1330. Valued Intelligence
PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation - Intelligence Gathering #1, IDW Comics, January 2008
CREATORS: Scott Tipton and David Tipton (writers), David Messina (artist)
STARDATE: 45915.3 (between The Next Phase and The Inner Light)
PLOT: Data and Riker beam down to Daystrom-1 where a massive computer based on Data's neural net and containing the Federation's entire sum of knowledge is malfunctioning. They enter a virtual world/pocket dimension called the tesseract using a small craft to interact with the data. There they find not only strange crystalline structures that shouldn't be there, but also Romulan agents trying to capture Data. The Enterprise-D detects a cloaked warbird and forces it to decloak, even as Riker and Data capture the agents. Tomalak fesses up to a bit of industrial espionage. But was the computer malfunction a Romulan trap, or something else?
CONTINUITY: Tomalak first appeared in The Enemy. He mentions The Enterprise Incident. Reg Barclay also appears (Hollow Pursuits, etc.). Daystrom-1 makes use of Bynars (11001001).
PANEL OF THE DAY - So THAT's how it would work.
REVIEW: I've mostly liked what the Tiptons have brought to the Star Trek universe to date, and Intelligence Gathering has some promise. The tesseract premise is founded in harder sf than we're used to (and not unlike a big, massive Google), but that's not a bad thing. Not always easy to get a handle on, but still worthy. We're more computer-savvy today than we were during the TNG days (and comic book audiences may be more knowledgeable than mainstream tv ones) so the writers may well go deeper into computing science than would have been allowed on the show. Again, not necessarily my cup of tea, but not a bad thing. What's a little disappointing is that despite the over-arcing title, the next issue sees the TNG characters off on another adventure. The possibility that the computer had grown sentient is a red herring and the Romulan plot seems just as unfinished. Messina teams up with the brothers once more, and if I liked what he did on Blood Will Tell, I'll like it here as well.