The final issue in a short story series comes to an end.
I wish this wasn’t just a miniseries. Every issue offers two stories for the price of one. It also offers interesting artistic teams and every issue has different sets of characters in use. A single issue could have a classic Star Trek story and a Next Generation or Deep Space Nine story. Essentially it’s a series for those who love Star Trek and want it in varying types.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Nurse Chapel questions whether or not to continue her medical training until a shuttle incident prompts her to make decisions that will forever change her future. In the second story, Captain Kirk is forced to work with the Romulans after a biological weapon is unleashed, with unexpected – and surprising – results.
Why does this matter?
This issue has two incredible science fiction writers working on classic Star Trek tales, both of which teamed up on the excellent Deep Gravity series. They’ve split up though, as Corinna Bechko is writing the first story (with art by Christopher Herndon) and the second story is written and drawn by Gabriel Hardman. The first focuses on a female nurse and the second on a conflict between the Enterprise and the Romulans!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first story by Bechko and Herndon is titled “The Rebound Effect” and focuses on a nurse named Christine who ended up in an accident, but that accident may have had other things going on that was not immediately obvious. As she recounts her story to Bones she details an attack by giant thin hairy monsters and her desire to keep everyone safe (even the monsters!). The story ends up having an interesting sci-fi twist that’s clever. It also defines Christine as more than just a nurse and that maybe nurses–though their rank is lower than a doctor–are just as heroic and important as anybody else. The art in this story has a courtroom drama sketchy feel that’s very unique.
The second story, titled “The Fear,” is a monster movie sort of tale done in a Star Trek way. Hardman goes nuts with the Ben-Day dots, which helps make things pop but also add a bit of shadow here and there. Hardman introduces Xon, a Vulcan who was actually to be used in the planned spinoff series Star Trek: Phase II but never ended up being used. He’s a Vulcan character who Kirk doesn’t quite trust yet (maybe because he’s 100% Vulcan) and Hardman has him pop in and out of the story. It’s a classic story of a character not getting a chance even though he has the right answers, but in the end it pays off.
Tell us your story Chrsitine.
As the story progresses the monster B-movie vibe is strong and Hardman adds a nice layer of fear to the characters. This all evolves into a classic Star Trek twist with a full explanation of something unknown to any of the characters. The very idea of it is pretty cool and it’s a reminder Hardman has some cool sci-fi ideas yet explored.
It can’t be perfect can it?
For my tastes, the first story utilizes the flashback conceit too much which reduces the tension of the story. It all adds up in the end and the twist is nice, but the flashback certainly reduces the sharpness of the story.
Is It Good?
IDW needs to bring this series back as it’s been a hell of a ride with many great short Star Trek stories. The format itself is perfect for episodic storytelling in a universe that’s barely scratched the surface.