When I found out IDW was putting out an anthology type Star Trek series I couldn’t have been more happy. That’s because, while I do enjoy a good Star Trek yarn, I tend to get a bit bored with the cast and crew. This series offers up the best of both worlds however, as we not only get a variety of crews, but each story is self contained with a beginning, middle, and end. We start with issue #1: is it good?
Star Trek: Waypoint #1 (IDW Publishing)
So what’s it about? The official IDW summary reads:
A blockbuster bi-monthly anthology to celebrate 50 years of STAR TREK, featuring short stories across all Treks, by the top talent of today and yesterday! First, a NEXT GENERATION story by Donny Cates and Mack Chater. Unable to decipher a mysterious ship’s coded messages, Starfleet has enlisted its two greatest scientific minds, Captain Geordi La Forge and his best friend Data, to investigate. What they discover will alter the course of scientific human history as we know it! Then, an ORIGINAL SERIES story by Sandra Lanz, where a crewmember, stranded on a strange planet, encounters a bizarre alien creature. They must learn how to interact, but how?
Why does this book matter?
It’s the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and I’m not sure there exists a better way to celebrate the characters than this series. Focused solely on the characters that appeared in the hit shows, we get to relive our favorites. This issue also focuses on two ends of the Star Trek spectrum–one story focuses on a post-Next Generation tale while the other one involved a young Uhura.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Whoa, how does so many Datas affect him?
The first story takes place post-Next Generation which is an exciting place to start since anything can happen. It’s not a lost story or a prequel, so the characters could die or any other number of things could occur. In this story, Geordi is the captain of the Enterprise with Data serving as his number 1. It’s a little bit different of a crew however, because Data is serving at every station! One wonders how this is affecting his ability to be human (he appears to be inside the Enterprise AI), but before we can contemplate they discover something quite extraordinary.
Writer Donny Cates and artist Mack Chater couldn’t have opened this series with a better story. It captures everything great about Star Trek, from the interesting character dynamics, to the wonders of the inexplicable universe, and it even delivers a shocking twist ending too. If you enjoyed Next Generation you owe it to yourself to read this comic for this story alone.
The second story written and drawn by Sandra Lanz is also quite fantastic as it explores the wild alien creatures the classic cast came across. In this case it’s focused on Uhura connecting with an alien who could be friend or foe. Lanz explores Uhura’s good nature and peaceful demeanor and how that kindness is part of being a member of the Enterprise. It’s easy to forget these characters aren’t killing machine action stars, but human beings who do the job because they’re keenly interested in discovering new world and beings.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The only fault I came across was the way the post-Next Generation story ended. A character we all know and love asks Geordi a question and he answers, which does give the newfound cargo (keeping it vague here to avoid spoilers) something to do, but doesn’t make a lot of sense. Wouldn’t this cargo understand this thing completely? It left me a bit puzzled, but hell, maybe that’s why this story is called “Puzzles”!
I hate when that happens.
Is It Good?
IDW couldn’t have had a better first issue to kick off this exciting new series. This issue contains two stories that get to the core of what makes Star Trek so damn awesome. If you love Star Trek, you will be over the moon for this series.
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