Trial by fire! – "Wet Behind the Ears" was the 32nd issue of DC Comics' 1989 series of Star Trek: The Next Generation comics, released in June 1992. The issue consisted of a 24 page story, as written by Michael Jan Friedman. The art was pencilled by Peter Krause and inked by Pablo Marcos, with Kim Yale credited as editor.
Three years on, Sonya Gomez has grown up a bit from her days as a starry-eyed ensign in the engineering section of the USS Enterprise-D, but she still lacks confidence—and is devastated by a repeat occurrence of her initial growing pains aboard ship when she spills a drink on Captain Jean-Luc Picard in ten-forward. Both Gomez and Picard are surprised when Geordi La Forge nominates her for a position as engineering advisor on a cadet training mission aboard the USS Tubman-B.
- Barron • Sonya Gomez • Keane • Kozinski • Geordi La Forge • Livingston (fish) • McIver • Miles O'Brien • Jean-Luc Picard • William Riker • Ro Laren • Timmins • Deanna Troi • Worf • unnamed Catarr (Catarr captain and officer) • USS Enterprise-D personnel (unnamed USS Enterprise-D personnel: engineering ensign) • unnamed Starfleet personnel (cadets)
Starships and vehicles
- Catarr starship • USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class explorer) • USS Odyser • USS Tubman (Constellation-class exploratory cruiser training vessel)
- Catarr vessel
Stars and star systems
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Ranks and titles
- cadet • captain • chief engineer • commander • counselor • engineer • flag officer • flight controller • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • security chief • specialist • transporter chief
Science and classification
- alien • asteroid • drink • energy • fish • humanoid • lifeform • lionfish • matter • space • technology • weapon
Technology and weapons
- Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet ranks (2360s-2370s) • races and cultures • rank • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2366-2373) • training mission • uniform
- Gomez remembers spilling hot chocolate on the captain. (TNG episode: "Q Who")
- Picard is surprised Geordi chooses Gomez for the cadet mission.
- This story is a sequel of sorts to Sonya Gomez's appearances in TNG episodes: "Q Who?", "Samaritan Snare". The artists associated with this comic issue took some liberties with her hairstyle and appearance, possibly as they did not acquire likeness rights for actress Lycia Naff. On J.K. Moore's cover she appears with a short haircut, and lighter brown hair (although the colorist has all the other cover characters with the same reddish light effect reflecting on their hair), while the interior pages show her with a deep olive skin tone and a different hairstyle.
- The other Federation ships shown all have registry numbers with an alphabetical suffix, a rarity in canon productions.
- The characters of Ro, Riker, Worf, Troi and O'Brien all appear in this issue's artwork but do not have dialog. Ro in particular appears on the cover, even though she only appeared in cameo in the story.
- This is the second issue where Ro is shown at a bridge station wearing an operations division gold uniform rather than her normal command division red uniform.
- In a commonly made mistake, Picard states in dialog that the Tubman was a Constitution-class vessel rather than a Constellation. He even goes so far to claim it is not unlike the original USS Enterprise, even though numerous dissimilarities are visible in the designs. Possibly the vessel had been converted since Picard last knew it, the cover and interior artwork show it to be a Constellation.
- The depiction of the Tubman on the J.K. Moore cover art shows a standard Constellation-class starship configuration as seen onscreen in canon, but the interior art shows the vessel has a different warp engine configuration, similar to the Constellation-class ships shown in FASA RPG reference: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual.
- The Catarr race was devised for this issue to serve as the story's villains. Their appearance and the appearance of their Catarr starship was probably designed by issue penciler Peter Krause, although some details may have been contributed by inker Pablo Marcos and colorist Julianna Ferriter. Additionally, a variant look for their ship was seen on the cover, as drawn by J.K. Moore. The cover version of the ship has very little in common with the vessel seen on the inner pages, which is a contradiction unless one can entertain the possibility that the ship could alter its shape.
- Although the majority of the DC Comics TNG series was made up of multi-issue story arcs, this was a one-shot story following the two-parter with Riker stranded in the Beta Maxilla rift and followed by a multipart Q/Klingons arc.
#31: Kingdom of the Damned
|Star Trek: The Next Generation
(DC Comics, series two)
#33: The Way of the Warrior