After years of unofficial meetings, heroes from two of geekdom’s greatest franchises meet in a licensed crossover, in order to take on two of their greatest foes.
Title: Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation2
Written by Scott and David Tipton and Tony Lee.
Art by JK Woodward and Gordon Purcell.
First Published: 2012. The graphic novel is forthcoming.
An alliance of the Borg and Cyberman brings together heroes of two universes: the crew of the Starship Enterprise under Jean-Luc Picard, and the Doctor and his companions. The transdimensional doings connect to an earlier meeting, between Kirk’s crew and the Doctor’s earlier incarnation.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Commander. I’m nowhere near 100.”
–The Doctor, when Riker doubts his claim to have met Kirk.
The series has a sound premise, and it brings characters together who will never meet in their original medium. Despite my forthcoming criticisms of character, the writers have provided some nice interactions as people learn to trust each other.
Events happen in an extraordinarily lazy fashion in many issues; I never really felt that engaged by the story. I also wonder why the Cyberman, after assimilating Borg tech, still remain so entirely vulnerable to gold dust. Talk about an anticlimax.
Originality: 2/6 Heroes from different franchises ally themselves to defeat an alliance of villains. The writers try to use the established history and conventions to good effect, but often seem hampered by them. Even the reappearance of Locutus evokes little concern. We know too much about how this has to end.
Artwork: 5/6 The art has a painted, photorealistic look that impressed me in its best moments. The work represents considerable technical skill, but it often resembles sophisticated photoshop work. I felt, especially in the later issues, like I was following the adventures of wax museum figures.
The flashback to the earlier crew’s encounter with the fourth Doctor has been drawn in a more basic style, which recalls the comics of the 1960s and 70s.
Story: 4/6 The rather slow-moving story combines the popular heroes and villains, but it provides too little else of much interest. Characters speak expected lines, events happen, and most of the twists are entirely predictable. Only at the conclusion does the story deliver a twist on official franchise continuity.
Characterization: 4/6 The characters certainly recall their familiar media forms, but little brings them to life. They speak recognizable dialogue, but only rarely do we see anything attempts at depth. A few moments, with Picard’s past, for example, go beyond comic-book superficial.
Emotional response: 4/6 Hey, it’s Doctor Who and the Star Trek crew… together! The fourth Doctor gives a jelly baby to Spock. Worf says, “it is a good day to die.” The Cybermen and the Borg combine their collectives. One then turns against the other, providing an answer to a classic, nerdy “who’d win a fight between…?” question.
Overall: 4/6 The series captures the feel of the tv shows, for better and for worse.
In total, Star Trek / Doctor Who receives 28/42