Of course there’s a new Star Trek television series coming our way this year, but a new comic book series is going to knock your socks off in the interim. Star Trek produces some of the best tie-in stories of any franchise. Every now and then we witness a story that we wish we were watching on television or at the movies, and that next great story is IDW Publishing’s limited comic book series Star Trek: The Next Generation–Mirror Broken. For the first time ever the crew of the Enterprise-D gets to play in the world of daggers, sashes, and deception in the evil Terran Empire instead of the idyllic Federation, already seen by the crews of the original Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek Enterprise.
Only three issues in and the next issue can’t get here soon enough. Brothers David and Scott Tipton (who touched on the NextGen Mirror universe in IDW Publishing’s 2008 Mirror Images series) return to Star Trek comics to script a dark, parallel timeline fans never got to see in seven seasons of the TV series (although we were treated to plenty great alternate universe shows in episodes like “Parallels” and “A Few Good Things…” and even a Mirror-like universe in one of the series best episodes, “Yesterday’s Enterprise”). Known already for his beautiful illustrations in the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover miniseries Assimilation², the IDW adaptation of Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever, and the covers of the Star Trek/Green Lantern crossover miniseries, artist J.K. Woodward now brings his jaw-dropping photo-real paintings to Mirror Broken–providing poster-worthy interior artwork for every page of the series. Woodward not only gives us our first look at the ships and places in the new Mirror universe, he created the look of each character for the franchise.
The first issue of the mini-series is actually an introduction to the new Mirror universe in IDW’s Free Comic Book Day issue from this past May. Readers learn all the subtle, and not-so-subtle, changes in the alternate universe via Lieutenant Barclay, played in the series by Dwight Schultz. We see not only a different view of Starfleet, but Barclay himself is a changed man, having fought his way up the ranks. Fan favorite Tasha Yar, played by Denise Crosby in the series, is woven into the story as well. The main cast is fleshed out in the first and second numbered issues: a ruthless Captain Jean-Luc Picard, a tough Commander Will Riker, and Counselor–now Inquisitor–Troi, who is not just a Mirror pin-up beauty but a sharp and manipulative power center as Picard’s main confidante. Lieutenant LaForge is still the go-to engineering whiz and Commander Data is still trying to know what it’s like to be human, only in a world of skewed objectives and uncertain loyalties. And everyone looks believably like the original actors (updated with Woodward’s blend of Michael Westmore make-up, of course).
Woodward takes advantage of his new playground replacing the muted tones of the 1980s series with a shadowy, noir look, not unlike that found in “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” He also knows how to pepper each page with familiar faces (we can never get enough of revisiting our favorite obscure aliens!) and you’ll find other Easter egg throwbacks to the various series in page after page. Lingering Bynars? Maybe a certain griping Haliian? Tellarites and Nausicaans? Maybe even a creator’s image thrown in for fun? And Picard’s wall adornments are what you’d find on a Klingon’s wall in the normal universe. The Tiptons’ and Woodward’s choices of supporting characters to bring into the story has been great fun so far. We can’t wait to see what’s next.
Take a look at some pages pulled from the series so far:
For Star Trek fans, this is hopefully only the first of many more stories we’ll see based in Woodward and the Tiptons’ new Mirror universe.
Look for Issue #3 of Star Trek: The Next Generation–Mirror Broken from IDW Publishing next Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at comic book stores everywhere. If you missed the earlier issues and can’t find them at your local comic book store, pre-order the trade edition of the story here at Amazon, or get all three issues bundled in digital format here.