Classic Comics Cavalcade: ‘Star Trek: Trill’ Looks At A Different Angle

by Tony Thornley

Ever since IDW Publishing launched their latest Star Trek series, I’ve rediscovered my love for the franchise. When it comes to Trek, every fan has a favorite series, character and alien race. One of mine has always been the Trill, and around the time Star Trek #1 was released, IDW also gave this fascinating alien species a spotlight one-shot.

This nearly graphic novel length one shot comes from Jody Houser, Hendry Prasetya, Rafael Perez Granados, DC Alonso, and Neil Uyetake. It explores the fascinating double nature of the Trill species in a completely unique angle.

Vanah is a young Trill archeologist exploring the galaxy. When a joined Trill has a tragic accident on the planet she’s exploring, she soon finds herself joined with the Lors symbiont. However, something is wrong with the symbiont, and it might be tied to a dangerous madman that’s now stalking Vanah!

The Trill are unique among all Trek species. While in appearance they are just humans with leopard spots, the Trill are a species that evolved to have a symbiotic relationship with the long-lived, worm-like creatures called symbionts, which retain the memories and knowledge of their previous hosts. Jadzia and Ezri Dax were the primary Trill characters fans know. In this story, Houser takes the idea of the symbiotic relationship, and how it affects the host, but adds a layer that I didn’t expect.

With Dax, we saw Jadzia and Ezri grapple with their role as a host. We saw them face their past hosts. We even saw relationships between hosts explored. What we never saw was how the families of those past hosts were affected. Vanah’s journey is interesting as she struggles with her joining, but Houser shows her growth through it as well. 

Also an interesting move by Houser is the stalker being the son of a previous host. Since the Trill symbiosis commission is so opaque, the struggle of a family feeling abandoned by a lost family member would be unique and grief even more difficult to process as a part of their lost family member still lives. Even better, it’s a conflict resolved through compassion, not conflict, an extremely Trek way to resolve it.

The art overall is very good. Alonso’s colors create visual continuity between the two pencillers. Prasetya and Perez Granados both do a great job, but the shift between them was a little off-putting. Both are very dynamic and engaging in their layouts and use of point of view, which is good. Prasetya’s style is a little more angular and Perez Granado’s is smoother. It does make Vanah’s design shift halfway through, which threw me.

Overall though, Trek fans, particularly those of DS9 would love this one-shot and should pick it up!

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