IDW’s STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION ‘THE GIFT,’ available April 13th, is a reprinting of a classic Star Trek story. One that feels more relevant than ever, with the promise of a fan-favorite returning to Star Trek: Picard.
It’s important to note that Star Trek: The Next Generation ‘The Gift’ was originally published in the 1990s. What we’re getting here is a reprinting, albeit a reprinting alongside a stunning new cover (thank you, J.K. Woodward).
The Gift was written by John de Lancie, which is ironic, given his role as Q in the show. Additional dialogue was provided by Michael Jan Friedman, with artwork from Gordon Purcell, Pablo Marcos, Julianna Ferriter, and Bob Pinaha.
The reason I mentioned the irony is fairly straightforward. The Gift is a Q heavy plotline, as he gives Picard a chance to right a wrong of his past, but as always: one should be careful what they wish for.
The Gift is a story that feels right at home with The Next Generation’s earlier seasons (between seasons three and four, if you want to get specific). As far as when it fits in the timeline, it’s shortly following Deja Q’s events – which makes sense, given everything that is about to happen.
This is a thrilling romp through Star Wars history, one that is very much on point with the adventures that Q tends to bring with him. It’s also a shockingly tense read, as it deals with one of the worst memories from Picard’s history – that alone should be saying something.
It’s always refreshing to see a character drive plot – but The Gift takes that a step or two further. After all, it’s written by one of the characters driving the story. Okay, not quite so literally, but about as close as we can get.
Honestly, it’s almost difficult to believe that they were able to fit so much into what is only sixty-four pages. It ends up feeling more like reading a novel – and I mean that in a good way, of course.
Here’s where it is important to remember that The Gift was originally published back in 1990. The artwork is not what is typically published these days. Though the cover is new and stunning – once again, thanks to J.K. Woodward.
Naturally, the artwork inside doesn’t match the cover. The colors are extremely bold and bright, as was typical of the time period. The red and yellow shirts pop off the page in a way that feels so familiar to the show itself.
There’s little in terms of lighting or shading, but again, that was the style. Meanwhile, each and every character truly does look like their television versions. Though perhaps with a little bit of that comic flair here and there.
The lettering went above and beyond when it comes to making sounds and impacts clear. There’s no hiding from traumatic events here. Their sounds carry, hitting all the harder because it relates to a beloved character.
Star Trek: The Next Generation ‘The Gift’ is a fun, and thrilling read worth read. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new fan or an old one; the odds are good that you’ll find something to appreciate here. And of course, let us not forget how this helps to set the scene for what will surely happen in Star Trek: Picard.