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Longbox Junk Star Trek Unlimited #7

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"I have a lot of issues. . ."

I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!

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Longbox Junk - Star Trek Unlimited #7

274 views • 157 days ago • (1) Comment

Welcome to Longbox Junk, the place where I write comic reviews that nobody asked me to!

 
Can you smell it? Awwww. . .YEAH! That's FALL in the air, folks!  You know what that means, right? RIGHT? Well, if you don't, it means that it's time for what's become a bit of a Longbox Junk tradition. . . the annual LONGBOX JUNK HALLOWEEN HORROR MARATHON!
 
It's where I make the effort to cram as many spooky comic book reviews into the month of October as I can!  Sometimes there's a theme, sometimes there's not.  But there's always a lot of fun to be had!
 
Ready? Let's do this!
 
Wait. . .WHAT?  It's still September? Ah, you party poopers.  
I guess let's check out a Star Trek comic instead.
 

STAR TREK UNLIMITED #7

Marvel/Paramount Comics (1998)

 
 
 
 
AN INFINITE JEST
 
SCRIPT: Dan Abnett & Ian Edginton
PENCILS: Ron Randall & Tom Morgan
INKS: Art Nichols & Scott Hanna
 
THE COVER:  
 
It's very simple, and in that simplicity, it REALLY catches the eye.  The gold and silver insignias and title against the flat black background pop out in a big way.  Quite a few of the Star Trek covers from the short time Marvel held the license are pretty cluttered and crowded.  This is definitely one of the better ones of the bunch.  Let's get inside this thing!
 
THE STORY:
 
We begin our tale as two godlike beings, Q and Trelane, grow bored and decide to play a game.  A game with the very fabric of existence as the prize and with humans as the playing pieces!  Trelane makes the first move. . .
 
 
We shift scenes to the 24th century and the bridge of Starfleet's new flagship, the Sovereign class U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 E on the day of her maiden voyage.  
 
Commissioned after the destruction of the fabled Enterprise D on Veridian III (as seen in the movie Star Trek: Generations) the powerful new starship is under the guidance of Starfleet's finest Commanding Officer, the legendary Captain James Kirk. . .wait, WHAT?
 
 
Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise E sense that something is wrong, but unable to put their finger on it, they proceed as planned with the ship's maiden voyage.  
 
In the meantime, Q mocks Trelane's choice of player, but Trelane is confident that Kirk will thrive with the technological advantages of the 24th century.  Q decides turnabout is fair play and reveals HIS player. . .
 
On the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701, in the 23rd century, we are introduced to Captain Jean-Luc Picard as his ship comes under attack from a Klingon cruiser!
 
 
 
Picard manages to fight off the Klingons despite his confusion, and that of the crew over his strange orders.  Finally, Q steps in to freeze the action and reveal the game to Picard.  
 
Predictably, Picard is outraged and refuses to play Q's games.  Q tells him that he's got no choice. The game is afoot, existence itself is at stake, and Q expects Picard to win.
 
 
 
Likewise, aboard the Enterprise E, Trelane shows himself to Kirk and reveals the game.  Kirk protests that he can't win a game that he doesn't know the rules to, but Trelane leaves without providing anything more than that he expects Kirk to win the game.
 
 
Upon Q and Trelane's exit, the Captains of both ships are informed by their crew that they have somehow been transported to a strange uncharted section of space, with a total absence of all interstellar matter except themselves and a planetoid called "Salvation" that was previously in neither ship's data banks.  
 
Both Captains set course for the planetoid, as it seems to be the only possible source of answers in this strange space.  In the meantime, Q and Trelane are satisfied with the chosen players and the game space.  All that remains is to provide a challenge. . .
 
 
With a snap of his fingers, Trelane summons Picard's old foe Gowron and his Imperial Klingon Vor'Cha Cruiser.  He places the hulking battleship near Picard's ancient Starfleet vessel.  A confused Gowron immediately begins pursuit of the Enterprise!
 
 
Q protests Trelane's unequal match.  Trelane mocks Q for perhaps not being up to the challenge.  Q decides that once again, turnabout is fair game.  With a snap of HIS fingers, a challenge is presented to Kirk and the Enterprise E.
 
 
Kirk's old foe, Commander Kang, is transported to the strange playing field.  They detect the Enterprise E and immediately set course to intercept!
 
 
Aboard the Enterprise E, the approaching ancient Klingon warship is detected on an attack course!  The crew is certain that the Klingon weapons will not be able to harm them, but Q throws another twist into the game, disabling the Enterprise E's shields as Kang attacks, causing heavy damage!
 
 
Aboard the Enterprise NCC-1701, Picard is faced with an advanced Klingon warship bearing down on his ancient and highly outmatched vessel.  He decides that the Klingons thinking that he won't fight will be their advantage.  
 
Using his knowledge of the Klingon vessel gained from the 24th century, Picard turns the Enterprise in and strikes a weak point, taking the Klingons by surprise and heavily damaging their engines.  
 
Picard takes advantage of the temporary gain and warps away from the battle and toward the Salvation planetoid.
 
 
Meanwhile, aboard the heavily-damaged Enterprise E, Captain Kirk desperately tries to think of a way to escape with his crippled and unarmed ship.  The crew informs him that repairs will take hours.  Obviously, fighting isn't the way out of this one.
 
He hails the ancient Klingon ship and Commander Kang seems not at all surprised to be facing Kirk.  Kang demands surrender.  Kirk refuses and makes Kang an offer. . .the secrets of the weapon technology on the planetoid in exchange for safe passage.  A deadly bluff if the Klingons manage to see through it.
 
 

As Picard's Enterprise flees from Gowron, he gathers the command crew, revealing to Spock and McCoy that he isn't who they think he is.  He's from the future and they're all pawns in an insane game between immortal beings.
 
Spock and McCoy are skeptical, but Picard invites Spock to mind-meld with him. . .as in the future, he mind-melded with an older Ambassador Spock and that traces of that time should still be within his mind.  Spock does the mind-meld and is convinced Picard is telling the truth.
 
 
Aboard the Enterprise E, after stalling Kang's attack, Kirk decides to come clean and reveal the truth to Deanna Troi.  Using her psychic abilities, she becomes convinced that Kirk is telling the truth.  She immediately thinks he's talking about Q.  Kirk informs her that there is another. . .Trelane.
 
 
 
The two Enterprise crews contact each other and join in orbit around the Salvation planetoid.  Picard, Kirk, and their command crews beam down to the planet to discuss the situation, driving Trelane into a rage as their respective playing pieces "cheat" by working together!  Q is just surprised it took them this long to do it.
 

 
 
Trying to salvage what's left of their game, Q and Trelane also travel to the planetoid to confront their wayward champions. . .just as Kirk and Picard knew they would.
 
 
As Picard and Kirk argue with Q and Trelane, trying to convince them that their game is childish and beneath the dignity of immortal beings with unlimited power, the Klingons Gowron and Kang ALSO beam down to the planetoid.
 
Kirk and Picard reveal to the Klingons that they have also been used as pawns in a petty game played by immature immortals.  The Klingons stand with the humans in refusing to play any longer.  Q realizes that the game is over.   He challenges Trelane to abandon this game and resolve their contest in another way. 
 
Trelane agrees, and with a snap of Q and Trelane's fingers. . .
 
 
. . .Kirk finds himself back on the bridge of HIS Enterprise, still engaged in battle with Kang.
 
 
. . .Picard finds himself back on the bridge of the Enterprise E, ready for her maiden voyage.
 
 
. . .And  Trelane and Q ready to decide their contest with trial by combat.  All's well that ends well.
 
 
The End.
 
THE REVIEW:
 
What we have here is a story that can literally ONLY be told in comic books (or novels).  Even in 1998, twenty-five years ago (TWENTY-FIVE YEARS? I feel old as dirt about now!), the actors in the original Star Trek series were getting up there in years enough that this would have been impossible to do in live action. 
 
And see. . .THAT'S why I love comics like this!  They can give us stories that we could never have otherwise (okay, there's novels too, I guess).
 
As far as the story itself goes, it's fun.  It ends a bit abruptly, but getting to that ending where Q and Trelane are put in their place by their "opponents" joining together and letting the Godlike beings know that they've underestimated humanity AGAIN is a pretty fun ride.  
 
I like the twist that Kirk is put into a situation that he can't fight his way out of, and Picard fights his way out of a situation that he can't talk his way out of.  It shows that Starfleet values both the fighter AND the thinker, and always has.  And really, that's the heart of this story.
 
On the art side of things, the art is decent.  There are a few standout moments, but not many.  There's two artists and two inkers credited, so I'm thinking one did the original crew's story and the other did the Next Generation crew.  
 
They DO match up pretty well, but I think the artist on the original crew did a better job capturing the likeness' of the actors.  On the Next Generation side, Troi, Q and Worf in particular are pretty poorly-done.  
 
Other than that, the art overall is fine.  It tells the story nicely, but doesn't try very hard to do much more than that.
 

CONCLUSION

 
So I WAS going to just do a random comic again for this review, but picked this one specifically because another blogger I really enjoy has been doing overviews of Star Trek comics and had never actually seen one of these Star Trek Unlimited comics.  It was a pretty short-lived series. . .only 10 issues published quarterly during the short time in the 90s when Marvel had the Star Trek license.  
 
There's really not much information to be had on this short series, which told stories set in both the original series timeline and the Next Generation timeline (as well as this issue, which combined the two).  I picked this issue because of the interest the other blogger expressed in it, and I hope this review helps add to the scant information to be found on Star Trek Unlimited.
 
Wait. . .what? Who is that other blogger I mentioned?  Glad you asked!
 
His name is Josh Turnbull and he runs a GREAT blog called JOSH'S GEEK CAVE that can be found at the link, or where he regularly posts as a contributing member at COOL COMICS IN MY COLLECTION . . .the place where they keep comics FUN!
 
I don't mind throwing a shoutout to either one of these great places to get your geek on!  Josh's Geek Cave reviews just about EVERYTHING, from Star Trek to Sesame Street. . .and NO, I ain't kidding!  This guy loves it ALL!
 
As far as Cool Comics In My Collection goes, it's a great little gathering place for all things nerdly and fun!  There's a little bit of everything and I say if you want a fun hangout that keeps things loose and friendly, then join the Cool Comics Crowd!
 
OKAY. . .unsolicited (I swear) plugs for places I really like are done!
 
If you're a Star Trek comic fan then this story combining the original and Next Generation crews is a lot of fun and well worth a read.  The series has never been collected, so you'll have to keep your eye out in the bargain bin for individual issues.  I see them fairly often, so they're out there to be found by the diligent Longbox Junkers willing to hunt them down.
 
Is it the greatest Star Trek story ever told? No.  Is the art the best Star Trek art out there? No.  Is it a fun story that can only happen in comic books (or novels)? Yes!  So keep your eye out and give it a try.
 
Up Next. . .
 
Okay, NOW we can begin the Longbox Junk Halloween Horror Marathon!
 
A couple of years ago (2020) I did an all retro review edition of the Longbox Junk Halloween party. I think I'd like to do that again!  Why not? I have a LOT of old spooky comics that have never been reviewed by anyone.  So let's do it!
 
The Longbox Junk Halloween Horror Marathon 2023 Retro Review Edition is ON!
 
Be there or be square.
 
  • 155 days ago by evlthecat's avatar evlthecat
  • Thanks for the review! Cheers.
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