Review by Karl Verhoven
This value for money package gathers four of IDW’s previous Star Trek graphic novels between two covers. Unfortunately missing, due to being published after this collection, is the best of their Next Generation graphic novels, Hive.
That leaves Ghosts as the best on offer here, provided that you don’t need your Star Trek action-heavy. Zander Cannon’s script starts as the Enterprise becomes involved in the feuding of two races sharing a planet, one warriors respectful of tradition and the other seemingly more diplomatic and amenable. It’s a mirror image of the old school Federation and Klingon enmity, but diverges to encompass the weirdness of a man whose body parts are stranded in another dimension and some well conceived character touches. Worf is an unusual choice of peacemaker, but rises to the occasion: “The loss of a father you have maligned and disrespected is impossible to bear. It is a mark of shame on any warrior, no matter his or her origin.” This also has the best art in the Omnibus, with Javier Aranda not shying away from detail and having a fine sense of design. His is the sample image.
He does have the occasional problem with cast likenesses, but that’s a feature throughout, with none of the artists entirely satisfactory. David Messina’s stained glass effect may be an attempt at mythologising, but comes across as clumsy, while Gordon Purcell, who’s drawn thousands of Star Trek pages, is extremely variable according to the inker involved with The Last Generation.
That takes a pivotal piece of Star Trek history and twists it. The Federation and the Klingon Empire never reached accord in Andrew Stephen Harris’ plot, and the Klingons successfully invaded Earth. Jean-Luc Picard leads a squabbling resistance group featuring many other familiar faces, and Harris dots his cast with characters outside the Next Generation continuity as well as including many minor characters from within. Given the scope, though, it’s acceptable rather than spectacular.
The other two books gathered here follow a similar format of a thread weaving between what are ostensibly individual stories before a conclusion pulling everything together. Of these what was published in 2007 as The Space Between is marginally better by virtue of David Tischman’s more consistent writing. Scott and David Tipton on Intelligence Gathering occasionally resort to plots relying on convenience. All the writing ensures the spotlight is spread around the major cast members, if they’re male anyway, and that there’s a variety to the plots. The art is serviceable rather than notable, although in some cases Casey Maloney’s cast likenesses are the best to be found here.
Overall Ghosts is of a higher standard, but everything else is really only recommended to completists. More detailed reviews can be found under the individual titles.