Writing a tie-in comic for one property is a difficult job, although IDW is starting to turn out some of the best tie-ins in the business. Combining two is nearly impossible, especially when they’re storied franchises with rabid fanbases. But this comic, although slow to start, is turning out to be a superb mix of two properties.
Really, what makes it sing is that the writers, Tony Lee and Scott & David Tipton, have written so extensively in these universes that they know what really matters, especially to fans, is how the characters bounce off of each other and how that brings out the humor in the book.
And this book is hilarious. The first issue is mostly set-up, but the second is full of misunderstandings that are simultaneously funny and make perfect sense. The holodeck scene alone is absolutely priceless.
But they also nail the characterizations. Picard listening to the Doctor and just blithely and politely accepting everything he says is as funny in its own way as Worf slowly being driven crazy by the Doctor’s natterings. Of course Picard isn’t put off by a bizarre Englishman with a police box that can traverse time and space; hell, for him, it’s just another day at the office.
The art is an…interesting choice. Painted books are tricky and the art sometimes feels rushed. Still, it gives the book a certain quality, especially in the actors, that sells it a bit better than pencil and ink.
The best compliment I can pay this book is that it works equally well as a “Next Generation” episode and a “Doctor Who” episode. It really is that crisp and that well done. If the book will pull off its mixture of the Cybermen and the Borg is something that remains to be seen, but for now, it’s a pleasant surprise.
image courtesy IDW