.

The crossover was split between the companies. DC did two issues and Malibu did two issues. The same creative team stuck on all four issues. Michael Jan Friedman and Mike W. Barr wrote and co-plotted all four issues. Gordon Purcell handles the pencils and Terry Pallot handles the inks for the whole mini. The colors and letters are split between the two companies. The crossover is supposed to take place in the early parts of DS9’s second season and TNG’s last season.

Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine crossover 
Writers/Co-plotters: Michael Jan Friedman and Mike W. Barr 
Pencils: Gordon Purcell 
Inks: Terry Pallot 
Colors: Rick Taylor (DC), Digital Chameleon (DC), Moose Baumann (Malibu), and Violent Hues with Janice Wismar (Malibu) 
Letters: Chris Elipoulos (DC), Bill Oakley (DC), and Patrick Owesley (Malibu) 
Editors: Mark Panicca and Margaret Clark 

The story starts out with the Enterprise on shore leave at Deep Space Nine. A group of admirals have come to take a tour of the Gamma Quadrant. Right before they enter the wormhole, the runabout is pulled in and the wormhole permanently closes. Starfleet is informed and Captain Picard in put in charge of the investigation. The closing also worries Bajor since the Cardassians are still a bit of a threat. Things go for a turn when security is alerted to intruders which turn out to be Cardassians.
Either Deanna's grown a bit or Worf has shrunk a few inches.

Odo, Worf, Kira, and the rest of security fight the Cardasians but they transport off the station. The intruders somehow escape through the wormhole. The doctors notice something weird about some Cardassian blood Kira got on her, so they examine that. Sisko and Picard inform Gul Dukat about the situation but they know something might be up. Data and Dax rig a runabout to take through the wormhole. Before it leaves, it’s revealed that the Cardassians on the station were actually an unknown race in disguise. Comm. Riker leads Odo, Dax, Kira, Troi, and Data through the wormhole and they run into an armada of this unknown race.
Someone could probably make a story out of that middle panel. I doubt I'd read it though.

The crew tries to evade them, but they get captured. After Riker and the others wake up, it turns out that the aliens (called the “othersiders”) have the admirals captured as well. Meanwhile, the rest on the Enterprise and DS9 have to worry about Bajor. Since the wormhole is acting up, it’s somehow affecting Bajor’s weather. Back in the Gamma Quadrant, Riker and the others are able to escape from their confines. They try to sabotage the ship and look for the admirals. Troi, Data, an Odo try to free them but the Othersiders capture them again.
Is it just me or is that an inverted Oreo in that first panel? 

Data, Odo, and Troi (yeah) try to put up a fight but they and the others get transported out of there by Riker and the others. They were able to commandeer another ship. They head back to DS9 and everyone realizes that the Othersiders are in league with the Cardassians. They’re able to find an old Cardassian station that is putting out some waves that are messing with the wormhole. The Enterprise investigates it and the crew puts it out of commission. The Othersiders realize that the wormhole is normal again, so they retreat to wherever they came from. In the end, things then settle back to normal on the station and on Bajor and both crews do some more interacting.
Who knew we'd actually get this a couple of years later when Worf joined DS9?

I thought this was a fine crossover. It’s not the best thing out there, but I did like it. I thought it was just cool to see both crews working together on the problem of the story. We had Picard and Sisko together, the doctors together, and we even got Worf and Odo teaming up for a bit. I also liked that we had references to things that happened with the characters in previous episodes. A couple of examples include Odo and Counselor Troi talking about his experience with her mother from “The Forsaken” and Worf’s time on the station from “Birthright.” I also thought that everyone was in character with their live-action counterparts.

One thing I will say is a bit of a disappointment is the story itself. Outside of the crews teaming up, the problem of the week isn’t that interesting. The aliens introduced here were a bit bland. All we learned about them was that they didn’t like folk coming into the Gamma Quadrant. I wasn’t asking for a big backstory on them but we could have gotten something more. I thought it was funny that they looked pretty similar to Cardassians. I think that kind of spoiled the twist with the Cardassians which was already pretty predictable. It’s not the first plot that has Cardassians behind it all and it’s not the last one.
Season One Bashir... yay... I guess.

The artwork did leave me a little mixed. I will say that I liked that Purcell tried to get everyone matching with their live action counterparts. It was like he traced it all or something. With all of the weird looks and smirks they did, it’s possible he did trace them. While the artwork did look good at times, some of it looked a little unappealing. Sometimes, the facial expressions would just look weird. I also thought the Malibu-produced artwork was a little better than DC’s with the mini-series. The colors looked a little better there and I think that helped with this.

Overall, this was fine. The while the story is pretty forgettable, the main takeaway here is the character interactions between the two crews. It sucks we never got a live-action version of a crossover like this where everyone’s meeting for an adventure. That would be one heck of a mess to put together. One thing I wish did happen would have been Ensign Ro and Major Kira meeting. That would have been interesting. Well, I’m outta here. Peace and God Bless.


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