It’s time for the final issue of Star Trek: Waypointat least the final issue for now.

This title has had a bit of a wobbly start: It’s had some weak stories but the good thing about an anthology-styled book is that there’s something you will like about it. Still, it’s been a bit of a tough sell for me, and as an avid Star Trek fan, that’s significant.

The first of two stories in this book is titled The Rebound Effect and is set in the Original Series milieu. Written by Corinna Bechko and drawn by Christopher Herndon, the first thing that stands out is the art and it was difficult for me to appreciate.

I found that the images were undefined and blended into the background. The colours were muted and the likenesses weren’t very accurate.  The blandness of the colours combined with the fuzzy layout distracted me from the story, and it was difficult to get into it. Overall, I just couldn’t enjoy this story, I’m sorry to say.

In this story, Christine Chapel manages to discover the existence of a viral pathogen that threatens a Federation race. During this time, she also takes a number of command roles that bring a great deal of attention to our favourite nurse.

It was good to see Christine Chapel get a bit of spotlight. However, I found her role in the story a little too forced and overdone. Chapel seemed to be able to do too many things: identify a viral agent I can buy, but her proficiency with a phaser, trying to pilot a shuttlecraft while adhering to a high set of moral values just seemed a little too much.

The second story had a very interesting setting as it was supposed to be set in the Star Trek: Phase II version of Star Trek, which loyal fans will remember as the series that was to succeed Star Trek and yet never got off the ground.

Titled The Fear, this is drawn and written by veteran artist, Gabriel Hardman — and it’s brilliantly executed and gives us a look into what could have been.

In this story, the Enterprise accidentally collides with a cloaked Romulan ship that harbours a secret cargo which the Romulans are willing to kill to keep secret.

The Enterprise has been refitted to look like the one we see in The Motion Picture, and while the crew keeps the same uniforms as the Original Series, there are more extensive backgrounds to enjoy as well as new characters. But, if you’re familiar with Phase II, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I think what really sets this story apart is the amount of research Hardman had to do in order to give it a proper sense of fandom accuracy and acceptability. Hardman has really thought about the story, its appearance and has also clearly kept the fans in mind in putting this together. In fact, it’s this story that gives me hope for this title. Put more talented people like Hardman on it, and it will fly.

There isn’t really a lot of Phase II stuff out there, which makes this story unique and really well done.

I particularly enjoyed the little details like McCoy’s mention of Spock’s absence, the impression that Xon needs to prove himself in order to justify his place as one of the crew and an original examination of the nature of the Romulan mentality. There was a lot of subtlety in this story and I appreciated its contribution to making a believable Star Trek: Phase II story.

We turn our attention now to the four covers for this issue.

  • The regular cover is done by Hardman and it’s exceptionally well-done. Not only does it have relevance to Hardman’s own story but it also includes details from the other one as well. I have to appreciate the level of consideration and professionalism as well as the talent that went into this cover.
  • The subscription cover by Tom Whalen is a stylized image of Spock. It has a retro abstract design value to it that I think is representative of a house trend at IDW. I see a lot of this style with the other Star Trek titles. It’s sort of a cross between George Caltsoudas and the old Gold Key title covers.
  • The third cover is a retailer incentive cover and is a photographic cover of the bridge crew. I just can’t appreciate a photograph for a cover on a comic book. I’ll leave it at that.
  • Which, of course, leads us to the SDCC exclusive cover done by my pal, Dave Dorman. Dave is a brilliant cover artist and this is patterned in the Gold Key fashion. The thing about Dave though, is that he has decades of experience as well as stunning talent. While he favours Star Wars, it’s good to see him lend his talent to a franchise that could use more of his work! This is my preferred cover out of them all.

As I indicated earlier, the good thing about an anthology style book is that you can always find something good. Hardman’s story rescued Star Trek: Waypoint #6 for me and if it can continue to attract talent of his level, then there will be other good things to look forward to should the series return.

As of their panel last weekend at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention, IDW editor Sarah Gaydos expressed her desire to continue this anthology series in the future – and we’re looking forward to it coming back if and when IDW announces its continuance.