Review: Dracula’s On The Loose In `Star Trek: Lower Decks’ #2
by Tom Smithyman
This creative team has perfectly captured the look and the feel of the newest animated Star Trek series. Fans of the show will feel right at home – and they will be treated to a little extra. And those who don’t know the show can get a great taste of it here.
Space vampires have been a staple of science fiction since the genre began. From Plan 9 from Outer Space to Lifeforce to Ultraviolet, space vampires have been sucking the blood and energy out of astronauts and poor earthlings for years. Star Trek has had its share of quasi-vampires, including the infamous salt vampire from the original series as well as other beings that feed off of emotions.
The `Star Trek: Lower Decks’ comic book carries forward with that tradition by dealing with the OG bloodsucker himself, Dracula. A holodeck accident brings Drac to life – only since this is Lower Decks, the results are hilarious. Brad Boimler and crew quickly tame the vampire with holodeck-produced blood daiquiris, while they enjoy the strawberry variety. Meanwhile, Captain Carol Freeman and her away team are about to be burned at the stake on suspicion of being witches by an undeveloped culture.
Writer Ryan North understands that, while Lower Decks is a vital part of the Trek universe, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. So while Dracula may be a threat, he comes off more like a bro. The dialog between the away team and the humanoids on the planet is similarly hilarious and plays out like a Monty Python sketch.
In addition to the witty banter and improbably situations, North has added his own spin to the franchise, by adding a parenthetical tongue-in-cheek conversation between the writer and the reader at the bottom of several pages. For example, when Freeman orders her tactical officer Shaxs to rescue the away team, she yells, “Unleash the beast!” North’s explainer at the bottom of the page reads: “Of course, the unabridged expression is `Unleash the Trifellian beastworms from the crimson swampforests of Trifelliar 6,’ but…you get the idea.” It a great addition that feels completely in line with the story and the streaming show.
Artist Chris Fenoglio again perfectly captures the look and feel of the program. In doing so, he has made the story accessible to fans of the show who may have been skeptical about transferring it to the printed page. Looking at his art gives readers the impression they are inside an episode.
The biggest downside to this comic series that that it was always planned to tell a single story, so the run will end with the next issue. If there’s any justice, though, fans will demand more of this great series.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is available now in print and online.