REVIEW: Star Trek:The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation² #8 (of 8)

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Or - “The End Of Two Universes?”

The Eleventh Doctor and the crew of the Enterprise-D are faced with an army of Cybermen/Borg hybrids, and the imminent end of their universes.  Can even the might of Starfleet and the mind of the Doctor overcome the Cy-Borg-Men hordes?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!


StarTrekDoctorWho8CoverSTAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO ASSIMILATION² #8
Writer(s): Scott & David Tipton
Penciler: Gordon Purcell
Painted Art: J.K. Woodward
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Star Trek:The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation²:  Somehow, two universes have become linked.  One, the home of the Time Lord known as the Doctor, is the native timeline of an alien race known as the Cybermen of Mondas, who harvest biological lifeforms and use them to increase their own soulless robot numbers.  Another, the home of United Federation of Planets, is the native timeline of an alien race known as The Borg, who assimilate biological lifeforms to the same ends.  Together, they are nearly unstoppable, but Jean-Luc Picard and The Doctor have a plan to pit the twin assault forces against one another…  Our heroes believe that their worlds can be saved, IF it works.

MERGING THINGS THAT DON’T REALLY MATCH IS ALWAYS TOUGH.

There is a difficulty in this crossover that the creators keep bumping into without directly addressing:  The Doctor, in his current incarnation, eschews firearms, while Star Trek (even TNG) is still pretty much a cowboy story, with phasers everywhere and PEWPEWPEW as a common plot point, especially when involving The Borg.  This issue brings it all to a head as the action begins, with Worf arming Rory and Amy and starting a fight in the Cyberman’s engine room.  There is a cute moment where Worf utters the supposed Klingon proverb, “Today is a good day to die”, with Rory Williams replying “I never much care for it myself.”  It’s a good line, followed up by some mayhem, some fighty-fighty and a LOT of talking.  The Doctor and the Captain find and confront the Cyber-Controller, and they talk, and then Worf blows up the engine room, and they talk.  The endless discussion is a pretty big failing for me, with a lot of the issue devoted to dialogue about how the speaker will defeat the other and blah blah blah fishcakes.

STILL PROBLEMS WITH THE ART…

That’s not to say that the endless talking is the only issue I have with the book.  Stephen has been very vocal about his dislike of the “paint filter over photograph” look of previous issues, something that I had been more tolerant of, but this issue has a LOT of moments that feel like stock photos rather than dynamic moments (especially as regards Matt Smith’s likeness as the Doctor.)  There is a recurring issue wherein the Starfleet characters holding phaser rifles look ridiculous due to a lack of either perspective or photo reference in the shot, and a major plot point is rendered powerless by problems with the muddiness and framing of the scene.  As final chapters go, this one isn’t terrible, but it leans rather heavily on a deus ex machine from Geordi LaForge, and ends on a cliffhanger that might possibly be setting up a future crossover between the two universes. (I still vote Fifth Doctor and Captain Sisko.) 

THE BOTTOM LINE: STIFF AND AWKWARD, BUT NOT A TRAINWRECK.

The biggest problem with this book isn’t really with this book at all, it’s with the concept of the series itself, in that after the two robot armies join up, there doesn’t seem to be a place to go OTHER than fighty-fighty.  They handle everyone reasonably well, and play with the continuity of both series ably, but don’t really add anything entirely new to either mythos, and the cliffhanger ending rather annoys me for some reason.  There aren’t really any issues with the characters seeming or acting out of character, which is nice, and the ”voice” of Eleven is well-done throughout the issue, something that I do like.  Star Trek:The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation² #8 is okay as a stand-alone issue, but the combined issues with art and story leave it as a slightly-below average comic book experience, especially at a 4 dollar price point, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall.  I might take a look at this series in the inevitable trade, though, as I suspect that it might be a smoother experience all in one big chunk.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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