Writer: Mike Johnson (based on the teleplay by Boris Sobelman)
Artist: Stephen Molnar
Will a visit to planet Beta III explain why the USS Archon has disappeared from all Starfleet records?
We’re back to rewrites of original series adventures in this issue, although from the word go, this is markedly different from the classic episode on which it’s based. Yes, Sulu and O’Neill are beamed down to the planet, but Sulu isn’t absorbed, and numerous other events don’t occur as they did in the prime timeline.
It’s an interesting take on the basic set-up, but one which begs a question. Given how much it deviates from the original, why bother calling it The Return of the Archons at all? Given that a layer of conspiracy and Starfleet shenanigans has been added to the storyline (some of which must predate the division of the prime and new universes, at least based on the evidence presented so far), this isn’t a case of Nero’s arrival changing some of the key elements. It’s a completely new story, one that puts a Section 31-type spin on the original series.
Judging it on its own merits, it’s intriguing, and it will be interesting to see whether Prime Kirk’s solution to the problem is the same here, when it’s clear that it’s Starfleet he’s dealing with, not a six thousand year old computer…
Verdict: A decent story that deviates so much from its base that you can’t prejudge the outcome, as with some of the earlier versions. 7/10