STAR TREK: WAYPOINT

-This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.

©IDW

Guest Writer: Brent Griffis

STAR TREK: WAYPOINT is an anthology from IDW that explores multiple facets of the STAR TREK universe.

The first story, PUZZLES, brings us to a future point of the Next Generation timeline. The dialogue between Captain Geordi LaForge and his crew of Data replicants feels as intimate and natural as their interactions in the later seasons of the NEXT GENERATION television series. Mack Chater’s art (colored by Jason Lewis and Dee Cunniffe) enhances the sense of personal drama. The silent panels depicting Data’s sacrifice are at once exciting and tragic.

The second entry, DAY LILY, continues the feeling of isolation as Uhura finds herself temporarily stranded on an alien world, and makes a new friend while waiting for extraction. This lighthearted tale fits nicely within the original series canon, even though the heartbreaking conclusion reminds us that all things good and beautiful do eventually come to an end.

THE MENACE OF THE MECHANITRONS, the anthology’s third tale, faithfully reproduces the feel of Gold Key’s 1970s STAR TREK comic book, though I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether that is a good thing. Gordon Purcell’s jam-packed artwork, with its artificial page weathering and Jason Lewis’ bright, matte palette matches the old-school campiness of the story perfectly.

In LEGACY, writer Sam Maggs draws deep from the Enterprise’s crew registry to introduce readers to Yeoman Leslie Thompson, the only woman to die in the line of duty during the ship’s original 5-year mission. Rachael Scott’s art does a nice job bringing a slick, modern look to the mythos of the original series. In this vignette, we see the history and motivation of one of the many background players who helped make the Enterprise the grand ship it was.

THE WILDMAN MANEUVER is pure fun. Mostly written and illustrated from a child’s perspective, it’s a fantastic short tale of would-be conquerors, black coffee and “SCIENCE!”. Kudos to writer Mairghread Scott and artist Corin Howell for capturing a sense of childlike fantasy without being too cloying or “cutesy”. To be honest, with this creative team, I would not mind if every TREK anthology included at least one entry from Naomi Wildman’s imagination.

©IDW

The writers involved in WAYPOINT deserve lots of credit for exploring topics not often discussed deeply within the various STAR TREK shows and movies. From the drama of everyday Bajoran life (MOTHER’S WALK) to the irreplaceable companionship of a pet (THE FRAGILE BEAUTY OF LOYALTY). On almost every page, the artwork reflects the mood of the story quite well – ranging from quiet moments of moody introspection to dramatic outer-space battle sequences.

In trying to supply something for every reader, IDW brings the “three ring circus” philosophy of entertainment to this anthology: If you don’t like the jugglers, you’ll like the tigers, and if you don’t like that, here’s someone being fired out of a cannon. The diversity of stories makes this strategy effective. Everyone from casual comic book fans to die-hard TREK devotees will find something to enjoy here.

I strongly recommend WAYPOINT as a holiday gift for the sci-fi enthusiast on your list, but you may want to pick up an extra copy for yourself!

Four-and-a-half stars.

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