The aspect of choice but also the rule of command permeates the essence of many of the stories in collection between the essence of morality but also practical application.
The Q Conflict #3 The continuing structure of the omnipresent beings staging a gladiator competition of sorts combining the different crews across the pantheon (except Discovery) is a bit more clean and concise in this issue simply because there is a little more explanation of the interpersonal struggles at play. Q’s moral ineptitude but gray area of perspective continues to personify the complicity. Trelane integrates a notion of galactic capture-the-flag which is interesting especially when he ups the stakes with a planet killer. The stakes, as one of the characters points out, keep the situation from becoming too dire.
Star Wars Adventures #20 This tome has Anakin and Master Yoda on a planet where they discover an old friend with the power of invisibility. The thematic of realizing that which you cannot see but what can be perceived resounds in the story especially when Anakin uses a very simple problem solving tactical maneuver that really helps to continue to define the kind of Jedi he might have become. The secondary story in this issue tells a similar progression in that of Wild Space using a story of Padewan Barriss in a similar way by showing a quest/journey to recover a book for her master is not for the end result but what is learned along the way.
Star Trek: Terra Incognita #5 Like the Animated series episode “The Infinite Vulcan”, this story continues to examine the notion about messing with genetic code and the idea of what is better for a society in terms of progress or nostalgia. The crew of the Enterprise uses practical deduction to make their work easier but the dynamic between the command presence of Dr. Crusher versus Worf is an interesting dynamic that was never brought to a head per se during the series. While it doesn’t get too heated, the balance of the warrior mindset versus the medical mindset rests in the passive aggressive which is an interesting path. The mirror structure underneath continues to coalesce but with no true progression in this issue.
Star Wars – Flight Of The Falcon One Shot Hondo as a character has always been an interesting comic bright spot in the Star Wars universe and hopefully with get a tinge of live action impression at some point. This story follows Hondo having holed up on Baatu with the Falcon while Chewbacca is away. Mahko is a flyer and an all-around sharp flyer who, like Han Solo, has her emotions and priorities in both worlds. She is perhaps a little naive, wears her heart too much on her sleeve and trusts even though it will not turn out well. Hondo agrees to a race with the Falcon for some extra money and almost gets it stolen from him with a chicken tug-of-war with a tractor beam. It is a little childish on Hondo’s part especially when he tries to talk Chewie into letting him do it on a results basis. That said, this one shot really has a sense of character work that comes off both effortless but also organic.
By Tim Wassberg
The aspect of authority is always contained within the locations in which it is adjourned. In some places, survival has to transcend the law: to allow it to take on a different meaning and, by extension, grow from it. In “Judge Dredd: Under Siege” [Mark Russell/IDW/96pgs], a story on the blight in the waste dumping part of Mega CIty One, within a place called the Patrick Swayze Block, the essence of basic human decency has broken down most because of the texture of economic decay. No one can afford the basics of a normal life and the law does not have a say. The story, in many ways, plays more like an homage to “Total Recall” because it involves mutants, both bad and good, wanting to be accepted as normal citizens. Dredd enters into the block to find a missing judge who was there doing community education. He finds a blonde haired, power hungry mutant there instead who wants to detonate a bomb in the main pedestrian mall of Mega City One, not to kill people but to infect it with radioactivity so eventually those residents will become mutants and they will all be together as one. Dredd is still bathed in the idea of black and white because that is all he has known. It is up to the Rebels fighting around him to hold him to an ideal and not the other way around, which speaks to the Under Siege ideal which more speaks to the idea that the Judges won’t be around forever.
By Tim Wassberg
The aspect of Star Trek is that there are many different alternate identities and moments that swell within the universe no matter what time is implicated. This approach works very well with “Star Trek: Waypoint #1” (Dave Baker/IDW/52pgs] though some stories work better than others. “Eternity’s Gate” which follows the emergence of Captain Decker from “Star Trek The Motion Picture” into the Q Continuum makes perfect sense but also opens up more questions than it answers which is in keeping with Star Trek lore. Q’s disinterest but also Decker’s almost Starchild quality makes for an interesting read. “My Human Is Not” follows a different perception in an altogether different way since it is a vignette from the perspective of Spot, Data’s cat and how he is eventually able to tell the difference between Data and Lore. It is simple but undeniably effective. “Histories” tells a story of perspective which keys in to what future worlds might think of us but ultimately who will be writing our successes and failures and how they will be perceived in generations to come. The aliens here question the prime directive and its impact to the universe but they won’t alter their perception when one of them raises up to question its validity. The final story is from the perception of Dax from “Deep Space Nine” as she continues in a separate body and she struggles to find the right actions to take down an Andorian adversary. It is interesting because it is a story of personal identity but also of decision. All these stories provides an interesting examination of perception making them an undeniable addition to the universe of Star Trek.
By Tim Wassberg