Issue 1 "History Lesson" – The series kicked off with an interesting season 1 story on the planet Tigan where history gets rewritten. It’s rather familiar to any Stargate fans with the same concept being used in the SG1 episode "Revisions". But this version is a little larger in scope with a whole planet’s history being rewritten and coups happening with no one even knowing. The story was for the most part well written, having a couple of little plot holes that make you join the dots, but mostly enjoyable. And a very attractive start to the series, with lovely colourful bold designs and great use of “sound effects” in a fight scene.Issue 2 "Captain’s Pleasure" – My favourite issue of the series, a classic “Picard has an adventure” story as the captain takes a bit of time off after the events of the episode "Unification" and enjoys a spot of archaeology. Unfortunately Picard’s holiday curse follows him on every day-off and it turns into serial killing who done it. A completely different tone but just as beautiful art really help the excellent story which like the first issue suffers from being a bit rushed and requiring the reader to join the dots. And that’s where the main flaw of this issue comes in; three pages of the limited twenty-two are devoted to an odd little holodeck B-plot. It’s a nice idea, and if this was a 45 minute TV episode as it seeks to emulate, it would work. But it isn’t and those three pages could have helped a lot in making the already excellent A-plot really fantastic.
Issue 3 "Strategy" – A mysterious hybrid ship attacks the
Issue 4 "Light of Day" – A shuttle crashes on a planet full of zombie monks. Meanwhile on the
Issue 5 "Space Seeds" – The Wesley story, run for the hills! Or in the case the asteroid belt, this is a nice little agricultural mystery with an interesting conclusion, but yep, you guessed it, that conclusion is reached through another series of jumps in logic. And then it gets really interesting, an epilogue! Jumping six years ahead Picard jumps out of bed having apparently figured out what links the miniseries together in his sleep. He has Data do a little data retrieval and finds some dastardly people have been using the
Issue 6 "Space Seeds"… part 2? – Jumping straight into the action Riker and Worf beam in to stop some probably baddies doing something on what sort of looks like the
The art throughout the series was generally excellent, the main characters are definitely the weak points, and under the most scrutiny, but the scenery is consistently fabulous and more than makes up for that weakness. The writing though is another story, David Tischman writes the characters perfectly, the stories are all quite interesting, with good concepts and interesting twists and turns. But, every issue in the series suffers plots holes and jumps in logic which make it a pain to read and really drag the whole series down. The series also suffers a from little errors in the text, like he above mentioned Ferengi dating mistake.Still, each issue works as a stand alone story, and where this series really fails is the conclusion, at the end of the third and fifth issues and throughout the sixth Picard is out to stop these mysterious baddies (kind of maybe Section 31?), but he doesn’t get to, the baddies escape, and what’s worse Picard seems entirely content with that! The ending feels so open I feel… I hope… IDW has something else up their sleeves to finish the story properly.
Each issue of this series, despite the plot holes, is enjoyable, but together it lets you down and I feel IDW would have been better off leaving them just as random one-off stories. IDW’s other series Klingons: Blood Will Tell has managed to both tell individual stories that work fantastically and tie the whole series together, so it definitely could be done, but it didn’t work in this case. David Tischman is writing IDW’s third series Star Trek: Year Four which starts in a fortnight, there’s no indication yet whether that will have some attempt to tie the standalone stories together, I’m hoping not because that’s where he really failed this time. I approach the first issue of that series sure the story will be interesting and the characters well written, I just hope he manages to avoid the constant pattern of plot holes second time round.