Donny Cates does a lot of work for Marvel, Image, and Dark Horse. His credits include Buzzkill, The Ghost Fleet, The Paybacks, Interceptor, Star Trek, Atomahawk, God Country, Dark Horse Presents, Battleworld, Iron Man, and more.
Josh Hood’s credits include Superboy and the Ravers, JLA: Scary Monsters, Green Goblin, Venom on Trial, We Can Never Go Home, Superman, Ghost Rider, Grimm Fairy Tales, and more.
Often the Deviations series builds an alternate universe based on the major changes that take place with one tiny difference in reality (for example, the wonderful alternate X-Files where Fox Mulder was abducted and Samantha Mulder works with Dana Scully in the FBI).
In this issue, First Contact was radically different. After the events of the First Contact movie, things took a different turn. Instead of friendly and inquisitive Vulcans looking to meet the creator of the first Terran Warp Drive, Earth was invaded and conquered by the Romulans.
The cast is there, but they are very different. Data is only a head, Worf is a pacifist, Riker is a self-described “nobody,” and Beverley Crusher is a collaborator. They do not remember their lives on board the Enterprise. They do not remember the Enterprise, the United Federation of Planets, or Star Fleet. A few federation trinkets still exist, but while they revere the logo as a symbol of something good, they cannot place it in a meaningful context.
All they know is that they are part of the human resistance movement, and they have to rescue a high-value prisoner. What they discover is fascinating.
Donny Cates has written Star Trek before, and it shows. Without a solid understanding of the “standard” characters, recasting them in a meaningful and interesting way would be difficult, if not impossible.
Although the entire new Star Trek movie series is set in an alternate universe, it is not really considered to be an alternate reality. Most of the Star Trek stories set in “alternate universes” are set in what they call the “Mirror” universe, first shown in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Mirror Mirror.” This story is not set in that universe.
Josh Hood’s work on titles like We Can Never Go Home is evident here. Although this is Star Trek, it is in many ways more a “shoot-em-up” than a Space Opera. The characters are not soaring through the space ways in pristine, ultramodern starships. Although there are aliens and super advanced technology, it is used, abused, and dirty. There is something of a post-apocalyptic feel to the artwork.
This issue feels like the beginning of a limited series. Although the characters are different from their Next Generation originals, there is continuity to them that is intriguing. Cates is setting things up for major reveals, and although this is a one-shot, it seems evident that he has more planned, and I can’t wait to see what it is.
Written by: Donny Cates
Illustrated by: Josh Hood