STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION re-energized the Star Trek fan base -- coinciding with the theatrical films based (at the time) of the original Star Trek company of Kirk & friends -- but, eventually, broke out of the carbon copy mold of its first televised season and became its own entity. The continuing adventures of the starship Enterprise (now the 1701-D) under the leadership of Captain Jean-Luc Picard was a phenomenon in its own right; but THE SPACE BETWEEN -- a collected trade paperback of six individual issues relaunching the TNG comic property under new licensing -- fits far more in the mold of the show's first season, meaning mostly forgettable plots and not quite squeaky clean mechanism that the show became over seven seasons.
These six adventures are labelled as separate chapters in one central mystery that very loosely (and mostly unsuccessfully) ties them together under a conclusion that feels more like a set-up for more installments to follow than it does a complete entity: perhaps that's why they've titled it "The Space Between," meaning the graphic novel is essentially only filling the void left by the end of the TNG movies and whatever comic stories may come next. The best that can be said is that it's truly inspired to see these characters again; Jean-Luc Picard, William Riker, Beverly Crusher, Commander Worf, Deanna Troi, Data, and Geordi LaForge all look good in this quick tales, though many of them are given very little to do. Even fan-favorites like Ensign Ro and the oft-maligned Dr. Pulaski (thankfully) only phones in a cameo via the ship's intercom, and, to my surprise, Wesley Crusher comes off as much more a Paul Walker wannabe than he did the whining brainiac he was portrayed as in the television show.
Still, outside of revising the crew during their original seven year television run, there's not much meat on these bones, and, hopefully, THE SPACE BETWEEN won't be their last comic outing. Let's get back to the business of boldly going where no one has gone before ... let's just make sure it's worth where we're going.
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