Star Trek - Year Four: Enterprise Experiment Issue #1 by D.C. Fontana and Derek Chester and Gordon Purcell
The Enterprise Experiment is the second miniseries in IDW Publishing’s Star Trek - Year Four line, which presents stories from the remainder of the Enterprise’s five-year mission with Captain Kirk and his crew from the original series. Long-time Trek writer D.C. Fontana is the co-author of this story that is a sequel to "The Enterprise Incident,” an episode she wrote for the series' third season where Kirk stole the Romulan’s cloaking device. It is a fan favorite and was voted the ninth best episode by Entertainment Weekly in 1995.
In Issue #1, the Enterprise is testing a new cloaking device developed from the Romulan technology while Kirk and Spock try to detect it from a shuttlecraft. At first, it seems a success, but when they can’t hail the ship, they realize something is wrong. They discover the ship and the crew are out of phase, a similar occurrence to what happened in the television episode “The Tholian Web,” due to the cloaking device.
The only member of the ship’s crew they can make contact with is Lt. Arex, who fans of The Animated Series will recognize, due to the superior mental capabilities of his species. He fills them in, and the readers, on what has taken place, and explains how he and Mr. Scott began to make adjustments to the transporter to reverse the phasing effects on the crew, but their time ran out. As Spock continues their work, Kirk goes to the bridge. He is able to get the controls back online and when he gets the viewscreen working, he is surprised to be greeted by the female Romulan commander from whom he stole the cloaking device.
Part one of this story is a great set-up and should make readers eager for Issue #2. Fontana and co-author Derek Chester have a great sense of the characters and the Trek universe. The dialog contains references that Trekkies will have fun discovering. It seemed slightly odd and a bit forced that both Kirk and Spock would be the ones conducting the test from the shuttlecraft, but since they are the heroes, it was required. Gordon Purcell’s art is serviceable, but nothing memorable. The issue also includes an interview with legendary comic creator John Byrne on his upcoming Trek miniseries, featuring Gary Seven based on the episode “Assignment Earth.”