Attack of the Cyberborg

Comics aren’t something I write about often. Not here anyway. We’ve got Greg for that. But in anticipation for tomorrow’s Doctor Who episode Nightmare In Silver (featuring the return of the Cybermen) I thought it would be fun to take a quick look at a truly one of a kind Cybertale.

A few months ago I was rewatching the Star Trek: The Next Generation epic called “The Best of Both Worlds.” That’s when Captain Jean-Luc Picard is assimilated into the Borg collective. It got me thinking about how the Borg are pretty much considered to be the ultimate Trek baddies. You could make an argument for Klingons but they’re more like frenemies. They are really interesting. Many of the best Trek stories featured them. Even the best TNG movie (which really ain’t sayin’ much) is about them. One-time humans assimilated into a robotic form, devoid of humanity, bent on dominance. That sounded familiar…

Pretty quickly my brain made the connection to my favorite Doctor Who baddies The Cybermen. A cybernetic collective of humans turned robots, devoid of humanity, bent on dominance. Hmmm…

I wondered if anyone else had made this obvious connection and decided to do something with it. Turns out someone did and released an 8 issue comic series called “Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2”.

cyber2

The story plays out like any Trek/Who fan’s best “What if?” story. “What if The Doctor managed to land inside the Holodeck of the Enterprise-D? What if The Doctor and Picard had to combine their awesome space brains to defeat a common enemy? At first it comes off as a bunch of fanboy fun that could never really happen. As the story progresses, and you find out how the Cybermen met the Borg, why they formed an alliance, and how it all unfolds, you realize, “Shit, they did it!”

Scott and David Tipton took an impossible fanporn premise and legitimized it. The hard sci-fi and philosophical debate driven Trek wove seamlessly with the light sci-fi, emotionally charged Doctor Who.

This felt very much like a genuine adventure either series would have. The Enterprise crew come off as more intrigued by The Doctor’s presence than surprised by it. They are focused and professional. There is a problem that must be solved, and if they need the assistance of this weird guy who showed up in a police box to do it, so be it.

A nice touch was the inclusion of a flashback to the Enterprise NCC-1701 (that’s the one Kirk was captain of) which shows Kirk and his away team meeting the Doctor in his fourth incarnation. Not only was it just fun to see Tom Baker and William Shatner together (to a degree) but it helped to root the story in the mythos of both universes. We know the Doctor has been to parallel universes (where he encountered the Cybermen). It’s possible that he could have run into the realm of Trek. Why not?

Cyber4

Everything about this series is fun. If you’re a fan of both Trek and Who it should satisfy your hunger for both. If you’re a fan of a well told story, you’re in luck there too. Give it a read.

Can’t wait for tomorrow. We get a new version of the Cybermen (I should really explain why I like them so much sometime) written by Neil Gaiman, with an appearance by Warwick Davis! Nightmare In Silver? More like Nerdvana In Silver.

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