STAR TREK: WAYPOINT #1
Written by Don Cates and Sandra Lanz
Art by Mack Chater, Jason Lewis, Dee Cunniffe, Sandra Lanz, Andworld Designs
Published by IDW Publishing
Release date: September 28, 2016
The comic book anthology that is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek has finally hit comics shops. This series showcases short comics stories spread across the entire franchise. This first issue tackles Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as The Original Series. What makes it unique and beautiful is that the two stories focus in on key characters instead of attempting to cram every major player into the plot.
The first story is written by Don Cates with Jason Lewis and Dee Cunniffe on art. Taking place long after the television show and movies ended, this story focuses on the best broship of Star Trek: Geordi LaForge and Data. This story plays off an idea from Star Trek: Countdown where Data no longer has a body, but exists as an uploaded and integrated part of a ship, in this case the Enterprise. Mostly told from Geordi’s perspective, a lot of the story is spent exploring how Data’s existence affects his relationship with Geordi. There are a few moments where there is a perspective shift while Data tackles a mystery ship they are investigating. There is too much to enjoy to give away with this story. Reading it as it unfolds is too enjoyable for a Star Trek fan to teleplay the whole thing in a review. Since it does deal with the only steady relationship Geordi has ever been able to keep in his life, there is plenty of gut-punches at the end, with a hopeful note at the end. Mack Chater’s art is simple and direct. There are enough subtle sagging lines to show the age on Georgi. Lewis and Cunniffe’s colors are highly textured, while aboard the Enterprise dark bridge. It’s a style that will not be to everyone’s taste. However, it does provide a foreboding feeling as they investigate the mystery ship that has appeared. Have your tissues ready for this one.
The need for something emotionally light makes Sandra Lanz follow up story that much more enjoyable. Set in The Original Series era this story is a stand alone adventure for Uhura who is separated by a storm and transporter problems from the rest of the crew. Her linguistics background is played up as she encounters a strange, and adorable, alien creature. The previous artwork was dark and stoic, aboard ship. However, completely on an M-class planet surface, there is a light and fluid quality to the artwork in this story. Reds, oranges and yellows are played around with, especially in the backgrounds. This helps the green alien creature to stand out, and make theirselves unique. Having the writer and artist as the same person of the story provides an easy harmony. Knowing the story comes straight from the artist’s brain, this story feels sincere and quietly moving. Their is a subtle change in the creature across the story that you might miss if you’re just skimming the dialogue. The jarring ending, while not completely unexpected leaves a slightly saddened feeling. However, the fascinating alien’s abilities leave you curious. It feels like you’ve been watching an Original Series episode.
The only thing possibly holding some back about this series is the five dollar price tag. There are a lot of hands involved with each issue. Here, for example, you’re really getting two comics for the price of one and a half. There should be no complaint. However, spending five dollars on a single issue (more if you’re outside the United States) is just a budget buster for many comics fans. They would be better off waiting around for the collected edition.
What this first issue leaves you with is a hunger for more issues. Those interested in getting a sampling among the different series will enjoy the variation. Both of the stories in this issue provided you just the right amount of information that you could jump right in and enjoy. Knowing that any story can come from any series and the line-up of talented creators makes this series an engaging, delightful, must read for Star Trek fans.
The Verdict: 9.0/10