Instead of my typical review post this Friday, I thought I’d give some of the Star Trek and Comic Book fans a little treat. I’m always working on my digital and physical Star Trek collections, and in my Amazon searches I found four collections for 99 cents that contain some of the best Star Trek stories ever told.
As far as I can tell these collections are a bit of an error from IDW. Amazon does not have the resources to verify all of its content and leaves that responsibility to the publishers. I had this happen when I bought Batman #408 (Jason Todd’s first post-crisis appearance). It actually contained the content for Batman #409. I contacted Amazon, who contacted DC, who eventually corrected the issue. What IDW meant to collect here (I believe) was the individual issues for the Star Trek Archive: The Best of Peter David (for 3 of the 4 collections in this post). The content for each of these is actually whole Archive collections of 5-6 comics each, probably some of the cheapest graphic novel stories you can pick up.
Listed as Star Trek: Best Of Borg
Writers – Michael Jan Friedman and Paul Jenkins, Artists – Peter Krause, Pablo Marcos, Steve Erwin and Terry Pallot
This collection contains DC Star Trek: The Next Generation #47-50 (more commonly known as “The Worst Of Both Worlds” and Marvel Special: Operation Assimilation.
The TNG story is probably one of the best arcs in DC’s 80 issue TNG run. The Enterprise is pulled through a dimensional vortex into a parallel universe where the Borg have assimilated most of Earth. The Enterprise saucer section was destroyed during the rescue attempt of Captain Picard who remains as Locutus, over-seeing the Borg’s final assimilation of Earth.
The parallel crew of the Enterprise enlists the help of the prime crew to retrieve Locutus and defeat the Borg. But First Officer Shelby and Miles O’Brian have other agendas that may spoil their plans for getting home.
The art’s a little simpler for this arc then you might hope for, but it does have some nice character moments, action shots and the cover art is stellar.
This moment alone makes the whole thing worth-while:
The Marvel story details a Romulan Commander’s contact with the Borg. It’s been a while since I’ve read the special, but it’s pretty good. If you buy anything in this post, buy this collection.
Listed as Star Trek Archives: The Best Of Peter David #5
Writer – Peter David, Artists – James W. Fry and Gordon Purcell
This collection contains DC Star Trek (Volume 2) Issues 7-12, highlighted by the story “The Trial Of James T. Kirk” (issues 10-12). It’s a shame issues 1-6 aren’t readily available in digital form, as the whole 12 issues forms a longer story-line with several episodes.
Here’s what you missed from issues 1-6: The Klingon empire has put a price on Captain Kirk’s head for perceived crimes against the empire. In the midst of this, Kirk and Company encounter a new race of religious fanatics headed by The Salla, who can cause a man to die just by telling him to. But not Kirk. Kirk is hunted by Captain Klaa (that Klingon commander from Star Trek V) and the Salla all while trying to settle a dispute on a warring planet.
His unconventional solution to the episode earns him further scrutiny from Starfleet and the presence of Federation observer R. J. Blaise who despite an antagonistic relationship, begins to take a liking to Kirk. In the midst of this, Sulu is being pursued by two women and Kirk is having to deal with the antics of one of his new, and over-eager security recruits.
In these issues (7-12) Kirk saves a dying planet from a plague, and a maniacal despot, though the circumstances of that rescue are unclear. He also encounters a bounty hunter eager to profit from the price on his head. Feeling his actions hampered by pursuit from without and within, Kirk consents to a trial in the federation counsel to justify his actions as Captain.
The scenario may be a bit of a stretch, but the characterization here is some of the best, both for the new and old characters. It’s a shame Paramount clamped down on extraneous characters because these secondary stories are some of the most interesting. There’s only so much freedom a writer can have with the big three, but with their own characters they can do anything.
Listed as Star Trek Archives: The Best of Peter David #4
Writer – Mike W. Barr, Artists – Gordon Purcell, Rob David and Terry Pallot
This collection includes Malibu DS9 1-5 and the Aschcan story “Hostage Situation”. Malibu started its DS9 run around the same time as the show itself, and it’s a shame it didn’t get as much time to play with the storylines introduced by Worf and the Dominion (the series ran for 32 issues). Still, the stories in this collection capture some of the best elements of the early seasons of the show, particularly a station that still had many unexplored sections and was clearly not a federation starbase.
Mike W. Barr penned these tales, and has had a relationship with Star Trek comics since the first DC Star Trek series (and a couple of Marvel tales from the best forgotten post motion picture series).
Deep Space Nine is always a series I want to see Star Trek fans get into, and these comics are a great entry point.
Listed as Star Trek Archives: The Best of Peter David #1
Writers – Peter David and Bill Mumy, Artists – Curt Swan, Ricardo Villagran, Gordon Purcell and Arne Starr
This collection is the archive I believe was going to be split into individual pieces (that’s how it is listed on Comixology). It contains DC Star Trek (Volume 1) Annual 3 and DC Star Trek (Volume 2) Issues 13-15 and 19.
Issues 13-15 wrap up some of R. J. Blaise’s story with Kirk (though her real conclusion is in a later special) while telling the tale of some planetary heroes (who bare some resemblance to Lost In Space characters, hence Bill Mumy) who have been in hibernation for years and are now returning to their planet in triumph. But is there a home for them to come back to?
Issue 19 is a tale of Kirk trying to memorialize a member of his crew who died on a mission but is someone he didn’t know at all. As it turns out no on else knew him well either. It’s a nice portrayal of the death of a redshirt as a real human being.
Annual 3 is the best thing in the collection. Scotty learns of the death of one of his oldest loves and the tale is told backwards through their on again, off again tumultuous romance. It’s bittersweet, but shows a side of Scotty beyond just a grumpy engineer.
All in all, more than 20 issues for less than 4 bucks, across three crews and the best decade in Star Trek comics.
Note: Amazon can correct these at any time so you may want to back them up after buying if you want to keep the full version. On the other hand, if no one complains (and who would, really), then you may never have an issue.