Trapped in a Tholian web. — "A Handful of Dust" is the 72nd issue of DC Comics's 1989 series of TNG comics. It is the second issue in the five-part War and Madness story arc written by Michael Jan Friedman, drawn by Gordon Purcell and Terry Pallot, and published in 1995.


The Enterprise crew investigates the Tholian attack at Alpha Unuria, which had been interrupted by the USS Stockholm, but no new data comes from examining debris and speaking with the colonists. William T. Riker spends two days looking for clues, possibly as an overreaction to his father Kyle Riker's belief that they should move on. Deanna Troi asks Will about his judgment in Ten Forward, and he does at least confess that Kyle Riker's impending marriage bothers him.

En route to Beta Exorpa, the Enterprise picks up a distress signal from the colony at Beta Barnia, and diverts there at maximum warp. Three Tholian Web Spinner-class starships capture the Enterprise in a Tholian web. Will Riker recalls a battle scenario at Starfleet Academy that took advantage of a blind spot in a Tholian ship's sensor array, and attempts the same maneuver, but to no avail. Meanwhile, the flagship's first officer Nethrax doubts the reasoning behind his commander's actions, but is unsure what he can do about it.

To be continued…

Log entriesEdit

First Officer's log, stardate 48252.6. 
Of the three Federation colonies attacked by the Tholians for no apparent reason, only Alpha Unuria produced any survivors. That's where our investigation is slated to begin.
First Officer's log
Despite the efforts of the Stockholm, some twenty percent of the colonists were killed in the Tholian raid. Considering they had no doctor of their own here, it's a wonder the casualties weren't greater.
Captain's log, supplemental. 
After two days of sheer frustration, I have been forced to withdraw our away team from the Alpha Unuria colony.
Counselor's log, supplemental. 
It is increasingly clear to me that Will and his father are not arguing solely about strategy. There is a decidedly personal element to their confrontation as well. Both of them are being stubborn. The question is… which one of them is right?
Captain's log, supplemental. 
The Tholians' energy web continues to constrict about the Enterprise. Power levels are dropping steadily. The moment of our destruction approaches… and we are no closer to solving the problem than we were before.



Alpha Unuria residentsBenBeverly CrusherDataGlendaGuinanHansNarqal personnelNethraxAlyssa OgawaJean-Luc PicardKyle RikerWilliam RikerSelarDeanna TroiWorf
Referenced only 
Annie RikerBrenda SorensonUSS Stockholm personnel

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class) • Narqal (Web Spinner-class Tholian starship)
Referenced only 
USS Stockholm (Miranda-class)


Alpha UnuriaBeta Barania
Referenced only 
Beta ExorpaStarfleet Academy

Races and culturesEdit


States and organizationsEdit

Tholian AssemblyUnited Federation of Planets

Science and classificationEdit

annular confinement beambiobedcommbadgedeflector griddeflector shielddirected energy weaponmedical tricordermedscannerphasersensorsensor arrayTholian webtricorderviewscreen

Ranks and titlesEdit

captainchief medical officercommandercounselorensignexecutive officerfirst officerlieutenantnumber onesenior officer

Other referencesEdit

bookbridgecaptain's log, USS Enterprise, 2371chief medical officer's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)counselor's logdistress signalevasive maneuversFederation Starfleet ranks (2360s-2370s)first officer's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)flagshiphourinchminuteoutpostranksecondsickbayStarfleet ranksStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2366-2373)Ten Forwardwarp factor (warp six) • year



Cadet William T. Riker takes advantage of a sensor array blind spot to incapacitate a Tholian vessel during a simulation at Starfleet Academy.
USS Enterprise-D confronts three Tholian Web Spinner-class starships at Beta Barania.

Production historyEdit

June 1995 
First printed by DC Comics
6 February 2020 
Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection # 98 (Eaglemoss)



Related storiesEdit



published order
Previous comic:
The First Casualty
TNG comics
DC monthly series
Next comic:
The Dying of the Light
Previous story:
The First Casualty
Comics by:
Michael Jan Friedman
Next story:
The Dying of the Light
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The First Casualty
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
The Dying of the Light
Previous Adventure:
The First Casualty
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
Next Adventure:
The Dying of the Light

External linkEdit

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