Sunday, September 4, 2016

Star Trek The Next Generation #37 - Comics From The Basement




 
Hello Dwellers and Welcome To Comics From The Basement…



Back at the end of May, I went over Star Trek The Next Generation #36, which was part 1 of a 3 part story which featured the character Ardra from the episode ‘Devil’s Due’. Now sure she didn’t show up until the end of that issue...despite being on the cover, but comics can be weird like that. But let's get to this week's comic before I get myself off track



Anyway issue #37 has a great cover, showing Picard, Troi, LaForge, Roand Ardra in a jail cell… and not dressed like how they are in the story… and that does irk me a little, still I do like how it looks like it gives the reader the impression they are looking into the cell with LaForge and Ro looking out

Also of note, page one… and yeah, Marta DuBois was quite… impressive on the show in her physical presence… but… damn, I just can’t help but think that Ro and LaForge are thinking the exact same thing here.


The story here, is that Ardra came to Shanizbar to try and marry the ruler, because when he kicks the bucket, the wife gets his fortune, regardless of how long he’s been married. Let me state that this was two years before Anna Nicole Smith married J. Howard Marshall. However, she Ardra ended in prison not because she was exposed as a con artist, but she over heard that the King’s Chief Adviser are plotting to poison him to take control to get to his fortune. Picard doesn’t believe her story, but Troi, being an empath does, and thus the first order of business (to Picard’s dismay) is to break out of prison.


 

How this is done is just great… Troi and Ardra ‘fight’ over Picard… they get a little scuffle going, which draws in the guards, who they knock out and escape… with Picard making sure the other prisoners don’t escape because they are probably there for a good reason. And though there is a question of how will they reach the ruler of Shanzibar and convince him of the treachery around him, Ardra is sure they can do it because everything is going smoothly… so the comic ends with her asking ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ and Picard answering ‘What indeed?’


 Now in addition to the main story, there is some side trips, Dr. Crusher writing a letter to Wesley, not to tell him to shut up at the Academy, but to tell him they got Picard off the ship for Shore Leave… even if it was to see what Ardra was up too, basically that’s there to get the readers caught up on things, then a bit that kinda Riker and Crusher complaining about waiting around on the ship, And then the oddest but… two pages showing life with Miles O’Brien, Keiko and Molly… and he’s going stir crazy, he’s been pretty much a devoted father and family man… but he needs some of that ‘man’ time, Keiko gets this and tells him to go down to the planet to relax, but he doesn’t want to… until Molly flings baby food in his face as if to say ‘

VERDICT: This comic is a nice middle chapter, it explains Ardra’s presence, and shows she does have some moral fiber, since she wants to save The King… granted her motives aren’t totally pure. The jail break is pretty fun to read, and the stuff on the Enterprise is a little pointless, but the stuff with the O’Briens is nice to see.

The artwork is decent, though there are a few wonky faces here and there… and some minor inconsistency with Ardra’s forehead, otherwise, those who appeared on the show do look how they are supposed to look



Also, in the ‘Starfleet Confidential’ section, basically letter’s to the editor, there is two pages that puts the TNG comics, the Pocket Books Novels and the episode of TNG from Encounter At Fairpoint up to Time’s Arrow into a rough  timeline, which places issues #36, #37 and the one we’ll get to at some point down the road #38 to wrap up this trilogy, after the season 5 episode The Perfect Mate, but before Imaginary Friend.

And that will just about wrap it up for this week, next week, will be part 1 of a two part look at the Sledge Hammer comics Marvel produced as tie-ins to the sitcom of the same name to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of said show. So till then my friends, and you are my friends, have a good one!

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