Star Trek—The Webcomic goes full Probert

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Maurice, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I dunno how many people here follow the Star Trek—The Webcomic, which has been going strong reliably twice weekly for six years and is currently in its sixth story. But that story, "The Word of God", is set just a bit before TNG on an Ambassador Class starship, and has based the look of most of the ship on Andrew Probert's various concepts, so it's Probert-riffic!

    Here's an example, which adapts one of Probert's TNG bridge concepts.
    [​IMG]

    The story starts here (link): "The Word of God" and is still ongoing.

    Other stories have been assembled into Sunday Comics type pages here (link).
     
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  2. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That has to be the worst bridge design in Trek history. :lol:
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Nah. Plenty of TNG bridges of the week are far worse.
     
  4. ashefivekay

    ashefivekay Commander Red Shirt

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    I think it fits that whole 'Starfleet Complacency' that Picard talks about. It fits that 'we have nothing to fear' feeling I think. That and it's definitely unique! Cool to see it in action!
     
  5. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is this Ensign Leslie Crusher? :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Acting Lieutenant Leslie Young. :)

    Working with writer-illustrator @Mark 2000 on the story for this strip, we wanted to tweak some of Roddenberry's original concepts and ideas for TNG, along with some unused Probert designs.

    In some cases, we amplified the conflicts between characters that TNG never followed through on.

    So we have a more tense captain and first officer relationship, the XO not fully comfortable with our cybernetic character, and our take on the XO-Counselor having a previous relationship.
     
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  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't know this was a thing. The look is fantastic. Making time to read it.
     
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  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have to check this out. That art looks pretty cool.
     
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  9. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Will in any case check it out. :mallory:
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ok..... I never thought I would like that bridge design, but seeing it with the season 1 colorscheme and uniforms...... It works. It actually bloody works.

    To quote Ian Malcom: You did it..... you crazy son of a bitch, you did it.
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Today’s strip does a daydream flashback to the TMP era bridge. (Link)
     
  12. Michael

    Michael In alignment with canon Moderator

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    Thanks for plugging the comic here, @Maurice! It's so nice to see a Star Trek webcomic that's obviously done with so much love for the source material and a keen eye for detail (the pre-TNG designs looks awesome; I especially love to see the early Theiss jumpsuit design). I read some of the earlier storylines a couple of years or so ago, but hadn't checked in to look for new stuff in quite a while. I'm glad to see it's still going strong and maintaining the high quality of artwork and writing. I'm especially fond of the strong female characters that are presented. @Mark 2000's work deserves much more recognition from fandom, methinks.
     
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  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just finished "No Good Deed." It was outstanding in every way. Really first rate.
     
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  14. KimMH

    KimMH Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I had no idea this existed -wow!
     
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  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Alright so I finished "Weapons of Mass Destruction." It was pretty good, but I enjoyed it less than "No Good Deed," because I did have two problems with it, one minor and one not-so-minor.

    I've spoiler-coded this not to spoil it for others.


    First the minor problem, which concerns head-canon (i.e. personal canon) interpretation of the TOS phaser dematerialize setting. So, it was said in dialog that dematerialize causes things to vanish without a trace. Cool, that's what I always thought: it just transforms matter into pure energy (cf The Making of Star Trek page 193). :techman: A few frames later and the inderite sculpture test target is turned into vapor by super-heating. Wait, what? Vanish without a trace ≠ vaporize. Vapor is matter in the gas phase; to vaporize = to cause to evaporate (or sublimate). And what's that smoldering pile of debris left behind, if the dematerialize setting causes things to vanish without a trace?

    But it gets worse. When the pirates are melting the door with their phasers, they are breathing in fumes of super-heated metal which they can smell and that makes them cough, as liquified metal flows towards them that their phasers continue to only vaporize in an enclosed space. By conservation of matter (since here phasers only vaporize), there are literally tons of super-hot metal vapor particles in that room at that point. The pirates themselves should be melting and evaporating/sublimating. Anything with an autoignition temperature below a few thousand degrees (pick your temperature scale; that includes clothing woven from organic material such as cotton, it probably includes hair, but also it includes those regular metals such as lead and iron that react exothermically with oxygen, and the list goes on) would be a combination of on fire, melting, and boiling, at least until the breathable air runs out at which point the pirates start suffocating (as if they could still be alive). If they had put on environmental suits, it would have been much more OK, at least except for the part that the whole room should have melted/vaporized/caught on fire/etc.

    Eventually also that vapor is going to cool, leaving literally tons of traces....

    But it would all have been OK if phasers just turn things they dematerialize into things that aren't material, i.e. energy composed of photons but maybe also neutrinos, antineutrinos, and/or other non-material or nearly non-material particles (either of the exotic Trek-y variety or otherwise) that don't interact with matter under normal circumstances, basically whatever combination necessary not to give the people standing in the same room a flash of fatal radiation (e.g. gamma rays). And that would make phasers much scarier, since aside from a barely detectable radiation pulse that dissipates into space, nothing at all would be left, no trace whatsoever, except perhaps a pattern of dematerialization left where the edges of the phaser effect were, basically as Mudd said in the first place ("no trace").

    There's just no way to square the term "vaporize" any other way.

    Still, this is just a minor problem. As I said, I can imagine that something else happened on the tech side, as indicated, forget they coughed, forget they smelled fumes, forget they were endangered by an expanding pool of molten metal, and the problem in the story just goes away.


    The more serious problem is the fate of the pirates at the end. T'Chok just lets them go without a memory wipe. Um, what? She is the leader of a group of ideologically motivated activists (no doubt considered radicals) willing to have their own minds erased to protect their cause. Why would she just let them go, knowing what they know? Perhaps this is setting up a future story, but honestly, it makes no sense, as is.

    I did however thoroughly enjoy the idea that there is a group of scientists turned activist erasing their WMDs from Federation science.

    ---

    Actually, while on the subject of head-canon, I'll just use this opportunity to comment on Mark's head-canon/personal canon. I'm pretty particular in my head-canon about how I interpret TOS apart from the rest of Star Trek too, so I really appreciated Mark's explanation of setting given at http://trekcomic.com/about/. Actually, I pretty much agree with everything he says there, but I do have a few quibbles.

    Regarding "We can assume that this amazing impulse drive can do some level of FTL, but it’s space-normal", it's not necessary to ascribe FTL properties to the impulse drive at all. The arrival of the Valiant at the galactic rim in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" happened because she was swept up in a magnetic storm. That's "textual." Perhaps that magnetic storm has FTL properties, and perhaps it is even related to the galactic barrier that is encountered. In other words, impulse does not need to be FTL in any respect to make "Where No Man..." work. What is necessary is that when the Enterprise is ejected from the galactic barrier, she is ejected FTL (note that she entered the barrier at warp one) and perhaps carried along by weird FTL magnetic effects back to the edge of Federation space, even though the warp drive is out. Maybe she's even imparted a high space-normal speed relative to the nearby stars when she finally goes sublight (cf warp .8 after falling out of the wormhole in TMP). From there, under those conditions, she limps on sublight impulse to Delta Vega. Yeah, I know it's still kind of wonky, but I'm firmly in this "impulse is purely sublight" camp. Discussions in the Trek Tech forum on TrekBBS lend some credence to the ideas that inertial mass can be reduced by low-level warp field effects (cf TNG "Deja Q") to make rocket power more efficient as well as that perhaps that's an innovation used on starships by a certain era.

    Regarding the Treaty of Algeron, I'll just quote myself from https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/why-the-ufp-would-want-the-treaty-of-algeron.298050/#post-12783590: "The Treaty Of Algeron is like the ABM, SALT, and other real world arms-limitation treaties of the Cold War. I've zero doubt that that was the intention of the authors. [¶] The theory of the Cold War treaties was to avoid arms race escalations that would make war more likely, without surrendering the ability to destroy the enemy. It's not more complicated than that." So, in short, yes I can quite easily imagine the Federation at least officially forswearing technology that they've reasoned would make arms races and large-scale warfare more likely, since such a thing did occur during the Cold War in real life. I do agree that what Roddenberry said about it is utterly bogus.

    Actually, those are my only quibbles there. I'm not debating artistic choices, rather just giving feedback. My head-canon differences from Mark's head-canon don't impact my enjoyment of his stories.
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I am personally most fond of “Time’s Refuge” because it’s got this farce element running through it that tickles my fancy.
     
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  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Oh, yes, and there's sort of a meta visual gag in the opening. The tall golden building is The Towering Inferno skyscraper, and a cyclorama used outside the windows in some scenes of that movie was re-used as the view outside Admiral Kirk's apartment in ST2 & 3, so the time traveler is in Kirk's building. Kirk's there too. :D (link...but not to the story start)

    But here's where the story starts and the hijinx begin (link).
     
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  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I finished everything before the current chapter, so I'm all caught up to begin it.

    I don't know how this applies to the current chapter "The Word of God," but, aside from "No Good Deed," the chapters are all interconnected. So, I'm glad I read them in order.

    The series so far has been, overall, excellent. First, some general remarks of praise before getting to the individual episodes.

    I love the costumes, ships, backgrounds, and props. The character style is also wonderful, clear in conveying emotion and character. In short, I love the artwork.

    The variety of characters in Starfleet is nice, and I like how Starfleet personnel are depicted with character flaws ranging the gamut from merely idiosyncratic to problematic to tragic. I love the various comic book and sci-fi callbacks. I know that I'm getting a lot of it, and some of it is pretty subtle, but as to whether I'm getting fully 100% of the in-jokes, eh, probably not, but that's actually a good thing (it provides room for me to grow, so to speak). Make that definitely not, as per what @Maurice just posted about The Towering Inferno.


    "Peace in Our Time"
    Alright, so the first issue I had with this one turned out to be a plot point later: I found myself talking to the screen that it was quite stupid for Jin to bring the shuttle into orbit low enough where she might collide with a satellite or space junk. This issue additionally reflects on the whole time program, since presumably others involved were aware of her flight plan. Once it was clear that she was going on an "Assignment: Earth"-type mission, the second issue immediately on the heels on the first one is apparent: why in the fuck would Starfleet let her go back alone? Obviously, they didn't intend her to make contact, and I get that carelessness is one of the themes, but.... :sigh:

    Speaking of "Assignment: Earth," for Jin's ignorance of early 21st century satellites to be believable, we probably have to assume that "Assignment: Earth" happens in 2269 or later, because they certainly made use of the earlier period's satellites.

    Anyway, these are just conceits to get the story rolling, so investing a little more into suspension of disbelief is simply what you have to do get to the point. That's OK. Also, to achieve the same end of getting past the setup and to the point, we just kinda need to roll with the fact that a crashing shuttlecraft draws no attention from the authorities, including NORAD.

    So, anyway, the point is... good. There are a lot of moving parts here, so I'll just hit the highlights. We have a broken, disillusioned, and frustrated ex-soldier turned activist who wants to make the world a better place, but who has no power and no faith in the future. We have a weak President who can't get past interpreting time travelers from the future as angels. Then we have the twist that the time travelers from the future of the future consider cleaning up Jin's mess to include taking care of Jin herself, with further twists to come in that story.

    The radicals here provide an interesting contrast to the radicals in "Weapons of Mass Destruction."


    "Basis of Proof"
    Great name for the exec from "The Cage." And I like how her exec has no name except Number One. Also, I like how Captain Barrett is a snob and how she's often just looking at her PADD. This is another good example of depicting flawed characters. Further indication of a flawed commander: Barrett won't even look out the window to see if anything is at the coordinates that the lower decks people suggest.

    I liked the more explicit treatment of the plot point in "The Doomsday Machine" that the machine could deactivate antimatter. Also, nice job with radiation suits up the Jefferies tubes. Seems like the tube might be going up the nacelle support pylon, à la Franz Joseph. And someone with glasses, nice. By the way, at least some of the operations division insignia spirals are backwards.

    But I am confused about something. What was the blip that Crewman Avocado Jumpsuit detected? Was it real or imagined, and is ambiguity the point? If the point is ambiguity or for it to be in his imagination, I need to comment that either possibility could have been handled by not showing us the scanner screen at all, and instead just focusing on Calhoun's reaction to what he thought he saw. By showing us a blip on the scanning screen, that's kinda leaning (though not decisively) towards the third-person-limited narrator asserting that there was in fact a blip there, whether it corresponded to a ship or not. But it's seemingly too soon and too close to be the ship that ends up being the rescue ship. Or is it? :shrug:

    Anyway, it was thoroughly enjoying, with stuff to chew on afterwards, which is what the best art is, IMO.


    "Time's Refuge"
    Boy, are the people in the future of the future total assholes, worse than a bunch of "Go God Go XII" Cartmans. The twist of "sexually gratify each other every night": yuck, but also how true to life.

    Lots to like here really in this chapter. I like playing off the Borg nomenclature. Or is it more than playing? Ambiguous. I like the inclusion of job creation by de-automation. Overall, nice treatment of the Kelvans.

    It's also interesting how the attitudes of the officer who Jin is arguing with after she returns to the 23rd century (Areel Shaw?) suggest that the groundwork for the utopic dystopia of the 31st century are already being laid in the 23rd.

    On the other hand, maybe stronger Kelvans made things better? Seems like they might have.


    "Mudd Slide"
    This was really good. Looks like Mudd has met his match in Greecha. I saw it coming, but it was still subtle and nicely played. I really like the Vulcan Captain. I hope she survived.

    To be clear, it wasn't spelled out, but Greecha's plan was always going to be to take over the starliner, because the original destination was at the edge of the ship's range and there's no way that the Captain would have agreed to take them even a little bit further out, especially upon discovering that the records of their destination had been messed with. Right?


    I'm not going to rank them, because I really enjoyed all of them.

    Next: time to go full Probert....
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Glad you're enjoying it.

    There's stuff I missed, too, until it was pointed out to me. I suggested a few gags Mark used in the stories, but mostly that's all him.

    I'm going to try to reply inside your Spoilers so neither of us ruins anything for anyone.

    "Peace in Our Time"
    I had this issue, too. I felt a miscalculation or malfunction could have put her in harm's way and would have made it all seem slightly less reckless.

    Did you catch that the President is played by Lorne Green playing his Bonanza patriarch? :D

    "Basis of Proof"
    Also, re antimatter, I suggested to Mark that the way I assumed the antimatter containment had to work was that it required power to extract it from the magnetic containment, not that you have to maintain this power-hungry volatile magnetic field otherwise your ship goes "poof". I figured the containment bottles were made out of some exotic super-magnetic material and the antimatter just floats in the middle, you apply power to distort the field and squeeze the antimatter down some magnetic tunnel that leads into the intermix. Lose the power and snap, the field resumes its shape and the antimatter is fully contained. Voila. This would explain how a starship's power can go to zilch and it doesn't blow up.

    I have a cameo as one of the orderlies in the hospital as Jin tries to escape. :)

    I just took it that it was a random blip. There's ship's debris out there and the sensors might not be working 100%, and he jumped to a conclusion based on a single "blip" which did not recur yet he expected everyone to believe him and his speculations.

    "Time's Refuge"
    The logo of the museum is that of project Tic-Toc from The Time Tunnel, and some of the time apparatuses we see are from that show...hell even the time travelers "tunnels" themselves evoke the titular object of that show.

    The DS9 videogame they are dissing is a game I worked on, which is why my original username here was DS9Sega.

    "Mudd Slide"
    Yeah, she always planned everything that happened. Mudd just made her job easier and she played him like a Vulcan lyre from Hell.

    Personally, I had some issues with Mudd's portrayal here. He was always a Falstaff sort of character and this I felt pushed him a little too far from the somewhat likable rogue and just made him too nasty. Not saying it wasn't a valid choice, it just didn't work for me all that well.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    @Maurice, re the Presidential reference.

    Uh... yes, I did get that reference! That was a very loud reference, especially in the intro frame to the cabin! :) After you mentioned it, I did think to check the Vice President's last name also, and that too has a connection to that show, with "additional interest":

    It's Laura Dayton, played by none other than Kathe Brown (Deela in TOS "Wink of an Eye").
    https://bonanza.fandom.com/wiki/Laura_Dayton
    :techman:
    :lol:

    P.S. Oh, yeah, I see "you" now, in comic form!