Q-in-Law: Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Review

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Q-in-Law (Star Trek: The Next Generation #18) by Peter David
Science Fiction
Published by Pocket Books
Released October 1991
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

There’s one side character in the Star Trek universe who I’m always excited to see: Lwaxana Troi. She’s delightfully difficult, frivolous yet wise, and brings a rogue joy to any episode or story she’s involved in. Some of my favorite Deep Space Nine episodes are the ones where Lwaxana makes an appearance. I’ve always wanted more Lwaxana, and seeing as the actress who played her, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s spouse, Majel Barrett, died in 2008, there’s a limited amount of her stories to enjoy.

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Lwaxana Troi & Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Not too long ago I had traded in some books at my local used bookstore and walked over to their large section of Star Trek paperback novels. I already own a bunch, so I always limit myself to one per trip. I nearly jumped for joy when I noticed Peter David’s Q-in-Law, featuring a trio of wonderful characters on the cover: Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Q, and Lwaxana Troi. I didn’t need to read the synopsis to know this was the book I’d be buying.

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Author Peter David

Like most of the Star Trek novels that I’ve read, the story reads like a single episode. In Q-in-Law, two rival families of an alien race called the Tizarin are gathering aboard the USS Enterprise for the wedding of two young lovers. It’s a great opportunity for Star Fleet to extend diplomacy, get to know a new species, and act as a neutral ground for two families that have been fighting for generations, even though they don’t completely remember why.

As Betazoid’s ambassador, it’s only fitting that Lwaxana Troi would show up, much to the chagrin of the captain. However, no one is expecting the omnipotent being known only as Q to show up, and the crew of the Enterprise is understandably distressed at his arrival. Lwaxana, however, is incredibly intrigued and drawn to Q, and pursues a romantic relationship with him, even as her daughter, Counselor Deanna Troi, does everything in her power to stop her mother from committing what she sees as a devastating mistake.

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Q

Q-in-Law was definitely an enjoyable story and one that would have been fun to watch on screen. Unfortunately, my expectations may have been set too high, and I was overall disappointed by the story.

Author Peter David did a wonderful job of capturing the personality and charm of all of the characters we’re familiar with and creating new intriguing characters in the members of the Tizarin. As I had expected, Lwaxana was easily my favorite part of the story, and she exhibited a feisty-ness not even rivaled by her character’s televised stories.

My biggest disappointment in the novel was the entire side story involving Wesley Crusher, who is one of only two Star Trek: The Next Generation characters who I could easily do without (the other being Tasha Yar and every other character she played). I was so annoyed by Wesley’s side story about receiving what was essentially a sex slave to please him that it definitely took away a great deal of my enjoyment.

Am I happy that I read it? Absolutely. Getting even a little bit more Lwaxana was worth dealing with a far too drawn out Wesley story. Will I read it again? Probably not.


Does Q-in-Law sound like something you’d enjoy? Let me know why or why not in the comments!




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They Called Us Enemy by George Takei – A Review

They Called Us Enemy George Takei

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, & Steven Scott
Art by Harmony Becker
Non-Fiction | Graphic Novel | History | Memoir
Published by Top Shelf Productions
Released July 16th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

There are parts of American history that the people in power would like for you to forget, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is one of those. I wasn’t taught about this in high school, even while discussing World War II, and it wasn’t until college that I found out about the prejudice and hate that Americans of Japanese descent had to live through following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

Hopefully, George Takei is a name that is already familiar to you. You’ll definitely know him if you’re a Star Trek fan as I am, as he played Hikaru Sulu in The Original Series.

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George Takei was born to Japanese-American parents in southern California in 1937. In 1942, when George was just four-years-old, his family was one of many rounded up unfairly and sent to an internment camp. They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s memoir of his family’s experience living in three different internment camps, one as far away as Arkansas.

Told as a graphic novel with wonderful, simple art done by Harmony Becker, this is a heartbreaking book to read. It’s hard to imagine a level of hate and fear so great that America would support internment camps for people of a particular ancestry.

As I mentioned before, I was not taught about this period of our history in school, which is offensive to the people who had to live through it. Takei’s book is accessible for all ages, and I sincerely hope that it makes its way into schools all over the country.

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As hard to read as this real-life account was, it was also inspiring at times. I was incredibly impressed at how Takei’s parents tried as hard as they could to make their children’s lives normal. His father worked to make conditions better in the camp for everyone while his mother tried to make their new “home” more liveable. All of the families who were sent to these camps lost so much – their homes, possessions, jobs, and links to the outside world.

In many cases, these families were given little to no warning that they were about to be forced to leave their homes behind.

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One of the Japanese-American internment camps

One of the most difficult moments in the book came when the people living in the internment camps discovered that America had dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Takei family had relatives living in Hiroshima, who died that day. They were locked up with their grief, along with other families grieving for their relatives as well, with no way to fight back. They weren’t allowed to travel and were unable to properly mourn for their loved ones in Japan. I can’t even begin to imagine the horror that so many people had to experience.

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Towards the end of the book, Takei writes about how little he realized was happening when he was young and learning about it through his father afterward. The anger he felt when he thought they hadn’t done enough to prevent it to a greater understanding is all portrayed honestly here. Takei also discusses the racism and prejudice that ran rampant in Hollywood when he got started as an actor, and how Star Trek was the role of a lifetime for him.

I cannot urge you enough to read this graphic novel. It’s too easy to forget the horrors that governments and angry citizens can lay down on people, and it’s something that we should never forget. Donate this book to schools, share it with others, read it yourself – let’s not forget what happened to the Japanese-American population during World War II, and let’s prevent it from ever happening again.


Have you read They Called Us Enemy? What did you think? Were you taught about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II? Let me know in the comments.




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Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War by Mike Johnson – A Review

Star Trek Green Lantern the Spectrum War

Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War by Mike Johnson
Art by Ángel Hernández
Science Fiction | Superheroes | Comic Books
Published by IDW Publishing
Released April 12th, 2016
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m obsessed with all things Star Trek. Something else you should know is that the only DC Comics series I care for at all is Green Lantern. So, naturally, this 6-issue comic book series caught my eye.

The Spectrum War brings the Green Lantern universe into Star Trek’s Kelvin timeline after the Lanterns are decimated by Nekron, aka death. Ganthet, a guardian of the universe, uses a last-ditch effort to save the remaining Lanterns called The Last Light, essentially throwing anyone still living into an alternate reality.

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Note: For anyone not familiar with Star Trek, the Kelvin Timeline is that of the newer films, Star Trek, Star Trek Beyond, and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Rings of all emotional spectrums end up in this new universe, with three of the rings ending up with Starfleet officers aboard the USS Enterprise, and the rest going to some old Star Trek enemies. Hal Jordan and the remaining lanterns assist Captian Kirk in fighting the Klingons, Romulans, and Gorn, but make a startling realization that they were not the only ones to cross over into this new universe: Nekron followed them.

The USS Enterprise fights alongside the Lanterns to defeat Nekron, and things are looking grim until they realize that they have a secret weapon that could change the fight for good.

I really enjoyed this series. While I am not a fan of the Star Trek Kelvin timeline and wish this series focused on the Star Trek: The Original Series crew, I tried to overlook that. The story itself is really fun and it was interesting to see which Star Trek characters the Lanterns’ rings chose to wear them.

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The climax of the story and the ensuing battle between Star Fleet, the Lanterns, and Nekron felt too short for how epic it should have felt. Six issues don’t give the writer much freedom, however, so I get it – I just wish there had been more of a fight.

The art, drawn by Ángel Hernández, is wonderful. Lots of color and emotion contained within the panels, which made the entire series more enjoyable.

To read this series, I’d say you just need general knowledge of Star Trek, but you might want to know a bit more about the Green Lantern series. If you’re not familiar with Green Lantern, it might get a bit confusing as to how the rings work and what they represent because it is never explicitly explained.

This series was really enjoyable, although far from perfect. There were times when the story felt a little thin, but overall it was fun watching the crew of the USS Enterprise work together with Hal Jordan and some of the other Lanterns. There is a sequel to this series, called Stranger Worlds, that I’ll be reviewing soon as well.


Have you read any of the Star Trek crossover comics? Are you a Green Lantern fan? Let me know in the comments!




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Star Trek: Waypoint Special #1 Review

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Star Trek: Waypoint Special #1
Authors: Brandon Easton, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Matthew Dow Smith, and Dave Baker
Art: Nicole Goux, Miquel Muerto, Josh Hood, Thomas Deer, Sonny Liew, and Shaun Steven Struble
Comic Book | Sci-fi
Published by IDW
Goodreads | Amazon
Released December 12, 2018
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

The Star Trek: Waypoint series is a collection of comic books that feature very short stories that take place in the extended Star Trek universe. I love the idea behind this series so much, as it allows writers to peak into corners of the universe that wouldn’t make it onto television.

Star Trek: Waypoint Special #1 contains four stories. Here’s my breakdown of each one:


“Only You Can Save Yourself”

Written by Dave Baker
Art by Nicole Goux and Miquel Muerto

The first story follows Ezri Dax, from the series Deep Space Nine. Ezri Dax is a joined trill, which is a species able to host a sentient symbiont. Each symbiont is distinct and can have multiple hosts. Ezri has the Dax symbiont.

In this story, the ship Ezri Dax is on is under attack, and she’s trying to save herself and the others on board. Obviously, this produces a lot of stress, and she gets through it with the help of Dax’s previous hosts.

I really enjoyed this story. The Trill is a species primarily explored in Deep Space Nine, and I loved that the story made use of the fact that each new host retains the memories and experiences of each one that came before it.

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I also really liked the art of this story, drawn by Nicole Goux. It’s a style that I really love in comic books, and the colors done by Miquel Muerto fit perfectly.


“Consider Eternity”

Written by Brandon Easton
Art by Josh Hood and Thomas Deer

Our second story features everyone’s favorite omnipotent being, Q. Before I get into this review, just know that I really, really like the character of John de Lancie’s Q (there are other Qs in the series), so I’m a wee bit biased.

Q is tasked with training a new Q, and shows him all the benefits of being a god-like entity. The story proposes that not everyone wants that kind of power, though.

This story was fine, but nothing special. As I said before though, I’m a big fan of Q stories.


“My Human Is Not”

Written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Art by Sonny Liew

This is 100% my favorite story in this issue, and worth buying the entire issue for.

The story focuses on Data’s cat Spot and his relationship with Data. However, Spot finds that one day Data is not quite what he seems, and has to act fast to protect the ship.

Everything about this story is absolutely perfect and Sonny Liew’s artwork fits is adorable and fits the story so well.

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“Histories”

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Written by Matthew Dow Smith
Art by Shaun Steven Struble

“Histories” is the final story in this issue, and is told from the point of view of an alien race as they account their encounter with the Federation. This story reminded me a lot of the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Living Witness,” as it deals with the truth of history and how it’s portrayed.


Have you read any of the Star Trek: Waypoint series? If so, which were your favorites? Let me know in the comments!





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Star Trek: Picard, Lower Decks, and Short Treks – Updates from SDCC

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Guys, I am freaking out right now!

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Today has been a really amazing day for Star Trek fans. At San Diego Comic-Con (which I really wish I had been able to go to!), a trailer for Star Trek: Picard was released along with new information about Star Trek: Lower Decks, and a trailer about six new Short Treks.


Star Trek: Picard

Let’s get to the best first: the trailer for Star Trek: Picard:

 

Data! Seven of Nine!

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People are already speculating about Data. After all, at the very beginning of the trailer, we’re told (and shown) that Data is dead. So who was Picard talking to at the very end of the trailer? Some people have guessed that it could be B-4, another android built by Dr. Noonian Soong before Data and Lore. While that is definitely a possibility, my guess is that it’s more likely that Data is simply a hologram created because Picard misses Data.

I’m not surprised about Seven of Nine’s appearance, although she was one of my least favorite Star Trek: Voyager characters. There are so many more characters from The Next GenerationVoyager, and Deep Space Nine that I would love to see cameos from. It’s been confirmed that Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, who played William Riker and Deanna Troi, will also be returning.

I’ve been sitting here trying to guess who the mysterious girl in the trailer could be, and I honestly have no idea. I don’t even really care. I’m so excited, and this is seriously the best thing ever.

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Star Trek: Lower Decks

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We got our first look at the new animated series at SDCC as well, Star Trek: Lower Decks. The first season will be released in 2020, and followers crew members of the U.S.S. Cerritos.

The show is being co-created and produced by Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan, so I expect it’ll be a lot of fun.

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Star Trek: Short Treks

Below is the mash-up trailer for the six newest additions to the Short Trek series. Three of them will focus on Captain Pike, Number One, and Spock, which is totally fine with me. Even more exciting, one of them will feature tribbles!

I loved most of the Short Treks from this past season. It’s a really cool idea that I hope they stick with.


And the Rest…

There will also now be an official Star Trek podcast hosted by Tawny Newsome, which will feature behind-the-scenes information.

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Finally, IDW Comics is releasing a new series released in the Mirror Universe, called Star Trek: Voyager: Mirrors and Smoke. I love the previous Mirror Universe series that IDW has done, and I expect this one will be just as good.


Are you as excited as I am? I hope so! Which of these new additions to the Star Trek series are you most excited about?



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[Updated] Everything We Know About the Star Trek Picard Series So Far

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Breaking News
Update: 5/24/19

CBS has released the first trailer for the new Picard series! Here you go:


As many of you who are long-term readers know, I’m a huge Star Trek fan. As such, I’m eagerly looking forward to the bevy of new shows that CBS is creating after the success of Star Trek: Discovery.

The show that I’m most excited about the is the new series focusing on Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The show will place Sir Patrick Stewart back in his famous (and, in my opinion, best) role.

There’s been a lot of secrecy surrounding the show since Sir Patrick Stewart announced it at the 2018 Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. We’ve been getting small bits of information about the show ever since.

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Here’s what we know so far:

  • The first season will run for ten episodes.
  • Jean-Luc will not be living the same kind of life as what we saw in Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to Alex Kurtzman, this is due to a traumatic event that is tied into J.J. Abram’s first Star Trek movie, which Kurtzman was a writer for.
  • At least a couple of episodes will be directed by The Next Generation‘s William Riker, Johnathan Frakes.
  • The show will be a psychological drama, examining the role Picard will play after the destruction of the Romulan homeworld.
  • The show will premier at the end of 2019.
  • In a first for a Star Trek series, a woman will direct the pilot episode of the series. Her name is Hanelle Culpepper.
  • The following people have been cast for the show, but as of yet, we don’t know a lot about their roles in the show: Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, and Isa Briones.

Aside from that, there’s not much more that we currently know.

Here’s what would like to see, however:

  • Cameos from The Next Generation. While we already know that Brent Spiner won’t come back to play Data since it wouldn’t make sense (Data doesn’t age), I would love to see other characters make an appearance, such as Riker, Worf, Troi, and Dr. Crusher.
  • Picard retired to his family’s wine vineyard. The place held a lot of meaning for him in The Next Generation, and it would be nice to see him back there, at least for an episode.
  • A reappearance of Q. I don’t care that Q is a bit of a gimmicky character. I like his shenanigans.
  • Please, please, please let Picard and Dr. Crusher end up together. Please.
  • A look at how Picard is handling his Irumodic Syndrome, a disease that attacks the brain and has been stated in several episodes and books as being a part of his future.

As new information is released, I’ll update and repost this article. No matter what they release, I’m going to be eagerly awaiting the show’s release at the end of the year.


What would you like to see in the new Picard series? Let me know in the comments.




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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken by Scott Tipton and David Tipton – A Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken
Written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton
Art by J.K. Woodward
Science Fiction | Comic Books
Published by IDW
Released March 20, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars

Can you believe that this is the first Star Trek review I’ve done?

No, I can’t either.

In case you’re new to the blog: I’m a Trekkie. I’m obsessed with all things Starfleet.

(With the exception of the J.J. Abrams movies, but that’s a post for another day.)

IDW puts out a lot of great Star Trek content and the comics that take place in the Mirror Universe have easily become my favorites. The Mirror Universe was first established in Star Trek: The Original Series season 2, episode 4, titled Mirror, Mirror. star_trek_mirror_mirror.jpg

 

This alternate universe is the polar opposite of the prime universe’s principles. Rather than the unity, peace, and spirit of exploration we know from the Federation, the Mirror Universe’s Terran Empire is xenophobic and violent. They fear anything they deem as being “other.” Members of the Empire regularly stab their comrades in the back (figuratively and literally).

Since Star Trek: TOS, the Mirror Universe has popped up over and over again in various series. Star Trek’s newest series, Discovery, spent most of the latter part of its first season in the Terran universe. Enterprise had a couple of Mirror Universe episodes as well.

I’m fascinated by the Terran Empire and am always on the lookout for new content. This isn’t the only IDW series that takes place in the Mirror Universe, but it was the first collection that I read.

The series is written by brothers Scott and David Tipton, who are no strangers to Star TrekThey wrote another personal favorite, which was a Star Trek/Doctor Who mashup.

Mirror Broken is the story of how Captain Picard, who commands the I.S.S. Stargazer, puts together a team in order to take over the Empire’s newest, most powerful ship, the I.S.S. Enterprise. Many of the characters are ones you’ll know from Star Trek: The Next Generation: We’ve got William Riker, Data, Deanna Troi, Geordi La Forge, and Reginald Barclay, among others.

Barclay was the most surprising character of the bunch. Rather than his meek, nervous character on ST: TNGin this series Barclay is strong and wants victory and power for himself. Although I like the original Barclay’s character, the Mirror Universe version is a nice change of pace.

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I also enjoyed Data’s Terran version, who spent his free time upgrading his own body, even having a variety of arm attachments. Data is one of my favorite characters in ST: TNG, however, so I’m not surprised I enjoyed his character here.

The art by J.K Woodward was perfect for this series, and I loved the Terran versions of the Starfleet uniforms. st-mirrorBroken-02AMOCK-copy.jpg

I wish that Deanna Troi would have had more of a role in the series, aside from just scanning the thoughts of crew members to get a grasp of their loyalty to Captain Picard. Actually, I would have enjoyed larger roles for any of the female characters.

It should be no surprise to anyone that I gave this 4.5 stars. The only reason I didn’t give it five stars was because I’ve read many Star Trek comics, and there are some I enjoyed more than this one.


Have you read any Star Trek comic series? If so, which are your favorites?



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