This is a new series that is bound to gather a lot of interest. For decades, fans have written their own stories set in various iterations of the Star Trek universe. This is a bimonthly comic anthology with a rotating staff of artists and writers being given license to play in Gene Roddenberry’s cosmic ‘sandbox.’
In “Puzzles,” a post-TNG Captain LaForge and his First Officer/Ship’s A.I. Data encounter a lost Federation Starship unlike anything anyone has seen before. How they solve the problem tests their capabilities and their friendship.
In “Daylilly,” Lt. Uhura finds herself temporarily alone on a primitive planet. She makes first contact with an indigenous species. This really has a ‘slice of life’ feel to it, and is something of a character study more than an adventure.
Like many fanfictions, these storytellers have taken various liberties with the franchise in order to tell their stories. Some of these stories are predicated on changes that have not happened – The deterioration of Data’s android body and the assignment of Captain LaForge of the Enterprise, and a transporter accident beaming a landing parts into multiple locations across a ‘hostile’ planet. These are hardly what fans would call ‘cannon,’ but they are allowable conceits that allow writers to present interesting insights into the characters and the universe of Star Trek.
This appears to be a part of IDW’s ongoing celebration of 50-years of Star Trek, but it has the potential to be much more. “Playing in someone else’s sandbox” is a literary tradition that goes back through HP Lovecraft all the way to mythology and folklore. Our human tradition of incorporating common characters, settings, themes and more into our own stories is a part of what binds us as a species.
By definition, anthology series tend to be uneven. A story that appeals to a certain group of readers may not appeal to others. IDW has a very talented and diverse staff of writers and artists. It will be interesting to see what happens when some of these dissimilar yet highly talented storytellers are given an opportunity to share their visions.
Written by: Donny Cates & Sandra Lanz
Illustrated by: Mack Chater & Sandra Lanz
Review submitted by: Art Boorman