Mystery man of Star Trek: The Next Generation

One of the things Comics on the Brain enjoys, beyond comic-book stories and art, is to look over the advertisements inside the comics themselves. The other day, we came across this interesting back-cover advertisement for a Super Nintendo game that let players take command of the crew and battleships in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” universe.

In the game, officially titled “Star Trek: The Next Generation — Future’s Past,” you get to run the Enterprise the way you want to and, more importantly, get to boss around the likes of Jean-Luc Picard and Worf.

By today’s standards, the images are clunky and overly cartoonish, but back then they were top notch. In fact, you can even watch a review of “Star Trek: The Next Generation — Future’s Past,”

The SNES version, apparently, is inferior to the Sega Genesis version, which you can see here:


But what really intrigued CotB wasn’t the game, but the advertisement itself. We looked at it and wondered, who the heck is it that they cut out of the picture? Who is it that had the ignominy of being obliterated for the comic book advertisement.

Perhaps it was Wesley Crusher? No, wrong uniform. What about Dwight Schultz, who played Reginald Barclay on ST:TNG (and “Howling Mad” Murdock on the A-Team).

Not sure, we tried a fun Google trick. Basically you ask the famed search engine to find images that look a lot like the image you present to the site. However, we didn’t want it to find additional scans of this particular comic book advertisement, we wanted them to find this particular cast picture. So we cropped the photo down and submitted it to Google, offering the site this tantalizing shot to hunt down:

And we were surprised what came up: A cast picture from Season 5 of the famed sci-fi show. The missing person wasn’t just missing her head, she was completely wiped out from the picture.

Yep, they had obliterated the most famous bartender in the galaxy, the inscrutable Guinan!

Some crafty ad designer completely erased her from the picture with PhotoShop or whatever editing program they were using in 1995.

But that left us with yet another question. Who the heck was the Red Shirt that had his head chopped out?

As we zoomed in on the picture, it all came clear. That pesky ad designer had pulled off a second trick — duplicating Jean-Luc Picard and pasting him back into the picture behind himself.

Not surprising, but the wrinkles in his clothes and the collar emblem reveal the truth — the mystery guest is the captain himself!

… Or is it his evil double from another universe? Sounds like that would make a good video game plot!


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