Comic Book Review – Miracleman: The Golden Age & The Silver Age

Miracleman: The Golden Age w/The Silver Age
Reprints Miracleman #17-22, extra material from #23-24
Written by Neil Gaiman
Art by Mark Buckingham

Alan Moore’s departure from Miracleman did not mean the end of the character. Instead, Moore personally handed the reins over to Neil Gaiman. This was 1990, and by that time, Gaiman was growing in prominence with The Sandman title for DC Comics. This was not the height of Gaiman’s fame but definitely at the moment where he became one of the premier writers in the genre. Gaiman set out with big plans for the Miracleman title, a trilogy of six-issue volumes that would explore the utopian world Moore set up. However, Eclipse, the company that published Miracleman was struggling in the direct market distribution model, publishing exclusively for comic book/hobby shops. This was to be an unfinished magnum opus, ending on a cliffhanger.

Continue reading “Comic Book Review – Miracleman: The Golden Age & The Silver Age”

Movie Review – Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Written by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

With a sleek new Enterprise, the Next Generation cast set out on their second film, fully realized as a big-screen product. While the budget is bigger and the stakes are higher, something is lost in the process. It’s that distinct sense of a family. The focus is narrowed to Picard and Data, while the rest of the crew become supporting to minor players in these characters’ stories.

Continue reading “Movie Review – Star Trek: First Contact”

Movie Review – Star Trek: Generations

Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Written by Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Carson

Star Trek: Generations is not a film that is going to bring new viewers into the franchise, it exists as something for fans of the series. That said, even if you don’t know who these characters are and the legacy bits are lost on you, the story is still comprehensible. It’s a story about regret, how time goes back so fast, and you find yourself thinking about the other life you could have had. Generations is the perfect companion piece to “All Good Things,” the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They both focus on Picard, his sense of aging, and confronting the life not lived.

Continue reading “Movie Review – Star Trek: Generations”

TV Review: Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 11

All Good Things Parts 1 & 2 (original airdate: May 23rd, 1994)
Written by Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

We live in an age where the future is a blur, hazy, and unfocused due to so many dire circumstances. The clash of ideologies with fascism gaining a sort of traction that it hasn’t had in a long time. The screaming threat of climate change, setting off klaxons, and demanding our immediate action. The existential crisis of the soul that has come about from two decades of war. The hypernormalization of a system that is collapsing. Star Trek posits that one day this human strife will end, and we will ascend into new enlightenment, a socialist utopia where our species unites with the galaxy. It’s hard to see that while you stand in the middle of the burning forest but I hope this show is correct.

Continue reading “TV Review: Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 11”

TV Review – Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 10

Parallels (original airdate: November 29th, 1993)
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by Robert Wiemer

While Parallels is a fantastic, large-scale exploration of alternate realities at its core, it’s a way to introduce and explore a relationship between Worf and Troi. This relationship is a much better fit for Troi than her forced romance with Riker, whom she was ultimately married to (more on that when I review Star Trek: Nemesis later this month). They are such perfect contrasts to each other: Worf being always awkward on how to convey his emotions while Troi is relaxed with who she is and how she feels. From what I have read, not every member of the production team was happy with this idea, but I think it is one of the best crew romances any of the Star Trek shows have ever featured because it feels like the most organic.

Continue reading “TV Review – Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 10”

TV Review – Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 9

Descent Parts 1 & 2 (original airdates: June 21st, 1993, September 20th, 1993)
Written by Jeri Taylor, Ronald D. Moore, and René Echevarria
Directed by Alexander Singer

I’ve always liked the idea of Data’s brother Lore more than the execution. I think that is due in part to Brent Spiner’s decisions as an actor when he plays Lore. He’s not merely doing a more human Data or an evil version of the android. Spiner chooses to be a mustache-twirling embarrassment. Lore never feels like a genuine threat to the Enterprise, always a momentary annoyance they have to deal with. That continues in this two-parter that I wish was better because it does hold one crucial aspect, it features the return of Hugh the Borg.

Continue reading “TV Review – Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 9”

TV Review – Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 8

Ship in a Bottle (original airdate: January 25th, 1993)
Written by René Echevarria
Directed by Alexander Singer

This episode returns to a storyline first introduced in season two. In “Elementary, Dear Data,” the holodeck program for Professor Moriarity in a Sherlock Holmes simulation becomes self-aware. That incident ended with a promise that one day, a permanent form for Moriarity would be developed. Now the program is accidentally released with Lt. Barclay is doing work on the holodeck. This time around, Moriarty appears to have created a way for himself to exist the boundaries of the holodeck and move about the ship. Picard and Data must try to puzzle out if a new form of life has been created or have they been tricked through Moriarity’s cunning.

Continue reading “TV Review – Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 8”