Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Trek Tuesday: Planet X


The final part of the Star Trek/X-Men crossover wasn’t a comic.  Instead, it was a novel titled Planet X.  Picking up from “Second Contact”, the X-Men find themselves in the 24th Century and working again with Captain Picard and his crew.  This novel was written by Michael Jan Friedman, a veteran Star Trek and comic book scribe, so you would think he would create a product that perfectly fuses the two properties together.  Unfortunately, the story is not that good.  It’s really kind of terrible.

The biggest problem is that the story was either sloppily written or sloppily edited with spelling errors and character names switching around.  Planet X came out an approximately a month after the second cross-over comic.  I almost wonder if this novel was a rush job to get it out there when the comic was relevant.  That really is the only explanation for an author like Friedman to release something so amateurish.

But, if that was the only problem, then we’d be okay.  The bigger issue is that the story is just dull.  Nothing really happens of any consequence.  In it, a planet within the Federation discovers that some of its people are developing alarming powers.  The USS Enterprise is sent in to investigate.  Along the way, they happen to encounter the X-Men who have mysteriously found themselves in the 24th Century.  Teaming together, they attempt to find out what is happening on this world.

At its core, this sounds like a good idea, but the execution is just boring.  The first half of the novel has the Enterprise crew and the X-Men just sitting around and talking and/or humorously getting on each other’s nerves.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s just not interesting.  While that is going on, we see the lives of the aliens who are transforming on the remote planet.  There seems to be leaders arising from this group not unlike Professor X and Magneto.  But, this is all dropped the minute the Enterprise arrives.  There is really no pay off to what was happening here.

Once the Enterprise and the X-Men get to the planet, a whole other story occurs.  Apparently some other aliens are at the planet and are trying to round up the transformed.  Why?  Well, the book doesn’t really give much of a reason.  While the story does feature some good action and neat uses of the X-Men’s powers, the latter half is nothing but punching and fighting.  There is little substance.

Again, none of that is bad, but it made for a very uninteresting read.  That’s a shame, really.  You have this, admittingly silly crossover, but nothing is really done with it to justify its existence (beyond money).  I really wish I could have liked this more, but as it is, Planet X is a lackluster, dull novel.  Read it only if you really want to see the two teams meet again.



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