on January 12, 2001
Having been a fan of Kevin Anderson's `Star Wars' comics and novels, I picked up `The Gorn Crisis' HC to see if he could work the same magic with the second incarnation of that other sci-fi/space opera legend that starts with `Star'. With a little help from co-author Rebecca Moesta , AKA Mrs. Anderson, he did a fairly good job, even though the finished product fell somewhat below my expectations. Don't get me wrong, I found it to be a pretty good yarn, but it wasn't quite as epic in scope as I'd hoped it would be.
The story is basically an explanation of why the Enterprise didn't seem to see any frontline action or even get much of a mention during the Dominion war that was showcased in the last two seasons of `Deep Space Nine'. Aside from the real-life problem of Paramount not wanting to face the impossibility of having the NextGen principals occasionally guest-star on DS9 during the Dominion War story arc and keep the show within budget, that is. Her mission is to look for allies to recruit in the fight against the Dominion, the Gorn being one of the top prospects. I'll go no further with the details of the story... you'll have to check it out on your own. But I will tell you that, aside from the Gorn, it features Klingons (none of whom are Worf), a few pitched ship-to-ship and hand-to-hand battles, a beheading or two, and a couple dismemberings here and there to keep it interesting. You know, the good stuff.
Artist Igor Kordey's painted renderings of the ships are dead-on, and his efforts to get the likenesses of our Starfleet stalwarts were fairly on the mark. Especially Picard, who looks even more like a man of authority and leadership than he usually does in the NextGen series and films. Data and LaForge, however, look a bit more chubby-cheeked than usual. And I've got to give Mr. Kordey's vivid imagination high marks for depicting Riker all buffed and muscular. You'll see this blatantly flattering embellishment when our beloved- and shirtless- first officer is bat'leth training with a Klingon ship captain.
Kordey's designs and redesigns of the Gorn makes up the appendix of this adventure. He shows how he made significant changes to the Gorns so they'd look more reptilian and realistic. Of course, when the only resource you have to go on is the original series episode `Arena', featuring a seven-foot tall guy in a somewhat cheesy Godzilla-like getup, making them look more realistic in painted form should be a snap. But not only did Kordey tweak the look of the Gorn themselves, he also helped design (with Paramount's final approval of course) their architecture, governing body, cultural symbols, and a bit of their written language, all seen in his illustrations of the Gorn homeworld. These elements are explained in the appendix as well.
As I've stated earlier, even though I found this enjoyable to read, it's not quite the epic I was hoping it would be, and I don't think I would've paid what I did for it were I given a chance to take a sneak-peak at it before purchase. So if you plan on snagging a copy of this NextGen adventure, I recommend waiting until it comes out in the more affordable trade paperback format.
The Gorn are a race of giant lizard-humanoids who only appeared in one episode of STAR TREK, "The Arena." Gorn have rarely appeared in the Star Trek universe since then, yet they continue to be popular.
THE GORN CRISIS brings together two popular elements of the Star Trek universe, the crew from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and the Gorn. The book is set during the time of the Dominion War that took place during STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E are on their way to the Gorn home world in attempt to recruit the Gorn in the war against the Dominion. However, Picard arrives at the worst possible time as the Gorn are in the midst of a Civil War that is being won by the Black Crest, a warrior caste of Gorn who believe that Kirk's defeat of their leader at Cestus III began the decline of Gorn culture and civilization. Meanwhile, Riker is with Klingon Commander Qyrll escorting engineers to bring the new satellite defenses on the outpost at Elkaruon II online. Riker and the Klingons come under attack by a group of Black Crest Gorn. With Picard and Riker gone, the Enterprise is left under the guidance of Data.
At times THE GORN CRISIS is predictable, but it's no more predictable than the typical Star Trek story. There's lots of action and violence. There's an epic space battle. Also there's lots of blood: some creatures get beheaded and others are dismembered. After all, this is a battle that includes Klingons and Gorn.
Personally, the only thing I didn't like about the story were the illustrations. The drawings are not very crisp and there is far too much red and orange through much of the book. The poor drawings and color motif make it difficult to follow exactly what is happening. I had to go back and re-read some pages several of times.
As far as comics go in general, THE GORN CRISIS isn't great. It's not even a good example of a Star Trek comic. However, for fans of Star Trek, particularly ST:TNG and those who are fond of the Gorn, this is a story definitely worth reading.
on June 9, 2005
I bought this mostly because I read a lot of ST books but never a comic book, so I was curious. The character and ship drawings are fine, with the worst being Data. The action is fast paced, but underdeveloped, but it's a comic book, so it's OK. The writing is very bad. Also, the writer didn't have a good grasp of the characters. Their actions/reactions seem out of place compared with other Trek literature or TNG.