Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita No. 5 Review (Spoiler free)


We checked out Star Trek: The Next Generation – Terra Incognita No. 5 from IDW publishing and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Writers Scott and David Tipton have an impressive Star Trek pedigree when it comes to comics, having authored between them over thirty titles for IDW.

Coming to Star Trek – The Next Generation: ‘Terra Incognita’, then, with the knowledge that their previous entries into IDW’s TNG  ‘Mirror Universe’ saga were highly successful, raised my anticipation of the quality.

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Having devoured the first four issues, I was presented with Issue No. 5 of the six-part run and it is easy to see the momentum having picked up steadily.

Set within the confines of the parent show’s fourth season, each issue brings a member of the crew or two to the forefront, and this time around the emphasis is on Worf and Beverley Crusher.

Picking up from the end of No. 4, the crew’s mission is well-established but takes an unexpected turn, with a medical mystery presented to Crusher that requires solving before progress can be made. It’s a nice twist on an evolutionary commentary and there is a nice logic to the Lolligans’ stance.

The dialogue is clean and the story unfolds smartly. There is a sense of urgency purveying through the tale and so it’s not long before we are at the cliffhanger, rocketing towards December’s final installment.

There have been innumerable comic and graphic novel iterations of Star Trek over the years, and some have played fast and loose with the source material. Others have far exceeded any expectation and I’m pleased to say that ‘Terra Incognita’ does not disappoint.

It fits perfectly within the continuity of TNG and artist Angel Hernández has captured the era seemingly without effort, enhancing the Tipton brothers’ equally-respectful script – quality writing matching the care of an artist, both sides knowing the material well. The dialogue itself sits well within the familiarity of the series and we are treated with a thoughtful and inquisitive Dr Crusher and a spiky Lt. Worf. It means that Michael Dorn’s and Gates McFadden’s voices jump right from the pages and that really throws us right in to the action and the narrative.

There is of course an underlying plot which I won’t expand upon here but it is this nice, subtle caressing of paranoia that grabs at my own story-telling preferences. DS9 adopted the series arc and TNG was of the era where that wasn’t yet fashionable. It’s a shame that TNG came and went too early as they would have found great success at introducing undercurrents across an entire season – as this six-part series demonstrates well.

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If you haven’t picked up No. 5 yet, go get it now! If you haven’t had the pleasure to read any of ‘Terra Incognita’ at all, get the back issues before they sell out while you grab this latest edition.

In all, a welcome – and worthy – addition to any Star Trek library, comic or otherwise…and roll on No. 6!