I remember seeing an ad last year for the Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who crossover from IDW. So when I found myself with a B&N gift card (courtesy of my mother-in-law — thank you!), I hopped online and ordered volumes 1 and 2 of Assimilation, which reprint the entire eight-issue run.
The cover tells you everything you need to know. The Doctor and his companions (Amy and Rory) hop over to the universe of the Enterprise D. There, they find that the Cybermen have forged an alliance with the Borg. Voila: instant profit story.
It’s a fun idea, right up there with “Enterprise vs. Death Star” and “Buffy & Scoobies vs. The Smurfs.” But while the story tried to go beyond that fannish “What if?” it only partially succeeded.
There’s a convenient side plot about an oceanic mining operation that doesn’t really add anything. We do get a flashback to a former incarnation of the Doctor meeting up with the original Enterprise crew, which was rather fun. And we see Picard struggling to overcome his trauma with the Borg. While that’s a powerful, painful thing to watch, it’s also something we’ve seen before in the series and in First Contact.
The Borg/Cyberman vs. the Doctor/Federation is the big conflict here, but I think the conflict between Picard and the Doctor was far more interesting. Both are good, strong, stubbornly determined characters whose style couldn’t be more different. I wish we had seen more of their struggle to stop butting heads and finding a way to work together.
Also, more of Rory and Worf teaming up, please. I would read an entire comic about that duo. Guinan and the Doctor were fun too.
The artwork…okay, I’m not a comics reader, but the art did not impress me. Some of it was decent, but mostly it felt rushed.
Is this great literature? Not so much. On the other hand, I didn’t order them expecting great literature. I ordered them because it was an idea that hit me right in my inner fanboy. Could it have been better? Absolutely. But the toy inside gives you exactly what it promises on the box.
Now, when are we getting the crossover where Torchwood goes up against Q?