“Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts” #1 begins a rather typical, average story that seems like it would make for a forgettable episode of the TV show. Taking place during the second half of the fourth season, it has the Enterprise answer a distress call of a shuttle in orbit over a planet divided into two different nations with two very different cultures. That plot is very forgettable as neither culture is original or unique, falling back on that classic ‘scientist versus warrior’ concept that is rather boring. And nothing here suggests that either culture rises above their respective cliches.
Where the story shows some promise is in the survivor of the shuttle accident that causes the Enterprise to intervene. An explosion occurred, but there is no damage to the shuttle and the sole survivor sees visions of ghosts. While this plot isn’t developed extensively yet, it is very interesting, particularly the twist at the end of the issue. Hopefully, as the story progresses, it will receive more space and the attempt to negotiate peace between the two nations will fade into the background.
Another small quibble that fans of the show and property may have is the lack of a subplot that focuses on one particular character. One of the strengths of the show was always intermingling a personal story into the main plot somehow and that is lacking in this issue. Zander Cannon does set up a couple of different characters to have personal subplots that will arise as the story progresses, though.
Javier Aranda’s art is on par with most art on “Star Trek” books, walking that line between being loyal to real life and having the liberty to exploit the differences between television and film, and comics. In some spots, his characters look a little stilted, but that’s not as a problematic for this story since “Star Trek: The Next Generation” characters often looked a little stilted in the show. One major complaint: Worf doesn’t wear his Klingon warrior’s sash for unknown reasons. Since that was a constant for the character, it stands out here as big visual faux pas.
On the whole, “Ghosts” #1 isn’t an inspiring beginning since it reads like the first act of a fairly forgettable episode, but it does show some potential and very well could turn out to be a classic “Next Generation” story.