Thunderbolts: Second Contact

Ryker, Worf and Crusher sees the sights, from Second Contact

"Second Contact" (1997/08/03) from Star Trek/X-Men: Second Contact (May 1998)

Reader Rating: Hugely disappointing; Thunderbolts Interest: Low

Roll Call: Atlas, Citizen V (Zemo), Jolt, MACH-1, Meteorite (Moonstone), Songbird, Techno

Summary: Thrown into the past, the crew of Jean-Luc Picard’s Starship Enterprise join forces with various X-Men to stop Kang from disrupting the time stream. X-Men: Archangel, Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Storm, and Wolverine. Enterprise Crew: Beverly Crusher, Wesley Crusher, Data, LeForge, Picard, Ryker, Traveller, Troy, and Worf. John Proudstar (Thunderbird), Benjamin Sisko, Tasha Yar and the Sentinels appear in alternate timelines.

Continuity: Shortly after arriving in New York, the Enterprise crew spot the Thunderbolts. The final page is not part of Thunderbolts continuity.

Comments: After a promising beginning (cleverly spun off from the movie Star Trek: First Contact) the plot quickly buckles under a series of outlandish coincidences and unresolved plot points. Let’s count them, shall we? (1) The Enterprise crew identify two locations with alien technology: Thunderbolts HQ and X-Men HQ: Why do these two locations have the technology? No telling: Remember, Four Freedoms Plaza was stripped of all Fantastic Four equipment before the T-Bolts took up residence. (2) The Enterprise records misidentify Four Freedoms Plaza as the Baxter Building. (3) Picard meets, of all people on Earth, the same folks who met James Kirk in a different time-travel adventure. (4) Kang leads the heroes into actions that will further disrupt the time line. Why doesn’t he just do it himself? (5) Two time "anomalies" are introduced by the time stream "trying to heal itself." Since when did the time stream become a conscious entity? (6) Anomaly One is deceased X-Man John Proudstar, transformed into a Starfleet Officer who saves Ben Sisko’s life. Of the billions of humans who ever lived, why an ex-X-Man? (7) Anomaly Two is deceased Enterprise crewmember Tasha Yar, thrown, for no given reason, into an X-Men time paradox… (8) …and, bafflingly, given some sort of mental superpowers. (9) As the Enterprise damages his sphere Kang cries, "How is this possible?" When he figures it out, I hope he’ll tell me!

The fun factor of seeing the Enterprise crew mix with the X-Men might overcome some of these complaints if there were any actual story to tell. But the away teams (which, without explanation, combine Starfleet with mutants) accomplish nothing and the story – such as it is -- is resolved through the deus ex machina arrival of time-trotters Wesley Crusher and the Traveler. The final insult: the entire scene leading up to the one panel cameo by the Thunderbolts does nothing to forward the plot! The last page, which I consider outside T-Bolts continuity, segues the story into a novel called "Planet X." It couldn’t possibly be worse than this, could it? I would like to contain Thunderbolts continuity to their brief cameo, but the appearance of Ryker and company in 1997 New York just makes no sense without the rest of the story.

A footnote places this story prior to Thunderbolts #10. In fact it must take place a good bit earlier than that, since Techno is still in his human form.

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This page was revised on January 17, 2001

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