With the sensational debut of IDW’s City on the Edge of Foerever, the original award-winning teleplay by Harlan Ellison, taking the world by storm, I thought I’d revisit another Tipton2/JK Woodward story: ASSIMILATION2. This is an excellent Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who crossover, and it’s well-worth your time. It’s still one of the best comics I’ve ever read; but, City is right up-there in the awe-factor, now. Here’s a review I wrote some time ago; slightly revised for you, the VisionaryTrek.com readers.
Something truly spectacular happened a couple of years ago, and – it’s my pleasure to tell you about it…
I read the awesome crossover-series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who, titled ASSIMILATION2, from IDW, and – I must say, I am blown-away! THIS, my friends, IS what comics are all about. Not-since, the 80′s, with DC Comics’ Superman-reboot, by John Byrnes, have I been so thoroughly impressed. Back-then, it seemed like, time just crawled; waiting…waiting…for that next issue; (there were 6 issues in that Superman series-relaunch, an eternity, to an anxious young-teen). Yes, there’s still a wait for each issue, but thank God for digital comics, (especially, graphic novels); now – you just click download.
I have to admit this, though, before I go any further… When I saw the first crossover-issue of TNG and Doctor Who, I thought: “You’ve got to be kidding… Really.” I turned them down without a second-glance and didn’t look back. I had zero-interest in it. But, then…I listened to The Holodeck podcast #4 and, Michael Clark’s interview with JK Woodward (Michael’s 1st interview, BTW and, I must say, truly brilliant); I was caught-up in their excitement and, I could tell by JK’s story, not-to-mention, the enthusiasm, expressed by both the host and guest, that this was something very special. So, I took their word for it, downloaded the first volume, and – Man! WOW! This is graphic-novel nirvana, for geeks!
This story, also – by Scott and David Tipton (Scott AND JK are interviewed by Mr. Clark on pod #17 of The Holodeck), is a masterpiece, bringing two of the most-enduring franchises together for the first-time ever. This was no small feat, friends; this was something fans had been clamoring-for, for years…decades…eons! Well, you get the point. You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy this blending of genres, either; it’s told in such a way, that – you just get it; you know who these characters are from the get-go. I hadn’t seen a Doctor Who episode, since-I was a kid (Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker are the Doctors I remember watching), and I was sure I’d be lost… Not a chance. These guys have nailed it, folks. And, what a brilliant story they have for you. Great bits of humor run-rampant throughout; I was laughing out loud! There are some terrific one-liners and fun panels, that are sure to please everyone from both of these shows.
Then, there is the breathtaking artwork of JK Woodward… This guy is truly phenomenal! His paintings are awe-inspiring…the likenesses (of ALL of the characters), are simply remarkable and his attention to detail, is bar-none; the best I have ever seen in a comic. Panel, after-panel…I just cannot sing this man’s praises high-enough. I have been collecting comics since the early-70′s, and nothing, comes close to the ‘love for the craft’ expressed in JK’s paintings. (If I remember correctly, I believe, JK says it takes him, about 20 hours, per page…) You must see his work, for yourself, to understand my passion, for it. Please, do yourself a favor and buy this amazing series. You will not be disappointed…
The story brings, not-only, Picard and crew, together with Doctor Who, (and his two traveling companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams), but it brings forth the series’ two greatest foes: the Cybermen and the Borg Collective. They have joined forces and are seeking nothing-less, than the total assimilation/conversion of everyone, and-everything, in every universe.
We’re at Delta IV, in the opening of Issue-1, where the joint Cybermen/Borg invasion-force is bringing the planet under its heel and, a major evacuation is taking place…
We, then-find the Doctor in Ancient Egypt in a chariot, with Rory driving and Amy, holding-on for dear life, as they are being pursued by the pharaoh’s guard. In the palace, Doctor Who unmasks the Vizier, (an escaped alien criminal, who landed in Egypt, decades-earlier), dispatching him to Visendi Detention Complex. The, Doctor Who and his mates leave Earth’s past in the T.A.R.D.I.S., which…ends-up on the U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D, in the holodeck; (a Dixon Hill-program is running and Riker, Crusher and Data are inside…)
The two casts meet and so begins this volumes telling of how the Cybermen and the Borg have come together, how they plan to dominate the universes and what it means for Picard. Guinan is a big part of the story, as she, and the Doctor are kindred-spirits, in all things ‘time-related,’ but-they shouldn’t be; as we have seen before, in ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise,’ Guinan just knows things, she’s in-tune with the ebb and flow of time, and – it’s wise to listen to her counsel.
As this volume progresses, we see that something has gone wrong; the Cybermen and the Borg are now, at-war, and the Borg are losing. The Enterprise comes upon a recent battle, finding all of Borg ships completely destroyed, and-the Cybermen, at high-warp… Destination: the Delta Quadrant and, the Borg homeworld…where the Cybermen plan to finish them off.
In-the-meantime, the Borg contact Picard/Locutus to seek a truce, to join forces with the Enterprise and put an end to the Cybermen. Picard wants absolutely-nothing to do with it; he’s content to let the Borg and the Cybermen fight it out. Picard leaves no room for argument, or-debate, on the matter. The Doctor is vociferously frustrated by the captain’s staunch attitude and his flat-out refusal, to even-hear the Borg’s proposals… “As I said, Doctor, there is no Locutus, nor-will there be a truce. The Borg will receive no assistance from me.”
–To Be Continued…
Like I said, this is a spectacular series and you really-must treat yourself. I did leave a surprise-section missing here, but, I thought it would be fun, for you, to find it during your reading, as – I did. This is Doctor Who, after-all, so…who-knows, WHO might, show-up…
‘Til, next-time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone