1000. Debt of Honor
PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Debt of Honor GN, DC Comics, July 1992
CREATORS: Christopher S. Claremont (writer), Adam T. Hughes and Karl C. Story (artists)
STARDATE: 8719.3 (follows ST IV)
PLOT: When Kirk was a lieutenant on the Farragut, the ship was attacked and destroyed by strange, bug-like aliens. He only survived through the help of a hot Vulcan girl, T'Cel, who appeared to be killed by the Romulans. During his 5-year mission, he met her again, but as it turned out, she was now a Romulan commander. She was half-Romulan on her mother's side and happy to receive Kirk's help once again fighting the strange bugs. After the V'ger incident, Kirk met her again, and this time she claimed the bugs always attacked in the wake of giant space monsters (the vampire cloud, the doomsday device, V'ger). Today, Kirk has agreed to meet T'Cel and Kor secretly to defeat the bugs once and for all, as they must have appeared in the wake of the whale probe. Ever loyal, Kirk's crew also makes the illegal trip. Meeting T'Cel and the Klingon Kor, the temporary alliance draws the aliens in, forcing a confrontation. As T'Cel once again sacrifices her life for Kirk, the Enterprise manages to destroy the aliens by blasting their time-space engines, warping a whole sector in the process.
CONTINUITY: The first scene is pulled from ST III. Gillian Taylor is studying the humpbacks in their new habitat (ST IV). In the Farragut flashback, Kirk is reeling from the events described in Obsession, and meets with Admiral Nogura (from various novels and comics). As staff secretary to the chief personnel officer, Commander Janice Rand was responsible for posting the best possible crew on the Enterprise-A. Jaime Finney, a new officer aboard the Enteprise-A, is Ben Finney's daughter (Court-Martial). McCoy's flashback occurs right after The Doomsday Device. The crew use a buoy to simulate their personalities while they're away designed by Dr. Daystrom (The Ultimate Computer). Spock's flashback occurs just after The Motion Picture. For this adventure, Kirk is joined by Captain Garrovick's son, Kevin Riley (The Naked Time, The Conscience of the King), Dave Bailey (The Corbomite Maneuver), John Stiles (Balance of Terror), Mira Romaine (The Lights of Zetar) and Carolyn Palamas (Who Mourns for Adonais?), as well as a Klingon ally in Kor (Errand of Mercy). Kirk drinks a Chateau Picard (Family). T'Cel's daughter T'Kir reappears in TNG Special #2.
DIVERGENCES: The Klingon-class cruiser used by the Romulans at the time of The Doomsday Device would make dialogue in The Enterprise Incident redundant. There is a schism and possible civil war between smooth and bumpy headed Klingons, which contradicts even the comics continuity in which Koloth was seen as having "reverted" to bumpy (and of course, both DS9 and Enterprise). Riley is a captain here, but a Commander in the later novel, Probe. Stiles' name is misspelled Styles.
PANEL OF THE DAY - The yardmaster's soliloquy
REVIEW: 1000 Star Trek reviews! Wow, it's been a long (and as yet uninterrupted) road, and I wanted to mark it with more than a simple 20-page issue (of TNG, as it would work out). So I grabbed a fat graphic novel, not knowing just how fat it would prove. This thing is WORDY. So much so that sometimes the word balloons aren't sure where to go. So much so I would say there are a lot of humorous bits of dialogue, but they're lost in a flood of words. So much so it annoyed the heck out of me. This thing took HOURS to read, I kid not. And no wonder: It's Chris Claremont. Everybody is making speeches, including characters not at all seen (see the panel above), and Claremont is quite sure you will want to know what everybody's philosophy of life is. Other Claremontisms include an opening first person narration (that is not a log), plenty of angst, elven (Vulcan) warrior babes, angst, and McCoy's accent being written like Rogue's. And angst. But is the story any good? It's not too bad, actually. It's certainly got breadth, with parts needing to be told at various points in Kirk's life and the three-way alliance a properly epic moment. The critters are very alien, the Farragut's destruction a shocking moment, and the action scenes exciting. I do question, however, the amount of continuity Claremont decides to plug in, especially the returning guest stars from Trek's past. What is their function anyway? Each of them does not get a moment in the final battle, and isn't the cast big enough already (especially with the Klingons and Romulans running with the good guys) that you don't need this whole secondary crew? We would have been fine with Kor, T'Cel, Jamie Finney and T'Kir. This last character, T'Cel's daughter, is strongly hinted to be Kirk's daughter, but it's never confirmed. A dead end, then. And then there's the art. It's the real star here. Adam Hughes provides gorgeous visuals, especially the ladies (his strength) and the retro designs of the 2260s. It's another reason why you'd like fewer speech balloons, in fact, though we still get enough for our money. Debt of Honor stands as a very pretty and lengthy read.