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Thursday, August 30, 2012

DAMN Good Comics -- STAR TREK: TNG/DOCTOR WHO #4

Okay, now we have ourselves a crossover.

After a few issues of introducing Doctor Who to Star Trek: The Next Generation fans and vice versa (as if there aren't plenty of us who follow both already), the central plot to "Assimilation2" is finally engaged.  The Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and her husband Rory Williams are, at last, working with Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D to stop the combined universal threat of The Cybermen and their illegitimate Star Trek offspring, The Borg.

Don't worry, there are still a number of indulgent moments for fans of both series to enjoy, starting with the ever-mysterious Doctor meeting the ever-mysterious Guinan in Ten Forward.  It's here that we get full confirmation that the worlds of Doctor Who and Next Gen exist in two separate universes, with Guinan telling the Doctor "You don't belong here.  You shouldn't even be here."  You know, with the same timey-wimey tone she used in the Next Gen classic "Yesterday's Enterprise."  A few pages later, we get the long-awaited scene of the Doctor, Amy and Rory beaming down to a planet using the Enterprise's transporter.  The Doctor remarks the experience is "Marvelous," without even a hint of a "Geronimo!" or even a cheeky nod to Whovians about transmats.

Thankfully, writers Scott Tipton, David Tipton and Tony Lee keep all the characters' voices consistent with their television depictions, apart from the Doctor calling Amy "Pond" a bit too frequently.  The issue's art, however, is more uneven.  Longtime Star Trek comic artist Gordon Purcell pencils this chapter with J.K. Woodward coloring to match the look with the previous three issues.  The resulting product ends up with panels where photo references are obvious and don't quite work with the panels drawn without them in order to convey the story.  It's not a dealbreaker though, thanks to the central plot moving forward and an interesting but not entirely unexpected twist involving the Cybermen's partnership with the Borg.

With four more issues to go, we still need to find out how the Cybermen managed to intermingle the two fictional universes and what their plans for the Borg are.  The cliffhanger with Captain Picard, the former Locutus of Borg, has him going all Team Cybermen and I'm guessing it's going to take more than a hot cup of Earl Grey to settle him down.

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