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Divided We Fall - Chapter One: Crossfire

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at May 13, 2001 - 1:26 PM GMT

'Divided We Fall: Crossfire' cover image, copyright Wildstorm Comics. Title: Star Trek: Divided We Fall, Chapter One: Crossfire
Writers: John J. Ordover and David Mack
Penciller: Andrew Currie
Publisher: Wildstorm Comics
Release Date: May 2001

Wildstorm's latest comic miniseries, a Next Generation - Deep Space Nine four-part crossover, addresses questions that seem obvious in retrospect: how come nearly all the Trill we've seen have been joined, and how does the rest of Trill society feel about the apparent privileges given to those with symbionts? To answer, writers John J. Ordover and David Mack bring back many of the Trill we've met on the two series...including Dax's former wife Lenara Kahn, Beverly's onetime lover Kareel Odan, and Jadzia's attempted murderer Verad.

When Verad stole the Dax symbiont during the DS9 episode 'Invasive Procedures,' he was driven by jealousy of the joined Trill, who dominate the highest positions of their planet's social system. Now Verad is a member of a faction that claims the symbionts are alien to Trill and have insidiously taken it over by empowering only those individuals joined with them. Think of the worm-eating aliens from Next Gen's 'Conspiracy,' which gave victims physical strength but controlled their minds, and this idea won't seem so ludicrous; in fact, it seems almost logical, which might make the terrorists a bit sympathetic if their actions weren't so horrific.

In the opening pages of Divided We Fall, the "Purists" destroy Ambassador Odan's ship and kidnap Lenara Kahn. While the Enterprise rescues a dying Odan and Troi attempts to communicate with the symbiont, the terrorists use Lenara as bait to lure Ezri Dax to Trill. These storylines parallel one another nicely before they merge. As Dax tries to sort out the romantic frustrations of several lifetimes, Troi worries about her uneven history with Will Riker; her contact with the symbiont reminds all of them of the passionate interlude Riker shared with Beverly Crusher when he briefly hosted Odan many years earlier.

The relationships greatly enrich the action-packed story of the first issue, which includes a space battle, two abductions, two rescue missions, and a violent conflict planetside. Ezri and Julian's interior monologues exploring their feelings for one another overlap reconaissance scenes on Trill. Troi's evanescent internal struggle plays out in words as she sits on the Enterprise while readers watch a phaser battle on the planet nearby. Ezri would seem to be the key player in all these events, since she's a joined Trill who didn't choose that destiny for herself; she may be one person to whom the Purists will listen, for she has no stake in defending the Symbiosis Commission. The young Trill Perim from Insurrection is placed prominently on the Enterprise bridge, so one suspects she will have a role in upcoming events -- perhaps as an emergency host for Odan, or perhaps as a secret agent of the bad guys.

The crossover occurs seamlessly, for the Defiant is already headed to Trill when the Enterprise rescues Odan. Picard then contacts Commander Vaughn (one of the new DS9 characters introduced by Pocket Books recently in Avatar), though his warning about the terrorists may come too late to save Dax. The Next Gen Trill have been drawn to resemble the DS9 variety, without head ridges -- a break with continuity that nonetheless creates a stronger sense of connection between the series. The writers also make reference to the fact that Next Gen's Trill could not use transporters but Jadzia Dax could; apparently they assume that the transport process must have been adapted after the events of "The Host" to accommodate the symbionts.

Divided We Fall unfolds with superb artwork -- a great improvement on Wildstorm's previous Deep Space Nine miniseries, N-Vector, in which many of the regular characters were barely recognizable. Those who enjoy seeing the female form in all its curvaceous glory will be pleased to note that this comic features Ezri in pyjamas, Kira's catsuit-clad derriere sharing a panel with Ro in a tank top, and a hallucinating Troi in the buff. Still, penciller Andrew Currie does his best work recreating the visages of Picard and Bashir.

The first issue of Divided We Fall ends with three popular Trill characters facing death while two romances face obstacles from both past and present. It's a compelling scenario, making good use of the Enterprise crew and offering readers the chance to visualize the new DS9 crew in action. I can't wait to read the next installment.

This is the tenth installment in a series of regular book reviews Michelle Erica Green is writing for the Trek Nation. You will soon be able to find her reviews in a new column entitled 'The Book Padd.'

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Michelle Erica Green writes regular book reviews for the Trek Nation. She has written television reviews, interviews and other features for sites such as Fandom.com and SlipstreamWeb, as well as a a number of other web sites and magazines.

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