I’m back, y’all, with the conclusion of the epic crossover of Star Trek TNG and Dr. Who, ‘ASSIMILATION²’, from IDW Publishing. If you haven’t read my review for Vol. 1, feel free to peruse that NOW… I’ll wait…
Ok. As you know, I LOVE this series! I just cannot praise it enough. Brilliant story, (by Scott and David Tipton), some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen in a comic-book, (by the phenomenal JK Woodward and Gordon Purcell, plus-Tony Lee in Vol. 1, Chapter 3), and it’s loaded with humor, cameo appearances of Enterprise crew-members, action, adventure, great space battles…Guinan… This was a stellar undertaking and they have pulled it off with style and class; you can see the love these folks had for this project.
We left the story in Vol. 1 with the Cybermen at full-warp, heading for the Delta Quadrant to finish ‘converting’ the Borg homeworld. The Borg have requested a parley with Captain Jean Luc Picard on the USS Enterprise 1701-D, but-the captain adamantly refuses their entreaty. Also-aboard, is the Timelord Dr. Who, (with his cohorts Amy Pond and Rory Williams). Dr. Who has made his case to Capt. Picard, to listen to the Borg, but-alas, Picard refuses to budge on the matter, leaving the Doctor extremely frustrated…
Volume 2, Chapter 1 opens on the bridge of the Enterprise, right where we left off; Dr. Who is trying, in-vain, to get Capt. Picard to reconsider his decision. Still-the captain will not have it. He’s willing to let the Borg and Cybermen destroy one-another; he is hell-bent on going to rescue survivors from the their recent attacks across the sector. In his ready-room, the debate continues, until Guinan comes in and gets Picard’s permission to fill Dr. Who in on why Picard has his doubts.
The next few pages tell the story of Wolf 359 and it is a spectacular treat. (The tear running down Picard/Locutus’ face brought goosebumps when I saw it! Just masterful art!) The Doctor is sympathetic to Picard’s turmoil, but he still maintains that Picard meet the Borg. Being turned-away, again, Dr. Who makes to leave… Meeting-up with Amy Pond, Rory Williams, Dr. Crusher and Counselor Troi, Dr. Who is ready to get underway. It’s Amy Pond, who-then goes to Picard and persuades him to go see the T.A.R.D.I.S. on the holodeck. (Now-seeing Captain Picard inside of Dr. Who’s ‘Police Box’ was thrilling, to say the least. It’s magical stuff…) And-so, the Doctor takes Picard on a time-warping trip to see the future and what it holds. We see the planets Qo-noS and Raxacoricofallapatorius-(Whew! That’s a mouthful…LOL!) fall to the Cybermen first, then-Vulcan, Judoon and, finally-Earth itself. Starfleet HQ is in flames and the last humans are being converted… Having seen enough, Capt. Picard relents and agrees to meet with the Borg.
Chapter 2 begins on the planetoid Tau, where the Enterprise crew, (Picard, Riker, Worf and Data), plus-Dr. Who, Amy and Rory, have a quick discussion with the Borg representative, designation: ‘Conduit’; the assimilated version of Capt. Marcus Bertrand of the USS Potemkin, (Cmdr. Riker’s former CO). Riker goes-ballistic on the Borg for sending Bertrand to do their bidding, but-he cools-off enough to let the talks proceed. They agree to let the Conduit beam-up to the ship, but-after its assimilation components are removed. The Conduit tells how the Borg were betrayed by the Cybermen, that the Borg’s Executive Library Routines were rewritten and that they are stripped of their higher-functions, that they are essentially inert. The final betrayal was the Cybermen detecting the Timelord’s presense aboard the Enterprise, which-clearly comes as a surprise for Dr. Who. Now, Dr. Who knows what must be done and everyone comes up with a plan to stop the Cybermen’s invasion: the Conduit will help in Engineering to boost Enterprise’s speed and weapons, and an away-team will persuade the aquatic inhabitants of Naia VII to give up their gold; (it seems, the Cybermen are vulnerable to the precious metal).
We leave Chapter 2 with Dr. Who, Amy and Rory, aboard Locutus’ Borg cube, (another great shot of the TARDIS here, as well) in pursuit of the Exec. Library protocols, weaving thru Borg, in-battle, at Wolf 359. They come face-to-face with Locutus; (his laser beam on Dr. Who’s forehead is awesome!) Chapter 3 continues the adventure on-board the cube, where the Doctor gets the programs he’s seeking and they make a hasty retreat; returning to the Enterprise, to a stunned Picard and Riker, as-they were back in the blink of an eye!
With everything they need secured, the Enterprise is now barreling towards the Cybermen’s ship; but-even with the Borg’s help and the Enterprise going well-beyond its limits, it’s not going to be enough to reach them in time. With reservations, the captain goes with the Doctor on the TARDIS, along with Amy, Rory, Data, Worf, Riker and the Conduit; it’s the only hope of getting to the Cybermen’s ship before they reach the Borg homeworld.
We close with a great battle against the Cybermen/Borg-enhanced army. There are A LOT of them and it’s not an easy fight, yet-our heroes prevail; they use the gold to neutralize the Cybermen and they find the Cyber-Controller, (it’s my assumption, that this is the equivalent of the Borg’s Queen), who has plans to annihilate the Doctor, so-they can continue their invasion unimpeded. He is quickly defeated, though and, Dr. Who hooks the Conduit up to him, so that the Borg protocols can be restored. It’s no surprise that the Conduit has plans of it’s own; the drone has set a self-destruct on all of the Cybermen’s ships. With minutes to spare, everyone races for the TARDIS, where-they barely escape the ship’s destruction…only-to find the Conduit in control of the TARDIS! The TARDIS, a living entity of it’s own, places its consciousness into Data; together-they fight the Conduit and it gets it’s butt thrown out into…well-somewhere, sometime, who knows… He’s toast, nonetheless. With everything restored, the two crews part-ways, on amicable terms and with deep respect for one-another.
And, so-concludes this extraordinary adventure between two iconic genres…
Or-does it? I’ll leave it to you to decide…
All I can say is, this is about the BEST comic-book series I’ve ever read! The attention to detail, is second-to-none, the storytelling and blending of these characters is spot-on, the one-liners and humor are right in-sync with both shows and the artwork is SPECTACULAR! My gods, the likenesses are just breathtaking! There are panels that are absolutely fantastic; examples: a close-up of Data’s positronic-brain and neural-net, the Deltan control room reminding us of STAR TREK IV’s Starfleet control room, the breathtaking shots of the Enterprise and the TARDIS, the planet Naia VII and it’s inhabitants… There are just too-many to name!
Do yourself a favor and get this exceptional, funny, highly-entertaining series. You do not have to be a fan to enjoy this, and-you might just find yourself ‘ASSIMILATED’ to both shows, when you’re through! Please-let me know what YOU think…
Written by Eric Gator1
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