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on 19 November 2006
Firstly let me say that instead of tackling this comic collection together I would like to talk about each story separately and discuss how each builds to make a very different collection which I think any Star Trek or Manga fan should own as a good stand alone attempt at a difficult crossover.

Side effects: A very sound story (possibly the best writing in the book) with elements which cross the Star Trek universe and weave together well recognisable ideas and characters to produce an interesting back story to one of the most unstoppable evils in Sci-Fi out for Spock, Bones and some fantastic action (with great art). Dows has taken a big chance by moving away from traditional original series stories and playing with elements which fans hold very close but I feel this has definitely paid off as this tale really stands out, a must read for even the casual fan.

Anything But Alone: A more traditional story (could easily have been an episode in the way it feels) this is both its strong point and its downfall, it feels too much like an episode of the TV series and not enough like a comic story, saying that it is a solid story which will not disappoint with some clean art work, this story is a little weak here. Nothing special, but it will not offend and delivers a nice rounded read.

Till Death: The artwork here is the most fluctuating in the book, sometimes very strong with nice expressions and action...very different from the feel of the rest of the comic and at other times weak distorting the characters and making them unrecognisable. In terms of the story it's a nice idea the take on Adam and Eve idea but this story has been told and re-told and this gives nothing new Barr has told a good story but it could have been a lot more and is let down by the lack of consistent art.

Oban: Personally my least favourite story of the whole book, this idea has been done to death and back in Star Trek and every other sci-fi genre most notably in my mind in TNG and TNG did it so much better. The artwork here also makes the characters appear at times childish and this doesn't improve with weak dialogue and action scenes and a very predictable twist this is possibly the worst point of the novel.

Orphans: Nice Manga art here very in the vein of a traditional Manga story, the idea of children and Robots is very typical of Japanese writing and this story tries hard to bring the two concepts together; it does work but I feel that the end attempts to moralise a little too much and asks some quite obvious questions putting Kirk in a position quite similar to that of Picard and Wesley Crusher. This story might have worked better in fact in this context using a more modern series where this idea might have fitted better. Having said that this is one of may favourite stories so its still quite readable.

First, Do No Harm: A nice simple story in the vein of the original series but there are better.

All in all a good book Side effects, Till Death and Orphans stand out with Side effects head and shoulders above the rest.
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on 18 October 2006
When I first heard that this Tokyopop book was coming out, I was so very, very excited!

As a long-time fan of both Star Trek (in all its forms) and Anime (and the occasional Manga) I just though the combination of both would knock my socks off.

How wrong can you be?? For starters, some of the stories were pretty weak; no matter what medium they had been made in, as "just" text stories, say; they were poor.

The Manga artwork itself? In parts it was fine, but it just wasn't "strong" enough. Hard to explain what I mean by that, I guess. I just wanted it to look even more Manga-ish than it was.

Chalk this one up to a failed experiment. That's not to say I wouldn't get excited all over again should they try again ...
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