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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: Altered Encounters (Part 1) "Connection" Part 1
Star Trek #59
Written by: Mike Johnson
Story consultant: Roberto Orci
Art by: Tony Shasteen
Colors by: Davide Mastrolonardo
Letters by: Andworld Design
Cover by: Tony Shasteen
July 2016


Captain Kirk wakes up on an alternate version of the Enterprise.


Story Summary


The story opens with Captain Kirk waking up in his quarters...aboard the original TV series Enterprise! Likewise, the original Kirk wakes up on the Kelvin Timeline Enterprise. They both notice the similarities and the differences in the ship and crewmembers. In each case, Kirk's odd behavior induces Spock to call Dr. McCoy to the bridge and the doctor immediately sedates the captain and takes him to sickbay. When each Kirk awakens, they realize they are back where they belong and they explain what happened to Spock and McCoy. In each case, Spock points out that the ship has come into contact with a highly unusual space-time anomaly which they have proceeded to study. Soon, other crewmembers are experiencing similar incidents and the speculation is that the anomaly is somehow causing glimpses of a parallel reality.


Each Enterprise sends a probe into the anomaly, but when the probes return to the ships, the crews find it is the probe from the alternate reality.




Characters appearing in this issue


Captain Kirk

Captain Kirk-Prime

Lt. Zahra-Prime

Lt. Zahra

Mr. Spock-Prime (young)

Mr. Spock

Lt. Uhura-Prime

Lt. Sulu-Prime

Lt. Sulu

Ensign Chekov-Prime

Lt. Chekov

Science Officer 0718

Dr. McCoy-Prime

Dr. McCoy

Lt. Uhura

Q (mentioned only)

Trelane (mentioned only)







Didja Know?


The covers of this two-part story (Star Trek #'s 59 and 60) by Tony Shasteen form a connected image of the respective Enterprises and crewmembers from the original TV series and those of the Kelvin Timeline.


The two issues of this storyline were originally solicited with the title of "Altered Encounters", but was published as "Connection".


Didja Notice?


The scene of Kirk's quarters aboard the original TV series Enterprise on page 1, panel 2 is from an actual photo of the set.
Kirk wakes up on a strange Enterprise Kirk's quarters on original Enterprise
Kirk awakes on a strange Enterprise Kirk's quarters on original Enterprise


On page 2, the two captains each meet the alternate versions of Lt. Zahra, one of whom is black, the other white! Zahra first appeared in the original series episode "Operation Annihilate", as a young, black lieutenant. She first also first appeared in the Kelvin Timeline of stories in "Operation Annihilate" Part 1, as a young, black lieutenant. I pointed out in subsequent studies how Lt. Zahra gradually was becoming more Caucasian in appearance with each new appearance in the comic book series until becoming the white, platinum-haired woman who appears here on the Enterprise of the Kelvin Timeline.


The Enterprise dedication plaque seen mounted next to the turbolift on the bridge on page 5, panel 2 is the same as the one seen in episodes of the original series, reading simply, "U.S.S. Enterprise, Starship Class, San Francisco, CA".


On page 7, the Kelvin Timeline Kirk suspects that his current circumstances are due to Q messing with them again, while the original timeline Kirk suspects Trelane. The Kelvin Timeline Enterprise crew encountered Q in "The Q Gambit" Parts 1-6. The original timeline crew encountered a being quite similar to Q named Trelane in the original series episode, "The Squire of Gothos".


On page 10, Kirk-Prime says of his visit to the other Enterprise, "Everything was brighter. The lights flared. And there were...panes of glass just...standing there on the bridge." This is, of course, an apt description of the Enterprise as depicted in the movies set in the Kelvin Timeline; director J.J. Abrams is fond of lens flare in his shots, some say to the point of overdoing it. The panes of glass on the bridge are actually transparent data displays, not always displaying data.


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