Star Trek: Waypoint Special No. 1 includes four different stories that contain similar themes and overall provide an enjoyable reading experience.
Spanning The Original Series through to Deep Space Nine with visits to The Next Generation on the way, Star Trek Waypoint No. 1 is a one-shot issue that brings focus to the unusual. Four stories, directly unconnected but ultimately finding similar paths.
We start with:
‘Only You Can Save Yourself’
Written by Dave Baker, he takes a conservative approach to Ezri Dax and her assignment to a Federation-occupied asteroid. Coincidentally, I am currently watching Season Seven of DS9 for the first time, having managed to completely miss it wholly by accident on it’s first run (for reasons to laborious to go into here but nothing to do with my opinions towards DS9, I stopped watching at the end of Season 6). I am, therefore, only just getting to know Ezri and enjoying the experience, finding much of the first half of the final season to focus on her rather than the ongoing Dominion War arc.
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Anyway I digress, but the point I’m trying to get to here is that I actually quite like her character, full of doubt and insecurities – and Baker taps into that. But there is an overly strong focus on other aspects of other Dax hosts. Yes, I get this is the point of the story, but here Ezri relies too much on what Dax’s previous hosts have to bring to the series of events unfolding on the asteroid. It can be argued that Ezri is drawing on her multiple lifetimes of experience, but it all seems just too…easy, too…convenient. Perhaps it’s the condensed nature of the tale but I found myself disappointed. Nicole Goux’s pop-art style is an interesting interpretation of the DS9 universe and enjoyable to see, perhaps this opening story’s saving grace.
…is next, with words by Brandon Easton and pictures by Josh Hood. Taking two omnipotent antagonists from Star Trek lore, with The Motion Picture as a backdrop (don’t let that put you off) I enjoyed this one immensely. I have a soft spot for mixing up Trek legends (yes, that includes Kirk and Picard, Scotty and La Forge, Kelvin Kirk and Prime Spock) so this second tale appealed to my fanboy sensibilities. It’s clear Easton and Hood know their stuff which makes it all the more enjoyable – we’re along for the ride and canon is maintained. Dialogue is as you’d expect from these two characters and Hood’s take on TMP era costumes and tech is faithful.
Star Trek: Waypoint No. 1 cover (Image: IDW)
‘My Human Is Not’
This is more like it! It gives none of the story away to say that Spot, Data’s feline friend, is the star of this third entry. Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have a whale of a time with this poignant story, finding heart when, positronically, there shouldn’t be one and bringing out the touching side to a hitherto untapped relationship. Sonny Liew’s art is wonderfully quaint and adds to the sweet nature of the story. Three stories in and they’re improving each time.
We finish with:
History, they say, is only written by the winners. In our modern world, we strive for truth, equality and fairness and only sometimes does history get altered to better fit a contemporary ideal, for good or bad. History is history and should be accurate as much as it can be – and if that means our past is uncomfortable to learn about then so be it.
Mathew Dow Smith, writing and drawing the fourth and final story, takes that stance, that history can be rewritten and does get rewritten, and challenges it. It’s a very simple story of reinterpreting the past to meet a specific end and we know from the outset that how the United Federation of Planets is viewed as here is indeed skewed. But it did remind me of a wonderful line from The Search For Spock, where Kruge berates his crew by talking of children playing at their feet while the UFP flag flutters above them. The UFP isn’t friends to everyone but ‘Histories’ gives no indication as to why that is so on this unnamed planet – and it doesn’t actually need to. I have give special mention to the Starfleet uniforms Dow Smith designed. They are subtly different and really rather good.
In summary, there is no specific direct story connection to any of these entries, but as mentioned at the top, they do follow similar outlooks. What’s on show here in these four very different stories are viewpoints, how they differ, how they affect us, how they determine our actions. And perhaps, then, “Viewpoint” is a more fitting title.
I look forward to future volumes.