Review - Star Trek # 30 Parallel Lives 2of2

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Villordsutch, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I found an image of the alternate alternate-reality Enterprise in the sneak peak. It looks the same as the AR Constitution-class, except for the eerily red bussard collectors.

    So, except the two Enterprises and a shuttlecraft, I gather we don't get to see any more ships in Parallel Lives?
     
  2. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the story had no chance to gain traction. It should have been a longer story where there was something else to explore like another long-dead trapped ship or alien object, to give the characters the chance to work together in a coherent way. It was a shame that the McCoys didn't get the chance to bond.

    It's a minor thing given how short the story was but the 'female' universe made use of a male Rand and male Marcus, and added in a male admiral i.e. added in additional males from the lower tier supporting cast, but then put no effort into featuring any of the female versions on the NuEnterprise. Of course by that point they had double the number of characters to fit in but even so, it's ironic that in a story where they could have featured total equality of the sexes, they still had a male admiral and still had three more men than women. Sigh.
     
  3. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Absolute numerical parity is a poor gauge of equality of the sexes. It rather smacks of tokenism. This two part comic book story is hardly a ground-breaking exercise in the promotion of equality of the sexes, but, within its scope, is rather a difficult one to criticize on that score (there are many other flaws more deserving of criticism).
     
  4. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Totally agreed. There was no real mystery, no real conflict, no real problem. Just two ships meeting, the characters meeting, and then the characters parting. No one learned anything valuable.

    The only thing I could figure is that this was set-up for a story maybe a year down the road, where we needed the opposite sex characters introduced now so that when the two crews meet again they've had time to process the multiverse. The appearance by Mirror TOS Kirk and TNG Geordi might mean a "Crisis on Infinite Earths"-style story is in the offing. :)
     
  5. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd like to add that we haven't seen any of the cool new crewmembers from STID in the comics - Dawkins, the brig guard, Madeline and the woman with spiky white hair. Only 0718 is (finally) about to make an appearance in the next issue.

    Also, why does Starfleet have to be so infested with Humans in the new timeline? We couldy easily have more variety and get some background of new species like the Kelvin's Cygnian (?) or Madeline's people.

    Any chances we might get a novel series after the Alternate Reality Trilogy is concluded? There are so many fascinating concepts and characters left to be explored. We never had a fully functional parallel universe with a Federation before, only glimpses into various universes, no single coherent one. (The mirror universe(s) only gains a Federation-lookalike in the final issue.)

    Anyway, the new universe is visually appealing. :bolian:
     
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The racial (species) mix of the crew is something I find frustrating. They are hamstrung by the fact that so many of the TOS crew were human but they could start to spread their wings a lot more than they have.

    Having said that, I'm not a fan of them featuring visually interesting one-shot aliens when there are so many pre-existing races to develop. But I'm also a bit of a hypocrite. Why have we had 3 Orion crew-men (2 in the movie, including out-take, and one in the comics) when they are not members of the Federation and make great villains, but no Andorians or Tellarites who are founding members of the Federation? I'm also quite fond of the Zaranites, Saurians, and Arcturians from TMP or the Caitians, if they ret-con the dreadful shaved look from STiD to make them sexy. Bring in Ensign Ilia and lets explore her character too.

    The difficulty is always going to be the number of characters they have to use. We want each of the Big 7 to get a look in more regularly than other supporting characters but it's also nice if Rand, Zahra, Marcus, Kai, and Keenser are featured a few times a year, and preferably with at least one meatier appearance. It's a tricky balance but they could definitely do more if they try to feature an alien guest crewman in each issue and just rotate them depending on the needs of the plot (so have alien helmsmen and navigators on hand when Chekov, Uhura, or Sulu are elsewhere etc - we already have Xon, Arex, M'Ress, and Ilia lined up after all).
     
  7. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Trek has had forty years to get this right and it is still very sexist - or at least sexist for what its supposed to represent. And while I agree that absolute numerical parity is unnecessary, what we have at the moment is usually tokenism. It's why you always get 2-3 women in the cast of 9 characters and why many other female characters are bought in as love interests.

    But you're right. It isn't the main problem with this particular story (Jane Kirk takes the lead most of the time) and there have been improvements since the comic franchise began (we have a female captain featured in Khan 5). Nonetheless, I thought it was interesting to note the attempt to feed in as many male counterparts as possible in the female universe. They even had Chapel in her/his only speaking part to date :eek:
     
  8. British Khan

    British Khan Ensign Red Shirt

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    Well maybe some of the humans we see are actually aliens that look human. :shrug:
     
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In a TV show with make-up and time constraints, you can understand that but in a comic it's a terrible excuse!
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Tell that to the Kryptonians, Rannians, Thanagarians, Shi'ar (aside from the feather-hair), pink Kree, Galadorians, etc. ;)
     
  11. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Plus, everytime one of the Human-lookalikes receives it's a Human one. On the other hand, people like Madeline imply that Human names might be fashionable around the Federation of this period.

    Also, am I imagining things or is Starfleet in the comics predominatly white? Even Admiral Thomas had to be a white Anglo-American male.
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah I can understand it when they are re-using established characters as a nod to TOS but pretty much any non-canon brass should be female, alien, and/or alien female. Of course, technically, Thomas IS female in our universe so maybe she'll crop up soon. She won't be blue though. Sigh.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I thought that was just a nickname the character had been given by the film crew. Are you saying she's actually been called that on-panel in the comic?
     
  14. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She hasn't appeared in any comics yet. The name comes from Memory Alpha and may stem from production materials to be an eligible source for the canon wiki.

    Too bad Admiral Christina Pike couldn't relay those orders instead.
    To be honest, I believe Thomas was a throw-away character to ensure that there's a male leader in the parallel alternate reality. I don't expect to see any female admiral in the comics. I'd love to be proven wrong, though.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I'm pretty sure she and the other aliens all have their production names in the Star Trek Rivals game. The only exception is Alnschloss K'Bentayr, whose name comes from an old promotional site for the '09 movie (and whose production name was Kaysia)
     
  16. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Why "should be"? "Can be" is fine--allows freedom of choice to the artist/writer tandem. "Should" suggests a need to follow a formula to satisfy head counts--more tokenism. There are no "should be" scenarios that are acceptable UNLESS a character is already established. Would make any decision to introduce "female, alien, and/or alien female" characters far more respectable if it is a free choice rather than a requirement for following some checklist drawn up the by The Committee for the Way Things Ought to Be(TM).
     
  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In an ideal world I'd agree, except that the writers and artists have had 40 years to realise the ideal of full equality in theory and it practice. I'm not seeing it. The default for too many people is still white male.

    Poor Lieutenant Zahra has been accidentally caucasianised as well (I do wonder if that was a mix up between intending to feature her and Rand but I hope they restore her. :(

    I'd rather there was an official table or computer program that randomly assigned the sex, ethnicity and race of non-canon characters. No tokenism but everybody (on the list at least) would have an equal chance of being represented. It's the D&D nerd in me.
     
  18. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    I have no issue with having a preference for a different distribution of sex/gender roles and identities in fictional characters (or in real life, for that matter, but Trek isn't real, so I'll stick to fiction for the moment). I have a MAJOR issue with telling artists (in the broadest sense of the term) what "should be" in their work. Artists should be free to present whatever they want (exceptions for established characters they did not create themselves) and let the audience decide if they like it or not. The artist does not have the right to have the work approved by the audience and the audience has no prior right of satisfaction of how the work turned out. "Should be" implies the right of audience satisfaction and I will NEVER support that position. It is anathema to the purpose of artistic creativity.

    They've had 40 years "to get it right" and they're still not there? Then they need more time. There are legal instruments in place that make society a lot more equal than it's ever been. There are social conventions that do the same. It is far from perfect, but it is still a lot better than it used to be. Pointing out your disappointment that improvement is not happening quickly enough is great. It adds another voice to the changing social conventions. Requiring that individuals do things "the way they ought to be" when it comes to artistic endeavours, on the other hand, is a horrible idea. Freedom of expression is only a right if it allows for the expression of things that are uncomfortable. There is no right to not being offended (and there actually is a right to give offence). I would not want to live in a society where the reverse is true, despite the moments of discomfort that form the price of freedom of expression.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^In general I bristle when I hear people talk about what writers "should" do in stories, but in this case I'm more inclined to agree with Pauln6 -- not in the sense that writers should be required to be more inclusive, but that they should have the basic good judgment and good taste to require it of themselves. Personally I've always felt I had an obligation as a writer to represent human diversity realistically rather than marginalizing large portions of humanity.
     
  20. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here's the summary of the counterparts from the parallel alternate reality:

    USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) - same (with red bussard collectors)
    James T. Kirk - Jane Tiberia Kirk
    Spock - same (should be T'Pok or T'Pock according to known Vulcan naming conventions)
    Leonard McCoy - Lea McCoy
    Montgomery Scott - Marjorie Scott
    Hikaru Sulu - Hikari Sulu
    Nyota Uhura - Nnamdi Uhuro (might be Nnamdi Uhura according to Swahili naming conventions)
    Pavel Chekov - Pavlona Chekov (might be Pavla Cheková according to Czech naming conventions)
    Keenser - Keensera
    Carol Marcus - Carl Marcus
    Christine Chapel - Chris Chapel
    Janice Rand - Jason Rand

    referenced only: Khan, female George Samuel Kirk counterpart

    Did I miss somebody?