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Star Trek: The Next Generation (DC Comics, 1989) #1-2 – Return to Raimon/Murder, Most Foul (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

DC Comics’ limited six-issue tie-in to the launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation might have made an interesting read, but it was a success for the company. It was such a success that the company decided to launch an on-going monthly series tying into Star Trek: The Next Generation. It launched in October 1989, just as the show’s third season was starting on television. It continued throughout the show’s run, wrapping up eighty issues later in February 1996, when Marvel bought the license.

For the bulk of its run, The Next Generation was written by Michael Jan Friedman. Barring a couple of fill-ins scattered across the six-and-a-half year run, Friedman churned out monthly stories with remarkable consistency. Indeed, DC’s second volume of Next Generation would be the most consistent comic book tie-in published during any of the spin-off shows, with the licence for the franchise bouncing around Marvel, Malibu, Wildstorm and IDW in the late nineties and early years of the twenty-first century.

There’s something strangely appropriate about publishing Return to Raimon in tandem with the launch of The Next Generation‘s third season. The third season of The Next Generation is generally regarded as the point where the show really came of age, and the season that laid the foundation for that entire generation of Star Trek spin-offs. It was the point at which the vision of Star Trek proposed by The Next Generation finally came into its own, so it seems fitting that it’s also the point at which one of the franchise’s most consistent and long-running tie-ins begins.

New worlds...

New worlds…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Reunion by Michael Jan Friedman (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry. This is actually supplementary to the first season of the Next Generation, specifically the episode The Battle.

The Star Trek expanded universe is so large and so expansive that it has its own particular phases of history, its own important and divisive figures, its own grand context for things. With the announcement of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the late eighties, the focus of expanded universe shifted a bit. Ever since the original Star Trek had gone off the air, novelists like John Ford, Vonda McIntyre, Diane Carey and Diane Duane had been free to carve out their own little corners of the shared universe.

There was a sense that the novels existed to expand the Star Trek universe outwards, with certain authors even developing their own recurring casts and delving into the history and culture of various fictional races in a way that simply wasn’t possible as part of a television episode or feature film. In the late eighties, this changed rather dramatically, with Richard Arnold becoming something of a “gate-keeper” of the expanded universe.

Although Diane Carey would write the first Next Generation tie-in novel, Ghost Ship, this represented something of a changing of the guard. The focus of the novels became a bit different, and the authors driving the line began to change. Michael Jan Friedman’s first published Star Trek novel was Double, Double in April 1989. Since than, he has written more than thirty different Star Trek tie-in novels, a few short stories and ninety-one issues (including annuals and specials) of the nineties Next Generation tie-in comic.

In terms of influence in the Star Trek expanded universe of the nineties, Michael Jan Friedman is a defining figure.

tng-reunion

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