Writers: Christopher Sequira
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Charlie Kirchoff
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Covers: Francesco Francavilla; J.K. Woodward
Release Date: October 11, 2023
The holodeck threatens the Enterprise again. The crew fights fear itself when an evil entity invades the ship and uses the holodeck to create monsters and abduct the crew. It’s spooky season in STAR TREK: HOLO-WEEN #2.
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Redjac, an entity that feeds on fear which was first seen in the original Star Trek series, has taken over the Enterprise’s holodeck. When STAR TREK: HOLO-WEEN #2 opens, the entity already controls Data, subsuming his personality beneath a Frankenstein persona. Using monsters and settings consistent with horror stories, Redjac amplifies crew members’ fear and abducts them to the holodeck. The Enterprise crew’s only hope is to invade the holodeck to rescue Data and confront Redjac directly. SInce anyone who attempts to do so risks falling victim to Redjac’s influence. The only hope is to transform the crew into monsters themselves.
STAR TREK: HOLO-WEEN #2 continues what is, at its heart, a light hearted monster story romp that uses just enough Star Trek backstory and tropes to justify its existence. Sequeira injects additional jeopardy to give the story more weight than just a holodeck gone awry story. But there isn’t too much depth beyond the trappings of a Halloween story. The call back to the original Star Trek series with the character of Redjac is a nice use of a forgettable episode. Expanding the character’s presence to touch on the idea of different cultures’ base fears adds complexity to its nature as an entity that feeds on fear. Again, this isn’t terribly complicated but it creates an effective foundation for a seasonal story within a universe that largely ignores such things.
Sequeira uses Counselor Troi particularly well here. This is a character that so often fades into the background, getting used on the periphery of most stories when she is used at all. Since this story focuses on the manipulation and exploitation of emotion, specifically fear, she is a natural choice to be put front and center. As with the overall story, Troi doesn’t get explored in a particularly deep way. But she gets some nice moments and factors into a key moment of story advancement toward the end of the issue.
Art and Letters
Eisma’s art and Kirchoff’s colors work particularly well for the scenes that take place in the normal Enterprise settings. The bridge has its typical Enterprise brightness. Kirchoff goes for darker blue in the other locations. The color choice adds weight and emphasizes that there are in fact stakes in the story. Eisma’s work on the action sequence that opens STAR TREK: HOLO-WEEN #2 is effective and very fun.
The issue’s visuals stumble somewhat in the holodeck sequences where the monster story part of the issue takes place. The coloring is still fairly bright, never really establishing a horror or monster story mood. Eisma’s character designs don’t push the envelope. While the script pushes the situation’s urgency, the sequences have a somewhat light hearted feel. The exception is the monster design for Worf’s monster persona.
Cowles’ use of rougher edged dialogue bubbles with different fill and border colors for the monster characters is the best visual reinforcement for the Halloween motif. They vary in effectiveness, though. For instance, the dialogue bubble fill color for Troi’s monster persona is the same as the night sky which ultimately doesn’t draw the eye to them.
STAR TREK: HOLO-WEEN #2 is a fun issue even if not particularly deep. Readers hungry for Star Trek comics in a general sense will enjoy it. Those who prefer solely serious stories may not be as interested. But the issue is fairly successful at what it sets out to do.