Review: Star Trek The Next Generation/ Doctor Who: Assimilate 2 (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2)

tngwho2ribStar Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilate 2 (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2)
Writer:  Scott Tipton and Dave Tipton
Art:  J.K. Woodward,  Gordon Purcell

Everyone loves a crossover. When you take two beloved series and mix them together, how can you go wrong? IDW found that out early and decided to make a crossover of every popular series they could get a hold of. So far they have G.I. Joe and Transformers, Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters and zombies, G.I Joe and zombies, Popeye and Mars Attacks (okay, maybe the last one wasn’t that great).

But Doctor Who and Star Trek is a crossover so desired by geeks that the mere mention of it will break the internet. Consider the internet broken as Scott and David Tipton have penned a story that combines the two. Doctor Who and Star Trek The Next Generation Assimilate 2.  

The Doctor (Matt Smith) Amy and Rory are travelling through time in the Tardis when suddenly the blue box makes an unscheduled stop. Winding up on the Enterprise’s holodeck, they meet Data, Riker and Troi. Uncertain of the Tardis’ decision to send them to a new universe, the Doctor quickly finds out that the Borg and Cybermen have created an unholy alliance. They are destroying planets without remorse. It is up to Captain Picard and the Doctor to find a solution or risk losing the entire universe.

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Positives

The Tipton brothers must be fans of both shows because the comic comfortably melds the style of both Doctor Who and Star Trek. Whether it was capturing the long and winding expositions of the Doctor or the very dry and analytic musings of the Enterprise crew both are included in this arc.

The story almost focuses entirely on the Captain and the Doctor’s relationship. The Doctor is erratic, whimsical and dangerous, but strangely moral and trustworthy.  Then you have Picard’s solemn leadership and protective nature. I can definitely see a buddy cop show between these two.

Amy and Rory are the cheerleaders of the Doctor, commenting on how crazy he is. Their purpose is adding color. Other notable characters is Data, who shows off some superior android powers and Guinan, the psychic with a connection to the Doctor Who world.

The journey of saving the universe from the Cybermen and Borg does everything in it’s power to include every trope from both shows. The Enterprise crew tries to solve the problem with reason, but then the Doctor blurts out some crazy scheme to save them. While, the story is not exciting laser sword battles and space fights, it does invite the reader to see how two space experts solve the world’s biggest problem.

Hoping for some nods to previous episodes? You will get served.  The arc crosses stories with popular television episodes including the Borg’s capturing of Picard and assimilating him and the mysterious power of the Tardis being able to manifest into people. Insert geeky giggles of delight.

If you are not a fan of either of the shows then you might think of this quest as a low-fi action story that has a moderate pace. It is really a love letter to the fans of either show. I was rewarded for having background information about the Borg and knowing who Tom Baker is. Tom Baker–a past Doctor reincarnation– shows up in a flashback where he helps Captain Kirk and his crew. The flashback comes out of nowhere, but it is a treat.

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Why is Harry Potter here? …Kidding

Negatives

J.K. Woodward is responsible for the oil paint style on all the panels. The style looks similar to Alex Ross’ comic book paintings. In some panels it looks very realistic. But in other panels the character sketches look so rough you’d think it was fan art by an amateur. I cringed a little as Amy and Rory looked like they were deformed in the face.

The Captain Kirk and Tom Baker flashback changes the style to a retro 60’s look. It happens for one issue and then fades into nothing.

the Doctor is definitely the star of this series. He solves all the problems, takes the moral high ground and even uses battle tactics. This, in turn, makes Picard look weaker then he should. In some cases he seems a bit whiny.  Next Generation enthusiasts cry foul on that.

There’s a lot of exposition on time travel and crossing universes, but I never felt like the writers wanted to follow through on their promises. They just spouted off some sci-fi rules of the universe, but never explain them. It’s kind of confusing, but doesn’t detract from the action.

Just a side note:  Never, ever, eveeeeeeerrrr get a digital download of a graphic novel from Kindle. Kindle shrunk the pictures and the words so small (on PC and phone) that I got a head ache from squinting. It was not fun.

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Content Guide:

Action and Violence: There’s Lots of lasers and shooting guns and a handful of frightening and scary robot people. Very light violence with no blood or guts. It’s everything you would expect from the TV shows.

Sex: Squeaky Clean!

Swearing: Picard drops the d*** and h*** words occasionally.

Disturbing Content: The half human-half robot people look frightful.

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Bottom Line:

You won’t be disappointed if you are looking for a story that does justice to TNG and DW. Even with the strange artistic choices, the true spirit of a whovian/trekkie adventure shines through and rewards those who enjoy the shows.

Still crossing my fingers for a Doogie Howser/ Dr. House Crossover.

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Michael P M

I am a minister for Campus Ambassadors, a gymnastics customer service rep, a social media enthusiast and a writer. I try to collect obscure video games, I love comics and somewhere on Amazon I have a self published book. I am married to a beautiful and grounded woman. But most importantly, I have been seized by a great affection in the Lord.

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