In the back of my house, I keep my most prized possessions. My long boxes. Filled with issue after issue after issue (Guess you could say I have issues) of comic books dating back thirty years or longer.
This is just one of them.
Star Trek: The Next Generation #14 (December 1990)
Written by Michael Jan Friedman
Pencils: Pablo Marcos
Color: Julianna Ferriter
Letters: Bob Pinaha
Thirty years ago, I was the most excited I have ever been. A new Star Trek series was set to premiere in syndication (Where I lived, it was KSAS-TV 24, a new independent channel out of Wichita, KS.) Back in those days, we didn’t have the internet to tell us about the new show, so we had to find magazines to get our news.
A year later, DC Comics started releasing comics based on the new series. First they launched it as a mini-series. Then in 1989, they turned it into a regular monthly that would continue for #80 issues, outlasting the TV series it was based upon. Let’s take a look at one of those issues.
We open on Stardate 43810.7 (that would mean this would take place some time during the later part of season 3). Commander Riker and Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge are taking shore leave on planet Grindelwald (no relation to the infamous Potterverse wizard). They’re snow surfing and having a good time.
Back on the ship, we find Captain Picard and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Crusher, discussing the ecological wonder of Grindelwald. It seems the planet it setting on a virtual goldmine of Trillium ore, just below the surface, but their not using it because it would damage the ecology and beauty of the planet.
Meanwhile, back on Grindelwald, LaForge and Riker come upon a huge building that shouldn’t be there. They decide to investigate.
Somewhere else, Worf and Chief O’Brian are watching Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher delicatly stacking little glass squares, O’Brian challenges Worf to try his hand at it…and Worf gets distracted by a butterfly and causes the collapse of the structure.
Riker and LaForge, meanwhile, observe a Ferengi shuttle land in the building. Before they have a chance to getaway and alert the Enterprise…
We switch to Counselor Troi and Data. (I guess everybody gets a scene.) Troi is trying to teach Data about romance when they’re interrupted by a local wanting to dance with Troi. She turns him away.
Back with Riker and LaForge (I think I’m getting whiplash.) They are beset by the Ferengi (original style, white furs and phaser whips) Riker and LaForge try to fight back, but are ultimately beaten.
Back on the ship, we visit 10-Forward, where Drs. Crusher and Selar, Gunian, and a woman named Dara (guess they ran out of characters) are discussing fun in the cold.
Finally, back to our heroes on the planet, who wake up in a hole, a deep hole that they Ferengi put them in. How will our boys get out of this one? Find out next issue!
Artwork: Pablo Marcos does well with this issue. The characters, for the most part, look like the actors in the show. There are some that he just can’t get right, like Wesley, Chief O’Brien or Dr. Crusher. But that’s forgivable; they aren’t totally unrecognizable. He also does a good job with the snowsuits Geordi and Will are wearing as they snow surf. Backgrounds aren’t extravagantly detailed, but it doesn’t distract from the story.
Story: This story is non-cannon. All comic and novel stories are non-cannon unless specified otherwise. However, that doesn’t take away from the stories they tell. It’s the same in this issue. We get a decent story that’s padded with a lot of looks at what the other characters are doing. If this had been an episode, it would have been a single story, but since they wanted to stretch it over two issues (which they did a lot in this series), you get lots of
switching back and forth between characters.
That said, at the time it was great whenever you got some details about your favorite characters, since there was no internet to speculate on. When you got that new licensed book or comic, you read it like nothing else existed.
How better to get in depth with characters that you only saw on a weekly basis for an hour?
This story is a find if you can find it as I don’t think it’s been collected in a TPB. So hit your local comic book store, comicon or look on the internet for this issue.
Next month, in honor of the special re-release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn in select theaters by Fathom Events, we look at DC Comics Star Trek Special #1.
Start reading today!