Written by Ryan North
Art by Chris Fenoglio
Published by IDW Publishing
Star Trek: Lower Decks, the comic series, deserves every bit as much attention as the television series on Paramount Plus. All the charm and scope of Star Trek’s first animated series and more is captured to perfection.
This inaugural issue is fan service straight up. However, given that the entire show is built upon lovingly poking fun at what’s come before, this should be no surprise.
We open with the intrepid crew of the USS Cerritos encountering one of the most dated and unintentionally comical races from the original series, the Catullans, a race of space hippies.
The absurdity of these characters couldn’t be a more perfect fit with Lower Decks.
Upon the successful resolution of that brief encounter, the Cerritos is given a new mission and the rest of the issue mainly covers the voyage to their new adventure.
Ensign Boimler, idealistic to a fault, attempts to use his R&R time broadening the horizons of his crewmates, the rebellious Ensign Mariner and overly enthusiastic Orion Ensign Tendi.
The fact that Boimler is playing out The Next Generation’s Captain Picard’s favorite holodeck adventure – 1940’s Pulp Detective Dixon Hill, isn’t lazy writing.
Just the opposite. It’s an opportunity to poke fun at everyone from Boimler to Jean-Luc Picard himself. It also gives us a chance to catch us up to speed on where Lower Decks comes from by touching on all the previous iterations of Trek through the magic of the Holodeck.
I’ll be the first in line to admit that I geek out over sequences like this.
As expected, Boimler’s intentions are not well received, his R&R time is hijacked by Mariner and for second time in Starfleet history, a holodeck generated intelligent lifeform is created. This time in the form of Count Dracula!
What sets the comic apart from the television series is the color commentary on the immediate happenings at the bottom of every other page. Not only are these hilarious, but they’re a perfect fit to the spirit of the show!
I loved this issue as much as I love the Paramount Plus show, and you will too.