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Longbox Junk Star Trek: The Next Generation The Modala Imperative

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April 2019

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Although this seems to have been advertised as a crossover mini between the original Star Trek crew and The Next Generation celebrating Star Trek's 25th anniversary, it's really more like two sort of connected 4 issue mini's.  They share a setting (the planet Modala) and 3 characters (Spock, McCoy, and Troyka) and the Next Generation half answers a question left hanging in the first half (where did the government get the advanced weapons it used to oppress the population).

So the first half was pretty good, with great writing and. . .not so great art.  

How does the second half of the story fare?  Read on!

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - THE MODALA IMPERATIVE (DC)

ISSUE 1

Oops. . .I discovered I don't have issue #1 of this series.  I have two copies of issue #2.

The solicit for the first issue reads: 

The Enterprise is invited to represent the Federation at the 100th anniversary of Modala's freedom. Going with the Enterprise to Modala is Admiral McCoy. En route they are joined by Spock. On Modala, social unrest accompanies the preparations for celebration.

But trust me, folks. . .if it's as bad as the other 3, I was better off not reading it anyway.  

Moving along!

ISSUE 2

Admiral McCoy and Ambassador Spock meet again after many years, and they become acquainted with the crew of The Enterprise as they travel to Modala for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of their freedom from the oppressive government that once ruled them (as seen in Star Trek: The Modala Imperative, Pts. 1-4).

Captain Picard, Counselor Troi, McCoy and Spock beam to Modala for the celebration while Riker, in command of The Enterprise, speeds to the rescue of a cargo ship in distress. The festivities on Modala are interrupted by a Ferengi attack. Their leader, Daimon Tran, claims ownership of the planet because of a deal supposedly made 100 years prior.

Overall. . .this was pretty bad. Not so bad as to be unreadable, but not good.

In the first part of "The Modala Imperative" with the original crew, the writing was the high point of the story. I could almost hear the voices of the actors as I read. Here, I don't get anywhere close to that. The dialogue seems stilted and expository.

To make it worse, the story basically copies the first half. . .with an away team in danger while The Enterprise is captained by a substitute.

And then there's the art. GOD, THE ART! It's the same artist that worked on the first half of the story. His art was barely competent there, but definitely takes a step down in this issue. I really didn't think he could get any worse. . .I was wrong.

All in all, this issue is a barely-readable piece of crap. No bueno!

ISSUE 3

The Ferengi raise havoc as they begin taking over Modala. Admiral McCoy and Counselor Troi are captured in the initial attack, but Ambassador Spock, Captain Picard, and the Modalan leader, Stroyka, escape.

The Enterprise confirms that the attack on a Federation freighter was meant to divert them and makes best speed back to Modala.

A failed rescue attempt for Troi and McCoy by Picard and Spock winds up with everyone captives of the Ferengi.

Once again, this issue is barely readable.

The writing fails to capture the voice, personality, or essence of the characters. The situation is basically a copy of the first half of the story, and the Ferengi are written as early season ST: TNG Ferengi. . .brutal, snarling, and primitive instead of the sly, intelligent schemers of later seasons. That's probably not the writer's fault, but the proto-Ferengi just add a cherry on top of the crap sundae.

And if anything, the art in this issue is WORSE than in the last. One wonders if this artist got ANY feedback on his work at all, or if they were just letting him phone it in because they knew if they slapped a "Star Trek: The Next Generation" label on anything in 1991, it wouldn't matter if it was bad or good, people would buy it.

No bueno.

ISSUE 4

With Ambassador Spock's help, Counselor Troi and Admiral McCoy escape. To prevent the execution of Modala's leaders, Captain Picard challenges Daimon Tran, with Modala and the Enterprise as the stakes.

Picard defeats Tran in mental combat with Spock's help. Riker and The Enterprise arrive to send the Ferengi on their way.

It's over. Thank God, it's over.

What can I say about this issue that I haven't already said about the previous ones?

The writing remains bland, copying the basic outline of the first part of this half-assed "crossover" while completely failing to capture the personalities or voices of the Next Generation crew.

The art is terrible and distracting from whatever readability might be found in the story. The last few pages in particular look extremely rushed, like the artist finally just said F@#K it.

Overall, as a Star Trek fan, I'm sort of embarrassed that I even own this piece of crap.

CONCLUSION

As a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the only conclusion I can come to for this steaming pile of crap is that I would have been better off not reading it at all.  It spits in the face of those who love Star Trek.  It's poorly-written, fails to capture the voice or personalities of the characters, and the art is bad to the point of distraction.  

Where the first half of The Modala Imperative (featuring the original Enterprise crew) at least made an ATTEMPT to be good, and halfway succeeded with decent writing, this half just seems like a lazy, sloppy, cash grab meant to hook fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation while it was still a hot show on T.V.  

Like most comic collectors, I cringe when thinking of just throwing away a comic book.  This series is the FIRST time I've ever felt like tossing a perfectly good comic in the trash can.  It's that bad. Unless you are an obsessive Star Trek completionist, stay away.

Up Next. . .

I feel the need to rinse the bad taste out of my mouth with some nice, minty Star Wars.

Dark Horse's 6 issue Star Wars: Dark Empire II mini.

Be there or be square!

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