Synopsis: In The Worst of Both Worlds. Jean-Luc Picard’s crew explores a parallel universe in which the Borg won the climactic battle of Wolf 359.
Set sometime between Star Trek: The Next Generation’s seventh season and the start of Generations. This story sees Jean-Luc Picard and his crew pulled through a space-time anomaly where they find themselves in a universe where Earth lost the Battle of Wolf 359.
With up to 90% of the earth assimulated. Our crew finds themselves meeting their alternate selves who have been fighting a useless battle to slow down the Borg. Let by Captain Riker the ragtag remains of this universe’s Enterprise Crew abduct Picard and the Bridge Crew of the prime universe and leverage their help in exchange for the return of their Enterprise.
Over the course of the story. Picard’s crew and the crew of the alternate universe work together in an attempt to duplicate the methods, which they used to defeat the borg in the prime timeline. But it soon becomes apparent that not everything in this alternate timeline works a little differently. So Picard and his crew must help their counterparts work out an alternative way of beating the Borg so they can Free their Earth and save their Picard who has been Locutus for several years.
The artwork is done by various people, which include the talents of Mike Christian, Peter Krause, Pablo Marcos and Romeo Tanghal. The art throughout is rather uniform and is limited by the fact that the series was published before Digital Art and the options of more lifelike colors were in use. Despite that limitation, the art is pretty solid throughout and the character likenesses are pretty strong. I could almost smell the scent of the old-style ink on the pages. This is saying something given that this book uses more expensive paper.
The drawings of Locutus and Data are particularly good. And in the last section of the book, which is a stand-alone story set during TNG’s second season. We find out that Data has a pretty impressive six pack.
The alternate versions of the TNG characters we meet were all drawn well. Riker who is Captain has an eyepatch, but we never learn what happened. And Chief O’Brien has a prominent scar. While La Forge sports a beard and seems to have a very pessimistic attitude.
The Worst of Both Worlds is a fantastic story in which we see what may have happened to the crew of the Enterprise D had they failed in their rescue attempt of Picard. And we learn that it could well have been Captain Riker’s unwillingness to use one of Commander Shelby’s ideas that might well have gotten their Data Killed and stranged their Picard with the Borg.
Originally published as part of the DC comics run on TNG, which was between 1989 and 1996. The story is comprised of issues 47 through 50. But this graphic novel version, which is part of the Eaglemoss Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection includes issue 51. A stand-alone story, which is an early comics story from Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
It seems that these Graphic Novel Collections from Eaglemoss have been kept secret. As they have not really enjoyed a great deal of attention, which is a great shame. The books are hardback editions, which makes them a bit more sturdy and nice to hold. A rare treat for me these days given that I do most of our comic reviews via Digital means because I do not have room for lots of comics.
Clever Use of Continuity From TV to Comics
The longer mini-series stories during the DC era were mostly written by Michael Jan Friedman. Who I know mostly for his novels. Due to the fact that I never really read many comics back in the 90s. I didn’t know where to source them locally. So I just went without and got Graphic Novels instead.
Friedman uses his knowledge of Star Trek characters and events to great effect as a few important plot points in The Worst of Both Worlds use a couple of really important events from the TV series. Also, Friedman’s familiarity with Picard’s character makes for a rather fun plot twist toward the end of the story.
Overall. The Worst of Both Worlds was a fun read and made great use of the no-win scenario that is often discussed in Star Trek. It showed me some of what I missed out on from the 90s. And also made me nostalgic for the older print style and simpler colour pallets that comics used in the days before digital colours and printing methods were introduced in the mid-90s.
And priced between £9.99 and £12.99 from Eaglemoss they are a real steal. Feel free to use my link to get 10% off. These are highly recommended and great value for what you get.