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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Greatest Crossover In The History of Sci-Fi Comic Book Adaptations

I shared this news on Facebook and Twitter and such a few days ago (here's the original article I linked to) but it's so awesome I just have to blog about it.

The comic book company IDW currently holds the comic book rights to two of the world's largest sci-fi franchises:  Star Trek and Doctor Who.  It probably didn't take too long before some suit at IDW said, "Crossover!"

That's right, what was once only the subject of fanfic has become an officially licensed expanded universe reality. 

The storyline is called Assimilation2 and the official plot description is thus:  "The Borg and the Cybermen create an unholy alliance resulting in potential disaster for all humanity. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise find themselves joining forces with the Doctor and his companions, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance."

First issue streets in May.  Wow...just wow.  I can't believe this is happening, even in comic book form.

Truth is, Star Trek doing crossovers in comics is nothing new.  Back in the 1990s, Marvel Comics had the Star Trek comic book license, and since the long time Marvel logic is, "Comic books sell really well when Wolverine is on the cover," the did a Star Trek/X-Men crossover, where the crew of the original Enterprise met the X-Men.  It was so popular that they did a sequel where the crew of The Next Generation teamed up with the X-Men.  And right now in Star Trek comics, IDW is doing an inter-company crossover with DC in which the original crew teams up with that famous 30th Century superhero team, the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Doctor Who in comics tends to be a trickier thing.  Some have already said that this would have been better if the crew of The Next Generation teamed up with The Sixth or Seventh Doctor, as those were the ones on TV when TNG was running.  But, the BBC tends to put tight restrictions on the comic book license for the Doctor, always clearly stating that only the current Doctor can be portrayed in comics.

It's covered quite extensively in the DVD bonus features for Doctor Who: The Movie.  Its revealed that the Eighth Doctor is the one who's had the most extensive career in comic book adaptations because, from when the movie aired in 1996 to when the revival began in 2005, the Eight Doctor was, for all intents and purposes, the current Doctor.  Many credit the Doctor Who comic strip within the official Doctor Who magazine (considered by many to be the "official" Doctor Who comic book representation) to be what kept the Doctor in the public eye for those 9 longs years.  Apparently, Russel T. Davies, the mastermind behind the revival, knew this, and even asked the makers of the Doctor Who comics to do the official Eighth Doctor to Ninth Doctor regeneration tale, but they couldn't.  As I said, only the current Doctor can be portrayed in comics, so they couldn't show the Ninth Doctor before he appeared on TV, and they couldn't go back and show the Eight Doctor after the Ninth appeared.  It's quite a fascinating featurette.

In fact, there's already some kefuffle about whether this'll be available in the UK.  Because the official Doctor Who magazine has the comic rights for the UK, and IDW only has them for North America.  But I'm sure it'll show up in some import shops.  

But  yeah.  Save me a copy this May!

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