Star Trek: Waypoint #1st_waypoint_01-pr-page-001
Published by
: IDW Publishing

Puzzles – A Star Trek: The Next Generation Story
Writer: Donny Cates
Art by: Mack Chater
Coloured by: Jason Lewis & Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Andworld Design

DayLilly – A Star Trek Story

Writer: Sandra Lanz
Art by: Sandra Lanz
Letterer: Andworld Design

Covers by: Marc Laming (colours by Chris O’Halloran) and subscription cover by Mark Buckingham (colours by Charlie Kirchoff)
Production Designer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Sarah Gaydos

Release Date: September 28th 2016

Warning:  this review may contain spoilers.

Overview: With Star Trek celebrating its 50th Anniversary, IDW Publishing launches Waypoint; a six issue anthology series that will allow the reader to stop, look back and reflect upon this phenomenal creation of Gene Roddenberry’s. Each issue will have two stories written and drawn by different creative teams and will explore the legacy of Star Trek while allowing us to look forward to the next 50 years.

Puzzles – A Star Trek: The Next Generation Story

The Story
Encountering a mysterious ship; Captain Geordi LaForge of the Enterprise alongside his good friend and First Officer Data have to discover its origins while walking the fine line of the prime directive and protecting their friendship. I’m not sure if this story fits into any sort of cannon, my first thoughts were it must be set after Countdown which was the prequel to Star Trek 2009 and in that story Data was the captain and this could be a natural progression of those events. However, the interactions between LaForge and Data are brilliantly written and this really is the core of the story. The mysterious ship was interesting and was a different aspect to stories revolving around the prime directive. It’s a shame that the story didn’t include any other members of the TNG crew (apart from a cameo at the end from Picard) but for Data fans – you won’t be disappointed.

The Art
This is the first time I’ve encountered the art work of Mack Chater. Chater is currently working on Briggs Land from Dark Horse comics and it’s a very different style of art work to what we have normally seen from IDW and its Star Trek series. I enjoyed Chater’s version of a much older LaForge and drawing so many Data’s must have been challenging too. I would like to see more of his artwork in the pages of Star Trek and to have a fuller story to see what he can achieve. The colouring really helped this story and enhanced the art and helped differentiate between the Enterprise and the mysterious ship.

DayLilly – A Star Trek TOS Story

The Story
Lieutenant Uhura is separated from the rest of the Enterprise landing party due to a transporter malfunction and has to survive a storm before she can be beamed back aboard the ship. While looking for a safe place to weather the storm, Uhura encounters a new life form.  After Puzzles this is a very different type of story that moves along at a different pace but is as equally character driven and highlights some of the skills that makes Uhura such a valuable member of the Enterprise crew. For those who know their TNG, this story does remind you of Darmok but is different enough to make it an enjoyable read.

The Art
Like Chater this is the first time I have encountered the art work of Sandra Lanz. Lanz is currently the writer and illustrator of House Girls (STELA). Her work can also be found in Prophet: Strikefile (IMAGE) and Creepy Magazine (DARK HORSE). I was really impressed by the likenesses of Uhura, the background details and how original the new life form was drawn. The colouring also was exceptional for this story and bought out the best of Lanz. I definitely want to see more stories drawn by Lanz.

The Covers
This issue has three covers with the standard by Marc Laming showing us The Next Generation crew on the transporter in a classic beaming down pose, while the subscription cover by Mark Buckingham depicts The Original Series crew also in a classic stance but with the Enterprise in the background alongside Klingon battle cruisers and even the Botany Bay from Space Seed. The third cover is a photo cover of Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) at her station aboard the Enterprise. Editor Sarah Gaydos has said on The Holodeck Podcast that she would be looking for new artists to come on board and draw some covers for Star Trek and in this case we have two new artists. The standard cover has the better likenesses of the crew while the subscription cover just doesn’t seem to hit the mark. Both are traditional covers and like many others issues of the Ongoing Star Trek series, they have no relevance to the stories inside. I was surprised not to see Beverly Crusher alongside the TNG crew and if you look closely, the detail on Picard’s badge is missing the gold emblem, it’s quite transparent. Gaydos has also mentioned that photo covers would be a thing of the past so I was very surprised to see this as the third cover.  With the launch of a new series I would’ve hoped for a cover from J.K Woodward, Joe Corroney or even Tony Shasteen to start with a bang but these covers just don’t have that “wow” factor.

Overall
Waypoint Issue one was a steady start to this series and I’m looking forward to seeing more stories from other shows and characters within the Star Trek universe. Both stories had that Star Trek “feel” and it was nice to see different art work depict them. I’m hoping for more character driven stories and for some out of this world art.