Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Manga: Bounkenshin

Stories by David Gerrold, Diane Duane, Christine Boylan and F.J. DeSanto with Art by E.J. Su, Chrissy Delk, Don Hudson and Bettina Kurkoski
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Can a story be too faithful to its source material?

This an anthology title, with the first story being patterned on the tried and true "Wesley Crusher learns an important lesson" style of episode. There is also a scientific mystery story while the final two stories explore the fallout of broadcast episodes. These stores are reminiscent of early Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes in that they are more cerebral rather than action oriented and are humanistic, as in the outcomes are determined by human emotions and instincts. That results in very specific kinds of stories, ones that Star Trek: TNG moved away from in later episodes and in the spirit that Gene Roddenberry created the series in. This is not necessarily a judgment on the stories, but it does describe them and if you are expecting stories from other eras of Star Trek you will be disappointed.

The cover proclaims that one of the stories is written by David Gerrold, who is best known for writing the original series episode The Trouble with Tribbles. However, his contribution is the Wesley Crusher story which feels like it goes over ground that has been covered in many episodes before. David Gerrold has written some very adult oriented material, but in this case it feels like that he wrote a story that was more kid or comic book oriented. All of the stories are relatively self-contained, even the ones that spin out of broadcast episodes, with the only thing that you really need to know is that Picard once was taken over by the Borg. The stories are almost too much like the broadcast episodes, taking on many of the same themes without adding anything new.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Manga: Bounkenshin is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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