Thursday, September 15, 2005

STAR TREK - X-MEN Marvel & Paramount Comics, 1996

They have a name for stuff like Star Trek/X-Men; it’s called fan fiction.

This comic is officially sanctioned fan fiction, however, published with Marvel and Paramount’s blessings. It’s kind of a strange comic, because it teams up such radically different properties. I’m sure that Star Trek and X-Men share a similar fanbase/demographic, but really, was there ever a huge public demand for this crossover?

Let’s imagine that there was a keen interest in a Star Trek/X-Men crossover. I think a conversation between two interested fans might sound - a little something like this (that phrase is always the prelude to comedy fun) :

X-MEN FAN: I hope they have Spock and Wolverine fight. That would be awesome.

TREKKER: Why would they fight? Spock would just employ logic and he would just reason with Wolverine.

X-MEN FAN: Not if he’s mind-controlled or infected by the Brood or something. I hope they have The Brood. That would be awesome.

TREKKER: They better not. I wrote an X-Men/Trek fan fic with The Brood back in 1996. I would sue them. Anyway, if Wolverine was in a feral state, Spock would just nerve pinch him.

X-MEN FAN: He could try, but it would be his funeral. Wolverine would gut him like a fish. Spock sucks.

TREKKER: Spock is an enduring cultural icon that is known throughout the world, an important—

X-MEN FAN: Spock is a tool. Wolverine would kick his ass. Spock would be all, “Live long and prosper!” And Wolverine would be all, “UNNGHH! Stab you!!!” And Spock would be all, “Aaaagh! My face!”

TREKKER: I can’t even talk to you when you’re like this.

Man, making cheap jokes about geeks is always 100% comedy gold. Hilarious.

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t think that the worlds of Star Trek and The X-Men don’t really go together like peanut butter and chocolate, but go together they must, or there wouldn’t be a Star Trek/X-Men comic, now would there?

The book was written by Scott Lobdell, a Marvel mainstay during the 90’s, with art by a rotating stable of pencillers and inkers. Initially the book is drawn by Marc Silvestri with background assists by Brian Ching, but then Billy Tan, Anthony Winn, and David Finch jump in on pencils, and we get inks by Batt, D-Tron, Billy Tan, Aaron Sowd, Joe Weems, and Hugh G. Rection. Actually, sorry, Hugh G. Rection did “ink assists” along with Victor Llamas, Team Tron, Jose Guillen, Viet Troung, and Mike Manczarek. Four different people did the colors, and a dog named Mr. Tex* gets a vanity assistant editor credit. You might think with so many people working on the art that the comic might seem a little uneven, but you’d be wrong!

No, just kidding, you’d be right.

The book is a frickin’ mess. Since the art shifts from page to page, it’s like watching the story through a funhouse mirror. Captain Kirk’s facial structure morphs from page to page, getting worse as the comic goes on, until it reaches a point where Kirk is mutating before our very eyes.

The story awkwardly grafts the crew of the Enterprise and Xavier’s mutant superheroes into an interdimensional plot where they have to team up and face the double menace of psycho Trek telepath Gary Mitchell and the omnipotent Proteus from X-Men. Throw in some Shi’ar, some Wolverine, you got yourselves a story. Not a great story, but a story regardless.

I grudgingly admit that there are a few fleeting moments of coolness, like Kirk hitting on Jean Grey, or the Enterprise facing yet another super-powerful menace in space – Gladiator from The Imperial Guard:

Overall, the erratic art production and the awkward fusion of the two worlds undermines any potential coolness inherent in Star Trek/X-Men. The characters just don’t work together. Even when they occupy the same panel, the Trek and X-Men characters exist in different physical universes. Check out this panel of Kirk and Spock in their terry cloth uniforms next to the hyper-accentuated super-physiques of the X-Men:

It’s like, they couldn’t draw Kirk and Spock with huge muscles to make them proportionate to the X-Men, but they couldn’t tone the X-Men down and make them less… I don’t know, less Silvestry. There, I just made up a word.

Silvestry (adj): A quality of comic art that exaggerates human musculature for dramatic effect. Ex: “Check out this picture of The Punisher, he looks totally Silvestry!”

You’re probably all wondering who wins the inevitable Spock/Wolverine fight, aren’t you? I mean, that’s why I got this comic, to see these two wildmen duke it out, no holds-barred. So who wins?

Spock takes him down to Chinatown! Lays the Vulcan nerve pinch on his mutant ass! That just goes to show: don’t underestimate The Spock, man. You better bring your “A” game when you step up to The Vulcan.

I actually don’t think that Spock laid the nerve pinch on Wolverine, I think he was transmitting a crosshatching nanovirus which buries the target under the crushing weight of gratuitous inking. There must be five pounds of ink on Wolverine’s forehead alone.

Of course, that trick only works in the comics...

*This is a lie. There is no Mr. Tex.


Anonymous said...

God, the '90s sucked.

Anonymous said...

So Marvel got their first license in years and of course their first instinct is to throw the X-Men in there. Behold the genious of market inspired storytelling! And why is it that this is drawn entirely by Top Cow?

Though I do hear that Patrick Stewart thought this and the sequal novel were a bad idea because he knew he could get the part of Prof X if they made a movie.

Kevin Melrose said...

I'd just like to point out that Capt. Kirk appears to have six fingers on his porcine left hand.

At least two of those appear to have been gnawed off by ... something. But still -- six fingers.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if only Buffy was around to join in on this madness. That would be kewl, and she could kick both Spock and Wolverine's ass.

Or maybe not...

Anonymous said...

Huh, actually, it looks like Kirk lost his middle finger (homage to Scotty actor James Doohan, who in real life was missing a middle finger?), and McCoy grafted on a sixth lower down as a practical joke.

thekelvingreen said...

I think they did at least two sequels with the Next Generation crew, but luckily they were novels, and so blissfully free of Silvestration.

This must be one of the, if not the, most bizarre crossovers ever. What's next? JLA/Magnum, pi?

Anonymous said...

That cover just gives me the feeling that there is a huge stature gap between Captain James T Kirk and that moody guy who occasionaly leads a few of the X-Men.

Anonymous said...

That cover just gives me the feeling that there is a huge stature gap between Captain James T Kirk and that moody guy who occasionaly leads a few of the X-Men.

thekelvingreen said...


"Bones! Get up here and fix Wolverine's back, stat!"

"Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a mutant orthopaedist!"

Anonymous said...

Though the Archie/Punisher crossover I think is a great example of an "odd" crossover that worked.

Others however, kind of tend to be around the ST/X-Men level of quality. Which is, pretty low.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there WAS a Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men: Second Contact by Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton, with "art" by Cary Nord, where after the events of First Contact (yet production problems held the book up until April 1998 instead of a year earlier) Picard and crew wind up traveling to Marvel earth on the way back to the 26th century. This then followed into the Michael Jan Friedman novel Planet X, where the X-Men are mysteriously transported to A Starbase, just in time to help the Enterprise deal with the mysterious planet of Xhaldia.

Dear god, Second Contact is one of the worst- if not THE worst- comic I've ever read. The plot is an incomprehensible mishmash of Kang causing the timelines of trek and X to merge, causing stuff like Thunderbird dying saving Sisko from the Borg on Wolf 359, or Yar and Kitty facing Sentinel Borgs in Days of Futures Past. Yes, it's about as stupid as it sounds.

Nord's art is unspeakably hideous- you look at it and can't believe it's the same guy who does such a fantastic job on Conan. He seems to only pay attention to getting the likenesses right for Paramount's office and half assing everything else.

But the real insult? When Wesley and the Traveler show up to save the day.

I repeat: Wesley. and The Traveler.

Dave, you must review this book. COYLE DEMANDS IT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the reason Silvestri is drawing this book is because that year Top Cow and Marvel did a massive Crossover called "The Devil's Reign", featuring Silver Surfer, Weapon Zero, Ballistic, Ghost Rider, Cyblade, Wolverine, and Elektra.

The Warren Ellis-penned Ghost Rider/Ballistic is great, the rest is just crap. Top Cow's finally collecting it in November with other Marvel crossovers.

Anonymous said...

Wowzers ! Look at that bridge room pic ! Bishop is about 9 feet tall and wider then two average sized men lined side to side ! Jean Grey is apparently testing to see how far she can rotate her neck around , and Wolverine looks like battle-ready clip-art.

Anonymous said...

"Dr. McCoy?"

Anonymous said...

You have to love that when Spock does the Vulcan nerve pinch, it makes the sound effect PINCH! Onomatopoeia at its finest.

Anonymous said...

I still want to read this.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the reason Silvestri is drawing this book is because that year Top Cow and Marvel did a massive Crossover called "The Devil's Reign"

Oooohhh yeah, I remember that. I think I still actually have the issues in my "get rid of this crap" box out in the garage.

Wasn't that supposed to have lead to a whole bunch of crossovers?

David said...

And wasn't there a moment where the mohawked Shiar guy punched the Enterprise?

Chris said...

Um, so does this mean that Boob War is over? Really? Say it isn't so!

Dave: I think during every non-Boob War comic review, you need to point out moments in those comics that would have possibly been "secret weapons" in said Boob War.

Such as this one: you're telling me that during ST/XMen comic there wasn't one single boob-alicious shot of Jean Grey versus Yeoman Rand?

Please don't leave, Boob War. Come back, Boob war.

Peter said...

I think you can't cross over Star Trek and X-Men without having a "but who is the REAL McCoy" scene (yes, it'd be a groaner, that'd be the point! This was the 90s, remember!)

*lol* about JLA/Magnum P.I. -- How about Wolverine/Simpsons? ("Bubd'oh!") Or Aquaman/MacGyver!
You know, I think this could lead to some hilarious fanfic...

As for Buffy, Spuffy gives me the idea that she wouldn't *kick* any asses, if you get my drift. Wolverine and Kirk would be their whipping boys though...

(also, I don't like pie, but that's a whole other discussion)

Anonymous said...

My my my, that does indeed look like ass

David Norman said...

I can't believe I'm this sad for writing this but...

When the Spockster embarasses Wolverine with the Nerve PinchTM, Logan seems to be semi-concious, by the fact that he is actively gripping onto Spock's shirt - which places his fist in the vicinity of Spock's abdomen. Surely it doesn't take much effort for 'SNIKT!' and there would be green blood everywhere?

I so need to get a life...

The contrast between the art is bizarre; the Trek and X-Men are as obviously different as Bob Hoskins and Roger Rabbit.

Gayest Neil said...

Uhura walks into her personal quarters. Storm is waiting for her.

Uhura smiles, "Hey girl! I was wondering when you'd be 'round here."

"Oh I know girl. Sorry it's taken this long. Ooooh. Where'd you get that bling?"

Uhura removes her big silver earring, "Oh this old thing? Girl I wear this for work. But enough about that. How've you been?"

They embrace. "I'm livin'. Sometimes a little stressed playin' momma to this boat full of little boys."

Storm smiles. "I know that feeling. Oooh. Let's order us some chicken and watch 'Girlfriends' on UPN!"

"I hear that!" Uhura slips into a pair of low rise cords and a midriff baring hoochie blouse. "What you think of this top? It make me look fat?"

"Girl, real women gots curves, oK?" Storm scratches her bald head as she removes her giant white wig. "Ooooh, by the Goddess it feels damn good to get that thing off."

"Well, you shouldn't buy your polyester hair at the drugstore." Uhura playfully taunts her friend.

"Oh no you didn't!" Storm laughs.

"Oh yes I did!" Uhura replies.

"Girl, don't forget to order some collards and cornbread with that chicken. Which channel is UPN?" Storm shakes the remote. I doesn't seem to be working properly.

"9, I think. Yes. Mess officer? Me and Ms. Storm needs some grub. Yeah. Mmm-Hmmmm. For real. Ok. Oh, and have Mr. Forge deliver it up here." Uhura giggles as she hangs up the phone.

Storm rolls her eyes, "Girlfriend don't even go there."

"Why? He's a sexy brotha. Oh? Is he your man?"

"Forge? No way. He's psycho. And has some crazy ass little sister too. Lets talk about that Captain of yours."

"Captain Kirk. Oh girl. Lets just say he and popcorn shrimp got some things in common... ok?" Uhura dangles her pinky at Storm.

"What a shame." Storm muses. Both women laugh outloud and Uhura smiles at her friend.

"Storm, it's so good to have another black woman in this universe."

"Agreed my sistah. Oooh Monique is on. Damn! She's fatter and fatter every time I see this show."

Nik said...

Hah, Dan Coyle, you really had me going with that "Second Contact" stuff. C'mon, nobody would write a comic like that! It would make the universe implode from sheer awfulness. Right? Right? (Shivers, clutches blanket to self and falls into a fitful sleep full of terrible, terrible dreams....)

Chris Arndt said...

1) At the time Wolverine's claws didn't pop with a "snikt" but a biological-sounding "schlict!"

2) Apparently there was a scene where Glad did indeed punch the Enterprise. Kirk's response was "did he just punch my ship?"

3) I know the art sucks, but this is madness! How the heck does Spock knock out Wolverine by pinching his shoulder pad? Worse, how does an artist get paid for drawing someone do a neck pinch on a shoulder pad, some distance from the neck?

4) I remember Second Contact. I mainly thought that all of the intended parallels were poorly thought out. Where was the Magus/Phalanx when the Borg showed? What does? My memory fades quickly. What was that dude drinking when Colossus and Data were compared like that? One dude can go toe-to-toe with the Hulk and the other is... bah.

Dweeze said...

If there's no Mr. Tex, then who is that eating my table scraps? Huh? Answer that Mr. Talented Writer Guy.

Anonymous said...

I bought the X-Trek (*ow* pulled a nerd muscle) book. While it wasn't exactly good, it did provide sheer minutes of entertainment. While it may be one of the crappier comics out there, it's still damn funny.

Peter said...

If I remember well, Star Trek/X-Men is one of my girlfriend's guilty pleasures. She still sometimes pulls it out to read it, apparently (no doubt because she's a Kirk fangirl, heh :))

I have a nerdy-hot girlfriend and I like it! :D

Anonymous said...

Actually I have read the X-Men/ STNG cross-over, and it does truly suck.
However, it did have the incidential effect for me of pointing out just how lame the Star Trek aliens are. The X-Men and their universe were just so much more alien than any they ever portrayed on Star Trek.

DougBot said...

I don't think any crossover can compete with TREKLANDER, a Next Generation/Highlander: The TV Show crossover.

OK, so it was a piece of fanfic on USENET in the 90s, but it makes about as much sense as this book does.

(There was a lot of good fanfic skewering on the MST3K newsgroups back in the day.)

Brian Cronin said...

"This must be one of the, if not the, most bizarre crossovers ever. What's next? JLA/Magnum, pi?"

Hey Kelvin, you (and heck, every decent human being) would probably then get a kick out of this part of the Tom Brevoort chat at CBR:

Tom Brevoort: I liked certain stories in "West Coast Avengers," but I just thought the concept was dumb.
Brian Cronin: The concept of two avengers team period, Tom?
Tom Brevoort: The concept of a specifically west coast team. It didn't make any sense to me.
JoeCasey: But... they're three time zones closer if something goes wrong in Hawaii...!
Tom Brevoort: But they're all busy frolicking on the beach when something goes awry, and the real Avengers end up having to fix it anyway.
Michael Pullmann: "Hey, team, looks like Maui is under attack... again!"
Brad Curran: The possibility of a Magnum PI/Tigra team up is too good to pass up.
Brad Curran: Higgins vs. Jarvis!
JoeCasey: Jarvis all the way. Captain America never trained Higgins to fight...!
avengerfan: Joe, Higgins wouldn't let Hawkeye tie him up like that, either......
JoeCasey: Jarvis knew what he was doing... he always does...

Gordon D said...

Just to keep it geeky...

How's about an X-Men/Doctor Who crossover?

(And if such a thing exists, I will shudder. Shudder in fear)

Anonymous said...

Even worse: Excalibur/Hellblazer: The Guns of Black Air.

Anonymous said...

Well, nice going, Dave - you annoyed the Trekkers.

Anonymous said...

as a very big fan of both x-men and star trek (propbly star trek more though)) id love to read this comic, it looks like it would be fun, and, as spock would say, intriging. the best thing would be to see gambit and sulu work together to save every one, the two best.

Anonymous said...

The thing about this is, it's so rediculous, so ludicrous, so absolutely unexpected, that it is instead unintentionally hilarious.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Trek fan. I even kind of like X-Men. But even so this thing rocks my socks.

Aaron Sowd said...

Aw, memories!

Anonymous said...

The saddest part is that I've actually read Planet X, the X-Men/NextGen crossover.

Anonymous said...

Spock does give the Vulcan nerve pinch on Wolverine's neck. Only half of one of his fingers is on his shoulder.

But forget about that. Although the 90's sucked.... not every from 90's did. Marvel has done a lot of stupid things over the years and there still doing them like with Marvel Civil War crap.

But they should have had a Star Trek and a Star Wars crossover. That would have been better and have made much more sense.

Pj Perez said...

OK, sure, this post is two years old, but you DID bring it up again.

I have to take issue with "Silvestry," if only because back when he was one of my favorite artists ("Fall of the Mutants"/"Inferno"-era X-Men), his figures were actually more naturalistic and sleek ... I recall a panel featuring a Speedo-sporting Havok looking like an average (yet in-shape) guy, and the women were NOT breastosarus rexes. I made up a word too.

I blame all the popping muscle crap to Jim Lee influences across the board. Curse you, Jim Lee.

Anonymous said...

If there is an 11 of Suck, this comic goes up to it. Ugh!

JLA/Magnum, P.I. would be way better than this crap. Just try to tell me that Magnum couldn't charm his way into Black Canary's fishnets. And I don't mean wearing them either.

And I am totally hoping that Breastosaurus Rexes (B-Rexes?) don't go extinct.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this comic in 1996. I'm glad I haven't read it since...

Anonymous said...

Canton Fair
Guangzhou Hotel

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