Review – Star Trek Special: Flesh and Stone #1 (IDW Publishing)

ST_FleshnStone01_cvrPublisher:  IDW Publishing
Writer:  Scott and David Tipton
Artist:  Sharp Bros
Release Date: 16th July 2014

The various doctors of the Star Trek universe are as important to the feel of each series as their respective captains are. Each are fundamentally different to one another, representing different moral standpoints and views on life. So it is a delight to see all of these fan-favourite characters, from Phlox to Voyager’s EMH, brought together in this one-shot. Unfortunately, the parts of this issue which work will only work for those who already have a strong connection to these characters.

The story draws upon many of Trek’s most overwrought clichés, as Doctors Bashir, Pulaski and Crusher arrive via shuttle at a Starfleet Medical convention hours after an unidentified infection has begun turning all present to stone. Not only do they arrive after the fact, but they must also seek out a member of the original Enterprise’s crew who may have had experience with this disease in the past. This brings the wonderful Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy into the story, and his reaction to Starfleet once again disturbing his retirement and his recollection of a medical emergency during NCC-1701’s Five Year Mission is the highlight of this special. McCoy, and indeed all of the doctors, have had their characters faithfully translated to the comic page. Unfortunately, there is not as much interaction between these characters – many who have never met in canon before – as could have been hoped for. This is doubly frustrating as the story ultimately concludes in an explosion of exposition, which exposes the story as having been nothing more than an excuse to bring these characters together.

On the art side there is little that excites, but there is also nothing that is done poorly. The minimal and very beige and steel aesthetic of post-Next Generation Trek doesn’t exactly lend itself to exciting visuals, so when the story returns to the era of Shatner and company the infusion of campy colours and design gives the Sharp Brothers more to work with.

In conclusion, the success of this issue ultimately depends on your attachment to Starfleet’s medical personnel throughout the ages. If you like them and enjoy nicely placed references to Trek lore then you will find enjoyment in this issue, but little else of real impact.

Rating: 3/5.

The writer of this piece was: Andrew Stevens

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